A cross comparison between Edmund S. Morgan's Biography "Benjamin Franklin" and Benjamin Franklin's "Autobiography"

Essay by Pack092University, Bachelor'sA, February 2004

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Benjamin Franklin was one of the most influential people when it came to making this country great. Franklin was even thought as the "first American" because of all the affairs he managed. He was a scientist, a printer, a patriot and a much admired individual. He was revered everywhere he went, whether it be England, France or the United States. In the time since his death Benjamin Franklin has had many books, articles, and papers written about him because he was such a famous and mysterious person. The biography I read was written by Edmund S. Morgan. This biography is not a full account of Franklin's life but provides insight and opinion about the man and what he accomplished. In this biography Morgan assesses Franklin's character and morals. After reading Franklin's Autobiography and then reading Morgan's Biography, I have come to the conclusion that Morgan made sense in his evaluations of Franklin.

I also conceive that Franklin would be more than comfortable with these assessments.

In Morgan's Biography, Benjamin Franklin, Morgan makes the statement about Franklin's curiosity. "He had in him an insatiable curiosity."(pg.5) Morgan is saying that Franklin is always curious about everything that he cannot understand or explain. In Franklin's Autobiography, he states "I had the curiosity to learn," (pg.119) and he also says "I still like to give myself time to make experiments for my curiosity wonders." (pg.216) Franklin articulates that curiosity is always within him. Franklin is also stating that because of all his curiosity, his mind is wondering constantly. If he doesn't know something he will strive to learn more about it or how it works. Morgan is expressing the same thing Franklin is; he is filled with curiosity. Franklin was also a man filled with solitude. Morgan states that, "He liked doing...