Benjamin Franklin

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorCollege, Undergraduate April 2001

download word file, 2 pages 0.0

Downloaded 568 times

Benjamin Franklin did not just magically become successful, it was through hard work and commitment, as well as taking some chances. He worked very hard in the early parts of his life to better his own outcome. Even in his earlier writings, like "How To Get Riches"� you can see his views on life. To fully understand this, you first must take a look at young Ben.

Benjamin Franklin was born in Puritan Boston on January 17, 1706 . His family was large: He was the 15th child born to his father, Josiah Franklin. His mother, Abiah Franklin, a very good homemaker, was his father's second wife, and Benjamin was her eighth child. Josiah had been born in a small village in England. He was an intelligent, articulate man. His trade had been dyer of textiles, but when he came to America in 1683, he found that there was little demand for dyed cloth.

He took up the trade of a soap and candle maker By the time his father's older brother Benjamin came from England in 1715 and joined the household, most of young Benjamin's brothers and sisters had married and moved out. Uncle Benjamin took a special interest in young Ben, and wrote poems for him with moral advice, and he also taught Ben shorthand. Young Benjamin liked to read books and was bright and inquisitive, and so at the age of eight his father sent him to a local school, meaning eventually to educate him at Harvard. Benjamin learned to write easily, but failed arithmetic. When he was ten years old, he was taken out of school and put to work at home with his father.

He cut wicks for candles, filling the molds, waited on customers in the shop, and went on various errands. He didn't like this trade, though. When Josiah saw that Benjamin didn't like this trade, he began to look for a better job for Ben. Together they visited many different craftsmen, but Benjamin could not find a business that he would be satisfied with. Finally, it was arranged for Ben to work as an apprentice for his older brother James. Benjamin was reluctant, but eventually agreed. In 1718, at the age of 12, he signed his indentures . Benjamin soon became a skillful worker in his brother's shop. More important, however, the printing trade opened up a new world to him, the world of literature and ideas.

Benjamin came into contact with the apprentices of booksellers with who James did business, and he would often "borrow"� books from them in the evening, read them all night, and return them in the morning before they were missed. A friend of his brother's, Matthew Adams, who owned a decent library, began to allow Benjamin to borrow any book he wanted to. Taking an interest in poetry, Benjamin then wrote some himself. Benjamin took the sheets around in the streets to sell them, and found that people liked, and bought them, thus at 13, Ben's literary career had begun.

Ben slowly began to resent the authority his brother exercised over him. Benjamin was inspired to become a writer, but he felt certain his brother would be unwilling to publish anything he wrote. He therefore outwitted his brother by writing essays in secret and slipping them under the door of the printing house at night. After writing these letters for awhile, Ben told James that it was him. James resented his younger brother's achievements, and Ben became even more less willing to accept James' authority. They quarreled frequently and sometimes came to blows. The brothers could not continue to be master and apprentice for long, and Ben began to look for an opportunity to escape the situation.