Philadelphia's Most Famous Citizen

By Terry, Terese M. | Information Outlook, March 2000 | Go to article overview

Philadelphia's Most Famous Citizen


Terry, Terese M., Information Outlook


Philadelphia's Most Famous Citizen, except for Rocky Balboa, is Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790). If Franklin were running for office today, here is how the tabloid Philadelphia Daily News might report his activities. [Visit the scenes of Franklin's colorful life, all within minutes of conference headquarters.]

Who's The Mom? Franklin Mum.

Little Will Franklin's mother remains a mystery. Ben Franklin refuses to reveal her name, acknowledging "Intrigues with low women" in his past. The baby, called a "base-born Brat" by detractors, was born shortly after the printer's marriage to Miss Deborah Reed and will be raised by the couple. [Franklin Court offers an entertaining, dynamic encounter with the private and public life of Franklin. Market St, between 3rd & 4th Sts.]

Formerly Homeless Local Tops Best Seller List.

Ben Franklin's self-help book, Poor Richard's Almanac: The Way to Wealth is a runaway success. As a teen, the 25- year-old author/printer fled Boston, to escape an abusive older brother. Now hundreds are buying his tips on how to be "healthy, wealthy and wise." [Take home a hot-off-the-press souvenir from Franklin's Print Shop. 320 Market St.]

Party Leader Franklin Raps Religion.

Benjamin Franklin admits authorship of a pamphlet which states "hypocritical Pretenders to Religion more injure the commonwealth than those openly Profane." Some members of the Quaker political party, which Franklin heads, disdain his Deist or "free thinker" beliefs. Franklin calls his opponents "stiffrumps. "I spend my Sundays reading." [Locals know it's good luck to toss a penny on Franklin's grave at Christ Church Burial Ground 5th and Arch Sts.]

Philly's Franklin No Cheat, Kite Flying Buddy Says.

Ebeneezer Kinnersly says the claim of plagiarism against his science partner is nonsense. Political enemies are trying to block Franklin's honorary degree from the University of Oxford, on the grounds that Kinnersly was the real inventor of electricity. [Take a short taxi ride to The Franklin Institute Science Museum for hands-on exhibits of Franklin's scientific accomplishments. 20th and Ben Franklin Pkwy.]

College Of PA Gives Founder Franklin Heave Ho.

Provost Reverend William Smith defends the action, stating "Dr. Franklin took uncommon pains to misrepresent our academy saying that it was a narrow bigoted Institution, got into the Hands of the Proprietary Party as an engine of Government; that the Dissenters had no Chance in it. …

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