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Benjamin Franklin was not only one of the Founding Fathers of the United States of America, but he was also an inventor, scientist, author, and publisher. He helped in drafting the US Declaration of Independence and producing the US Constitution.
See the fact file below for more information on Benjamin Franklin or alternatively, you can download our 21-page Benjamin Franklin worksheet pack to utilize within the classroom or home environment.
Key Facts & Information
EARLY LIFE AND EDUCATION
- Benjamin Franklin was born on January 17, 1706, in Boston, Massachusetts.
- Benjamin was the tenth son Josiah Franklin, a soap and candle maker, and Abiah Folger, a Massachusetts native.
- Franklin stopped going to school at 10 years old.
- His father could not afford to send him to school long enough for Benjamin to pursue clergy.
- Franklin’s love for reading led him to develop his writing skills on his own.
BENJAMIN THE PRINTER AND PUBLISHER
- When Franklin turned 12, he became the apprentice of his older brother James in a printing press in Boston.
- Under the pseudonym Silence Dogood, Franklin was writing essays at age 16 and had them published in a newspaper operated by his brother.
- At 17 years old, he left Boston and worked as a printer in Philadelphia.
- At age 18, he got a new job as a printer in London, England.
- At age 20, he went back to Philadelphia and opened his own printing shop two years later.
- His printing business produced books, pamphlets, and even money.
- In 1729, Franklin took the responsibility of being the publisher and owner of the Pennsylvania Gazette, a colonial newspaper.
- The Pennsylvania Gazette gained popularity and Franklin soon started to contribute his own work under various pseudonyms.
- Franklin became even more famous when he began publishing “Poor Richard’s Almanack” annually from 1733 to 1758.
- “Poor Richard’s Almanack was known for its clever quotes and proverbs about frugality and hard work.
- In 1730, Deborah Read became Franklin’s common-law wife, with whom Franklin had two children: Francis, who died at 4 years old; and Sarah.
- Franklin acknowledged that he had another son, William, who was “illegitimate” because he was born out of wedlock.
- His son, William Franklin, served as the last colonial governor of New Jersey for thirteen years from 1763 to 1776.
FRANKLIN’S CIVIC AFFAIRS
- In the 1730s, Benjamin Franklin established Philadelphia’s first public lending library, the first fire department, and a police patrol.
- Franklin also organized the American Philosophical Society, an organization with the purpose of pursuing scientific research.
- Franklin became heavily involved in the civic affairs of Philadelphia – from organizing the militia to fundraising for city infrastructure.
- Franklin was a key figure in the establishment of the Academy of Philadelphia in 1751, which became known as the University of Pennsylvania in 1791.
- In 1737, he was appointed postmaster of Philadelphia under British rule.
- In 1753, Franklin was appointed joint postmaster general for all the American colonies, which ended in 1774 when he got dismissed from the job.
- From July 1775 to November 1776, Franklin held the position as the first postmaster general of the United States by the Continental Congress.
- At age 42, Franklin’s printing business expanded successfully and made Franklin secure enough to retire.
- During his retirement, he focused more on public service and his scholarly pursuits.
- He conducted scientific experiments throughout the 1740s.
- The results of his experiments led to an expanded understanding of electricity and to the invention of the lightning rod, a tool that protects buildings from fires caused by lightning.
- He conducted his kite experiment in 1752, which became famous for demonstrating that lightning is electricity.
- On the topic of electricity, the terms “battery,” “conductor,” and “charge” were words coined by Benjamin Franklin.
- Franklin also studied other areas in science and ultimately developed bifocal eyeglasses (eyeglasses that can be used for reading and for seeing long distances) and the Franklin stove (a stove that produces more heat using less fuel than other stoves.)
- Franklin invented the glass harmonica, a musical instrument, in the early 1760s.
- In 1754, he proposed the Albany Plan, which, although rejected at first, helped create the foundation of the Articles of Confederation, which then became the first constitution of the United States in 1781.
- In 1757, Franklin worked as a representative of the Pennsylvania Assembly in London. He lived mainly in London until 1775.
- While he was living in London, British rule began in the US, which had control over the American colonies.
- Franklin testified against the Stamp Act of 1765, an act requiring that all legal documents, books, and other printed materials in the American colonies carry a tax stamp.
- The Stamp Act was repealed, but the stronger British-imposed regulatory measures succeeded, which resulted in American colonists developing stronger anti-British sentiments.
- The Revolutionary War had already begun when Franklin returned to Philadelphia in 1775.
- Franklin was chosen to serve as a delegate to the Second Continental Congress, America’s government, during the war.
- In 1776, Franklin was one of the five members of the committee that drafted the Declaration of Independence, a document declaring the freedom of the thirteen American colonies from the British government.
- In February 1778, Franklin was sent as a minister to France and worked to negotiate and draft the Treaty of Paris in 1783, which then ended the Revolutionary War.
FRANKLIN’S DEATH AND LEGACY
- Franklin died at age 84, on April 17, 1790, in Philadelphia.
- His legacy includes the establishment of a science museum and trade school.
- An image of Franklin can be seen on the $100 bill.
Benjamin Franklin Worksheets
This is a fantastic bundle that includes everything you need to know about Benjamin Franklin across 21 in-depth pages. These are ready-to-use Benjamin Franklin worksheets that are perfect for teaching students about Benjamin Franklin who was not only one of the Founding Fathers of the United States of America, but he was also an inventor, scientist, author, and publisher. He helped in drafting the US Declaration of Independence and producing the US Constitution.
Complete List Of Included Worksheets
- Benjamin Franklin Facts
- Franklin or False
- Benjamin’s Bio
- Historical Ladder
- Founding Father
- Inventor Franklin
- The Kite Experiment
- Thirteen Virtues
- Franklin’s Shoe
- Benjamin’s Legacy
- Letter to Ben Franklin
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Link will appear as Benjamin Franklin Facts & Worksheets: https://kidskonnect.com - KidsKonnect, June 20, 2019
Use With Any Curriculum
These worksheets have been specifically designed for use with any international curriculum. You can use these worksheets as-is, or edit them using Google Slides to make them more specific to your own student ability levels and curriculum standards.