Benjamin Franklin Essay example

Submitted By shirleydhouse252
Words: 1291
Pages: 6

Shirley House
Franklin, Benjamin., The Autobiography and Other Writings., Penguin Books., New York, NY, 1986., 268 pgs. The book The Autobiography and Other Writings by Author Dr. Benjamin Franklin turned out to be a great book. I would have never picked up a book like this in my life. I’m happy I was introduced to the work. It was truly an amazing read. In the beginning, Franklin explained that he was the youngest son and the 15th child of 17 children. His father, Josiah Franklin, was a soap and candle maker. He had immigrated to Boston from Northamptonshire, England. Franklin disliked his father’s trade, but loved to read. Eventually, Franklin’s father agreed to let Franklin become an apprentice to his brother James, who was a printer, at age 12. Franklin and his brother James often disagreed. Franklin was an amazing writer at the time while he would develop his skills on lunch breaks apart from everyone else in private. Franklin urged his brother to read some of his works or let him write something for the paper, but James would not have it. So, at age 16, Franklin created the persona of a middle-aged widow named Silence Dogood. Once every two weeks Franklin would leave a letter under the door of James’ printing shop. After so much disagreement, Franklin ended up quitting before his contract expired. Looking for work, he first went to New York. After finding none, he went to Philadelphia. He was hired by Samuel Keimer. The Governor of Pennsylvania, Sir William Keith, was impressed with Franklin and offered to set him up a business. Franklin assumed Keith had placed letters of credit for him on board his ship. He sailed to England to purchase his printing equipment, only to find that no such letters had been written and was therefore forced to spend several months working in a London printing house. He returned home when a merchant named Denham offered him a good job as clerk and manager of Denham’s Philadelphia store. A few months after they arrived, Denham died and Keimer rehired Franklin as a manager. Eventually, Franklin set up a printing shop with one of the men he trained, Hugh Meredith. Later, he bought Meredith’s share and found himself in business alone. He supposedly “married” the girl whom he had courted before leaving for England, Deborah Read. The two prospered together. Franklin secured many valuable orders through his job as clerk of the Pennsylvania Assembly. From his early years, Franklin constantly struggled to improve himself. The passion culminated in a plan to attain perfection in 13 weeks. He would do so by unlearning bad habits and acquiring 13 virtues Franklin felt most important (one each week). He also outlined a perfect day. He gave each necessary activity its proper amount of time. Franklin’s passion for improvement was not spent exclusively on himself. Public projects to which Franklin turned his attention to included Philadelphia’s first public library, fire company, public academy, philosophical society, militia, defense system, and hospital. Besides these projects, he helped improve the city’s police system. He also helped improve the streets. He advised a more equitable tax system. The book ends as Franklin wins his first encounter while serving as Pennsylvania’s agent in England. His accounts bring the reader to the point at which Franklin’s activity becomes international. They also become the proper concern of professional historians. The most interesting part of this book to me was when Franklin threw his friend Collins overboard. I would’ve never thought Franklin would ever do such a thing like that. It was the most interesting to me because it was amusing to see how Franklin showed his true colors. Franklin was a nice man, but he refused to be taken advantage of and I respect that. I do not think what he did was totally wrong. I disliked the area of the book when Franklin was working from James. It seemed as though James despised Franklin because he was better