Son and Sibling
Aversion to arbitrary Power . . . has stuck to me thro' my whole Life.
JOSIAH FRANKLIN, Benjamin's father, had come to America in 1683 in search of religious freedom. A convert to nonconformism, he had left his native village of Ecton in Northamptonshire rather than submit to the beliefs and practices of the Church of England. Still in his twenties when he landed in Boston, Josiah quickly found that Massachusetts had little use for his skills as a silk dyer and turned to making candles and soap, for which there was considerably more demand. If he did not exactly prosper, at least he managed. His family grew fast, too fast. Three children had come over from England; two more were born soon after the arrival in America. Nowhere is the mother's name mentioned, nowhere except on her tombstone modestly tucked away to the side of that of her more durable successor. There lies "Ann Franclin, aged about 34 years," buried with her sixth child, a little Joseph who died at the age of five days, and with her seventh child, another little Joseph born fifteen months later, who died at fifteen days, one week after his mother.*
Five months after losing his wife, Josiah married again, this time a strong native girl hailing from Nantucket, Abiah Folger. She raised Ann's five surviving children, gave her husband ten more, and lived well into her eighties, never sick a day until her final illness. Of her own brood, four girls and six boys, the youngest son was Benjamin, born January 6, 1706 (to become January 17 after the calendar reform in mid-century).
Boston was seventy-six years old, Harvard College was seventy. The____________________