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Franklin Benjamin The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin Yale University Press New Haven 1964 Thesis The thesis of The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin is that Benjamin Franklin was a great American printer author diplomat philosopher and scientist whose many contributions to the cause of the American Revolution and the newly formed federal government that followed make him one of the countrys greatest statesman Summary The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin is an extensive collection of Franklins memoirs and other writings which tell of his life and accomplishments from childhood through adulthood Benjamin Franklin was a statesman scientist philosopher and publisher Born in Boston he was apprenticed at 12 to his brother a local printer He taught himself to write and in 1723 he moved to Philadelphia where he founded the Pennsylvania Gazette and wrote Poor Richards Almanac He became prosperous and promoted public services in Philadelphia including a library fire department hospital and insurance company and an academy that became the Univ of Pennsylvania His inventions included the Franklin stove and bifocal spectacles and his experiments in electricity led to the invention of the lightning rod He served as a member of the colonial legislature from 1736-1751 He was a delegate to the Albany Congress He represented the colony in England in a dispute over land and taxes he returned there in 1764 as agent for several colonies His initial belief in a unified colonial government under British rule gradually changed over the issue of taxation He helped secure repeal of the Stamp Act He served as a delegate to the second Continental Congress and a member of the committee to draft the Declaration of Independence In 1776
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