“A slip of the foot you may soon recover, but a slip of the tongue you may never get over.”
“An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest.”
“Anger is never without Reason, but seldom with a good One.”
“Be slow in choosing a friend, slower in changing.”
“Beware of the young doctor and the old barber.”
“Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.”
“Having been poor is no shame, but being ashamed of it, is.”
“If you would not be forgotten as soon as you are dead and rotten, either write something worth reading or do things worth the writing.”
“Remember not only to say the right thing in the right place, but far more difficult still, to leave unsaid the wrong thing at the tempting moment.”
“Search others for their virtues, thyself for thy vices.”
“Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.”
“But in this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.”
“To lengthen thy life, lessen thy meals.”
“He that cannot obey, cannot command.”
Benjamin Franklin was born in January 17, 1706. He was one of the Founding Fathers of the United States. He was a leading author, printer, political theorist, politician, scientist, inventor, satirist, statesman and diplomat. He was a leader in the American Enlightenment and for his theories on electricity. He invented the lightning rod, bifocals, the Franklin stove, and a carriage odometer. Franklin invented many things but he never patented any of his inventions. He stated that inventions were to be to the advantage of everyone and thus everyone should have access to them. He founded the first public lending library in America and the first fire department in Pennsylvania. He had a common-law marriage to Deborah Read. They had two children together as well as Franklin's illegitimate son William.
He was born in Boston, Massachusetts. He attended Boston Latin School but didn't graduate. He educated himself through reading. He worked for his father and became an apprentice to his brother, a printer. He obtained the pseudonym "Mrs. Silence Dogood" whose letters were published and became the topic of conversations around town. No one was aware of the subterfuge and his brother was very upset that it was Benjamin writing the letters. Franklin left his brother's apprenticeship without permission thereby becoming a fugitive. He went to Philadelphia to start a new life. He worked in printer shops but wasn't happy so he convinced Governor Sir William Keith to allow him to go to London under the guise of gaining printing equipment. He returned to Philadelphia in 1726. In 1727, Franklin founded the Junto, a group of like-minded individuals who hoped to improve themselves while they improved their community. Reading was their pastime but books were rare and expensive. The members amassed a library, at first using their own books. Franklin didn't think this was enough and so came up with the idea of a subscription library where a pool of funds from the members would be used to buy books for them to read. Modern day libraries all began with Benjamin Franklin although he is most known for his politics and his study of electricity.
Franklin was given honorary degrees by both Harvard and Yale. He headed the Pennsylvania delegation to the Albany Congress. He proposed a Plan of the Union that eventually found its way into the Articles of Confederation and, later, the Constitution. He organized the Pennsylvania Militia. He used a tavern to recruit soldiers. He also became a member of the Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce whose meetings were held in coffee shops in London. Benjamin Franklin was named the first United States Postmaster General in 1775 when the Second Continental Congress established the United States Post Office. He was appointed to the Committee of Investigation and charged with establishing a postal system. Later the next year Franklin was sent to France as ambassador. He remained in France until 1785. He acted as mediator between the United States and France. He obtained a military alliance and he negotiated the Treaty of Paris. Franklin was an active freemason during his years in France. Franklin was also appointed as American minister to Sweden even though he never stepped foot in the country. He negotiated a treaty with Sweden in 1783.
He was a leader at the Constitutional Convention. He was a delegate to the Philadelphia Convention in 1787 and became the only Founding Father who is a signatory of all four of the major documents of the United States: the Treaty of Paris, the Treaty of Alliance with France, the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. He was an advocate of republicanism. He stated that the republic would only survive if the people were virtuous. He created a list of thirteen virtues: temperance, silence, order, resolution, frugality, industry, sincerity, justice, moderation, cleanliness, tranquility, chastity, and humility. He worked on one each week and left the others to chance. He, by his own admission, fell short of his virtues many times but he claimed the attempt made him a better man. He died on April 17, 1790 at the age of 84. 20,000 people attended his funeral.