Benjamin Franklin

By | Apr 17, 2008

A little over a year after the government under the United States Constitution, a document that he was a contributor, Benjamin Franklin died on April 17, 1790. Franklin will long be remembered by his actions as a representative from Pennsylvania to the Continental Congress, the Constitution Convention and his diplomatic missions during and after the Revolutionary War.

There are a few periods in Franklin’s life that would have him as a memorable historical figure. Either his career as a businessman and printer or a inventor or as a scientist would give him a place in history. But he was also a diplomatic and revolutionary leader. However at times the man and the legend merge to a thin blur.

Franklin is credited with being one of the first to produce a political cartoon. That being his divided snake representing the colonies with the caption Join or Die. It’s a familiar drawing and one used during the revolution of the late 1770’s and early 1780’s.

However the drawing first appeared in Franklin’s newspaper The Pennsylvania Gazette on May 9, 1754 as part of an editorial encouraging the separate British colonies to join together as a unified British America prior to the French and Indian War.

Franklin is thought of as a great American, which is true. But from 1757 until 1785, he spend most of these years in Europe. He was only in America for about two years between 1762 and 1764 returning again in 1775. He remained in the country long enough to help the county declare independence from Great Britain then returned to Europe in late 1776 as a diplomat.

There is no doubt that Franklin was a great man. One of hard work, invention, science and community service. Bu he was also a complicated man. He will always be remembered especially when considering that during the last half of his life he was one of the best known men in the world.


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