Benjamin Franklin

Inventor, American Socrates, and Elder Statesman of the Founding Fathers

Benjamin Franklin was a true renaissance man:  inventor, scientist, printer, philanthropist, politician, and elder statesman of the Founding Fathers.

Born on January 17, 1706 in Boston, he rose from humble beginnings to become one of the most influential and renowned figures of his age.

Franklin was born in Boston to a modest family and apprenticed by his brother (against his will) as a printer. He soon engaged in politics, clerked for the Pennsylvania Legislature, served in various postmaster posts, and served as a member of the Pennsylvania Legislature. In turn, he served as a colonial agent in London, a member of the First Continental Congress, Minister to France, and a leading delegate to the Constitutional Convention.

He helped lay the groundwork for American Revolution in his biting and brilliant work, Rules for Reducing a Great Empire to a Small One (1773).

At the Constitutional Convention, fellow delegate William Pierce of Georgia reflected that Franklin was “the greatest phylosopher of the present age . . . the very heavens obey him, and the Clouds yield up their lightning to be imprisoned by his rod.” The eighty-one-year-old Founding Father and “The American Socrates” could barely hear, but the elder statesmen’s participation gave the Convention’s work great credibility to the general public.

Strongly believing in the First Principle of equality, Franklin became an ardent abolitionist and co-founded with fellow Founding Father Benjamin Rush the first anti-slavery society in America – the  Pennsylvania Society for Promoting the Abolition of Slavery and the Relief of Free Negroes Unlawfully Held in Bondage.

He died on April 17, 1790.

For more about our Founding Fathers and their importance to our liberties today, buy a copy of  America’s Survival Guide.

Picture:  Jean-Baptiste Greuze (1777)



More Praise for America's Survival Guide

"America's Survival Guide is a bold and insightful work that should be taken seriously by those concerned with the future of America. We ignore it at our peril."
Congressman Joe Knollenberg


"America's Survival Guide describes with detail and passion the dangers that come from abandoning the "First Principles" upon which this nation was founded. But this important book offers more than a diagnosis and despair, it presents a reasoned program for restoring the U.S. Constitution its proper place at the center of American society and government. The book draws on history, politics and education to make a powerful case for freedom and fighting for it."

--John Engler, former Governor of Michigan

Read more praise for America's Survival Guide