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Benjamin Franklin 1706-1790 Benjamin was born on January 17 1706 in Boston His father Josiah Franklin a tallow chandler by trade had 17 children Benjamin was the 15th child and the 10th son His mother Abiah Folger was his fathers second wife The Franklin family was in modest circumstances like most New Englanders of the time After his attendance at grammar school from age eight to ten Benjamin was taken into his fathers business Finding the work uncongenial however he entered the employ of a cutler At age 13 he was apprenticed to his brother James who had recently returned from England with a new printing press Benjamin learned the printing trade devoting his spare time to the advancement of his education After a number of disagreements with James he left Boston and made his way to Philadelphia arriving in October 1723 There he worked at his trade and made numerous friends among whom was Sir William Keith the provincial governor of Pennsylvania He persuaded Ben to go to London to complete his training as a printer and to purchase the equipment needed to start his own printing establishment in Philadelphia Benjamin took this advice arriving in London in December 1724 Not having received from Keith certain promised letters of introduction and credit Benjamin found himself at age 18 without means in a strange city With characteristic resourcefulness he obtained employment at two of the foremost printing houses in London Palmers and Watts His appearance bearing and accomplishments soon won him the recognition of a number of the most distinguished figures in the literary and publishing world In October 1726 Benjamin returned to Philadelphia and resumed his trade The following year with a number of his acquaintances he organized a discussion group known American Philosophical Society In September 1729 he bought the Pennsylvania Gazette a dull poorly edited weekly newspaper which he made by his witty style and judicious selection of news both entertaining and
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