Benjamin Franklin was one of our greatest founding fathers and has impacted our country more than you can imagine. What sets Benjamin Franklin apart from the other founding fathers was that not only was he instrumental in the founding of our country, he also invented many items that have been perfected and are still used today. Benjamin Franklin played a key role in the founding of our country through his actions in congress, his civic leadership in Philadelphia, and his ongoing defense of our basic rights as an American citizen.
Benjamin Franklin grew up in Boston, and was the tenth son of a soap maker Josiah franklin. “Josiah intended for Benjamin to enter into the clergy. However, Josiah could only afford to send his son to school for one year and clergymen needed years of schooling” (Independence Hall Association). The family was not very wealthy since they had ten or more kids and the father was only a soap maker. So times were tough for the young Benjamin Franklin, but by age 12 he found work selling his brothers pamphlets in the streets of Boston. “When Benjamin was 15 his brother started The New England Courant the first "newspaper" in Boston” (Independence Hall Association). Working for his brother was most likely a grueling job since he had barely any power or say in what went on.
Benjamin wanted to write for his brother’s printing press, but being only an apprentice he had no chance. “So Ben began writing letters at night and signing them with the name of a fictional widow, Silence Do-good.” (Independence Hall Association). This showed early off that he was a creative and intellectual thinker. The papers he wrote under this fake name became well known and liked. Since they were becoming popular, he couldn’t help but claim the credit for writing these papers. His brother was obviously jealous of the attention his little brother was getting, especially since he was a lowly apprentice.
Ben Franklin and his brother got in many arguments and one day young Ben age 17 decided to run away. “I determined on the point, but my father now siding with my brother, I was sensible that, if I attempted to go openly, means would be used to prevent me”. (Franklin 86) Ben had no chance of escaping if it wasn’t for his friend Collins, who helped him concoct a story that he got a girl pregnant so that he could be secreted on a ship to New York, where he would end up three months later. This shows Ben’s determination to succeed and his inability to give up once he set his mind on something. Benjamin found no work in New York, but was rather pointed towards Philadelphia, where he was almost promised work.
When he finally made it to Philadelphia, his journey took its toll on him. “It rained very hard all the day; I was thoroughly soaked, and by noon a good deal tired; so I stopped at a poor inn, where I stayed all night, beginning now to wish I never left home”. (Franklin 89). At this point it would have been very hard to keep going, being a young man in a large city looking for work, being almost impossible to find. But nonetheless, Ben found work as an apprentice printer in Philadelphia. He worked there for years until he figured he was better than the printer he worked for, and decided to start his own press.
“In 1729, Benjamin Franklin bought a newspaper, the Pennsylvania Gazette, which quickly became the most successful in the colonies. This newspaper, among other firsts, would print the first political cartoon, authored by Ben himself.” (Independence Hall Association). Benjamin Franklin thrived in his business mainly due to the fact that he was such a determined worker.
The side of Franklin devoted to protecting American rights showed itself as early as the 1720’s. Franklin started early helping the people and joined a group called the masons. He also started a Philadelphia Union fire company. On top of this he helped start an American Philosophical Association in 1743. He also formed a Pennsylvania