Benjamin Franklin and the American Character

By Charles L. Sanford | Go to book overview

CHRONOLOGICAL BIOGRAPHY
1706Birth in Boston.
1714Enters Boston Grammar School.
1716-1718Assists father in candlemaking.
1718-1723Printer's apprentice for his brother James. Bookish inclinations. Publishes his "Dogood Papers" anonymously in the New England Courant.
1723-1724Breaks indenture and runs to Philadelphia, where he works for Samuel Keimer, printer.
1724-1726Experience in London.
1726-1736 Philadelphia. Launched upon an independent career. Founds the Junto Club 1727). Opens own printing office ( 1728). Marries Deborah Read ( 1730). Begins Poor Richard's Almanac ( 1732).
1737Enters politics. Appointed postmaster of Philadelphia (incumbent until 1753). Elected to the Assembly.
1742-1744Public enterprises: invents the Franklin stove, proposes the University of Pennsylvania, establishes the American Philosophical Society, plans defense of the Province against the Indians.
1746Begins electrical experiments.
1748Retires from business.
1752-1754Continues public career and scientific experiments: proves the identity of lightning and electricity, is appointed deputy Postmaster-General of the American colonies and elected a member of the British Royal Society, becomes a Commissioner at the Albany Congress to discuss Indian problems and there proposes the Albany Plan of Union.
1755Appointed Colonel in the militia, pledging his personal property to supply Braddock's army.
1757-1762In England to plead the cause of the Pennsylvania Assembly against the Penn Proprietaries. Secures a compromise.
1764-1775Again in England as agent for Pennsylvania.
1764Is examined in the House of Commons on the possible consequences in the colonies of the Stamp Act.
1770-1771With other land speculators petitions the King for a grant of land on the Ohio River. Other colonies also appoint him their agent in England. Begins Autobiography.
1773-1774Affair of the Hutchinson-Oliver letters. Dismissed as deputy Postmaster General of North America after his examination by Wedderburn before the Privy Council.
1775Home again. Chosen a delegate to second Continental Congress.
1776Helps frame the Declaration of Independence. The new Constitution for Pennsylvania embodies his provision for a unicameral legislature. Leaves for Paris as one of three commissioners appointed to secure aid for the American cause from the French government.
1778Concludes treaty of defensive alliance with France.
1783Signs treaty of peace.
1785Returns to America. Is elected President of Pennsylvania.
1787Delegate to the federal Constitutional Convention.
1788Retires from public life. Completes the Autobiography (to the year 1757).
1790Death.

-xi-

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