A Comparison of Lives between Martha Ballard and Benjamin Franklin

Essay by hucklbeary84University, Bachelor'sA, May 2004

download word file, 5 pages 4.3

Benjamin Franklin and Martha Ballard were two very different figures in American history. During the time of the American Revolution, Benjamin Franklin was known for his important contribution to the creation of the Declaration of Independence. Franklin's significance to the formation of the United States is a story that is told in countless sources of literature, including his own autobiography, The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin. However, many people are unaware of his numerous other achievements. Martha Ballard was not the famous historical figure that Franklin was. She has become well-known through her diary, which was published into a novel entitled A Midwife's Tale. Ballard's life was much more "real" and ordinary than the life of Benjamin Franklin. While they both lived very separate lifestyles, their actions during their lifetime had huge impacts on the lives of others around them, and the lives of future generations.

Benjamin Franklin is most well-known today as the man who signed the Declaration of Independence.

However, he was more than simply a political figure. Another important contribution was his view of science. An avid observer of the world around him, Franklin had many profound thoughts about things that most people could not answer. He seemed to be able to grasp concepts that many people hadn't even acknowledged. His love of science stemmed from his tendency to always question things, always make realizations, and always try to improve what was already in front of him. For example, the time that it took to sail from Great Britain to America was generally two weeks shorter than sailing from America back to Great Britain. Franklin hypothesized that the wind was slowing down the ships heading towards the East. He then made the discovery that the ocean air was weaker near the Gulf Stream. His discovery allowed...