Benjamin Franklin: In His Own Words
Related Library of Congress Exhibitions
Benjamin Franklin Selected Chronology
- 1706 Born in Boston on January 17
- 1718 Apprenticed as a printer to brother James
- 1723 Leaves Boston for Philadelphia
- 1729 Acquires Philadelphia newspaper, Pennsylvania
Gazette; son William born
- 1730 Marries Deborah Read
- 1731 Founds Library Company of Philadelphia,
first subscription library
- 1732 Publishes first issue of Poor Richard's
Almanack; son Francis is born
- 1736 Organizes Philadelphia's first volunteer
fire company; Francis dies
- 1743 Daughter Sarah is born
- 1744 Markets Franklin fireplace or "stove"
- 1750 Helps establish the Academy of Philadelphia,
later the University of Pennsylvania
- 1751 Elected to Pennsylvania Assembly
- 1752 Pennsylvania Hospital opens with Franklin's
- 1753 Appointed deputy British postmaster of
- 1757 Goes to London as agent of the Pennsylvania
- 1762 Returns to Philadelphia; son William is
appointed Royal Governor of New Jersey
- 1764 Goes to London with petition for Royal
Government for Pennsylvania
- 1766 Supports repeal of Stamp Act before the
British House of Commons
- 1774 Denounced by British government and dismissed
as postmaster; Deborah Franklin dies
- 1775 Returns to Philadelphia; elected delegate
to Second Continental Congress; drafts Articles of Confederation for the
- 1776 Helps write Declaration of Independence;
sails to France as United States minister
- 1778 Signs treaties of alliance and friendship
- 1782 Helps negotiate Treaty of Paris with Great
Britain to end American Revolution
- 1784 Invents bifocals
- 1785 Returns to Philadelphia; chosen president
- 1787 Serves as delegate to Federal Constitutional
- 1790 Petitions Congress for end to slavery;
dies on April 17
Read More About It
- Brands, H.W. The First American: the Life and Times of Benjamin Franklin.
New York: Doubleday, 2000.
- Dray, Philip. Stealing God's Thunder. Benjamin Franklin's Lightning
Rod and the Invention of America. New York: Random House, 2005.
- Franklin, Benjamin. The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin. Second
Edition. Foreword by Edmund S. Morgan. New Haven: Yale Nota Bene/Yale University
- Humes, James C. The Wit & Wisdom of Benjamin Franklin. A
Treasury of More Than 900 Quotations and Entertaining Anecdotes.
New York: Harper Collins, 1995.
- Isaacson, Walter. Benjamin Franklin: An American Life. New York:
Simon & Schuster, 2003.
- Lemay, J.A. Leo, ed. Franklin: Writings. New York: Library of America,
- Middlekauff, Robert. Benjamin Franklin and His Enemies. Berkeley:
University of California Press, 1996.
- Morgan, Edmund. Benjamin Franklin. New Haven: Yale University Press,
- Shiff, Stacy. A Great Improvisation: Franklin, France, and the Birth
of America. New York: Henry Holt, 2005.
- Talbott, Page, ed. Benjamin Franklin: In Search of a Better World. New
Haven: Yale University Press, 2005.
- Waldstreicher, David. Runaway America: Benjamin Franklin, Slavery
and the American Revolution. New York: Hill and Wang, 2004.
For younger readers
- Fradin, Dennis Brindell and John O'Brien (illustrator). Who Was Benjamin
Franklin? New York: Penguin Young Readers Group, 2002
- Fritz, Jean and Margot Tomes (illustrator). What's The Big Idea, Ben
Franklin? New York: Penguin
Young Readers Group, 1996.
- Giblin, James Cross and Michael Dooling (illustrator). The Amazing
Life of Benjamin Franklin. Scholastic, Inc., 2006.
- Lawson Robert. Ben and Me: A New and Astonishing Life of Benjamin Franklin
As Written by His Good Mouse Amos. Boston: Little, Brown & Company,
1939 [Reprinted, 1988].
- Satterfield Kathryn Hoffman. Benjamin Franklin (Time for Kids Series). New
York: Harpers Collins Children's Books, 2005.
- Schanzer, Rosalyn. How Ben Franklin Stole Lightning. New York:
Harper Collins Publisher, 2003.
- Stevenson, Augusta and Ray Quigley (illustrator). Benjamin Franklin:
Young Printer (Childhood of Famous Americans Series). Indianapolis:
On the Web
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