Donna McDougalThere were many great men in the past who have contributed greatly to the growthprosperity and independence to this country. These historical figures include such men asBenjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson. These men served their country asrevolutionary war leaders and helped American to become the free and just country it isBenjamin Franklin, born January 17, 1706, was the 10th son, and 15th child, of 17children in the Josiah Franklin family. Josiah was a soap and candlemaker, who lived inBoston, Massachusetts with his second wife, Abiah Folger. Although Franklin learned toread at an early age, he only attended grammar school for two years.
By the time he was10 years old, Franklin was working for his father. However, he didn’t enjoy thecandlemaking profession, and two years later, Franklin was apprenticed to his brotherFor five years, Franklin sought to master the printers’ trade. During this time, healso strove to improve his education. Franklin read numerous classic novels and perfectedhis writing style.
One night, Franklin slipped a letter, signed “Silence Dogood,” under thedoor of his brother’s newspaper, the New England Courant. That letter and the next 13written by Franklin were published anonymously. The essays were widely read andIn 1723, at age 17, Franklin left for Philadelphia. He got employed at a printingjob in London, learning many important skills. He came back to Pennsylvania and had by1730 become owner of a printing business. This is where Franklin published his firstofficial literary work, The Pennsylvania Gazette.
In 1731, Franklin founded what is considered the first public library. During thenext several years, Franklin was responsible for establishing the first fire department, apolice force, and the Academy of Philadelphia, which became the University ofIn 1732, Franklin began compiling and publishing the annual Poor Richard’sAlmanac. With its homely virtues, it attracted a large amount of people interested in hiswork and made Franklin’s name a household word. Franklin had gotten involved in politics and represented Pennsylvania at theAlbany Congress in 1754, called in response to the French and Indian Wars. In 1757,Franklin was sent to England to petition the king for the right to levy taxes. He remainedin England for the next five years, and in that time he obtained permission forPennsylvania to tax the estates of its proprietors, successfully repealed the Stamp Act, andrepresented the voice of several colonies.
He befriended powerful British political leadersand wrote political satires and pamphlets on public affairs, helping keep the colonies During the drafting of the Declaration of Independence, Franklin spoke on theproblems of society, “I cannot but lament. . . the impending calamities Britain and hercolonies are about to suffer, from great Imprudencies on both sides- Passion governs, andshe never governs wisely- Anxiety begins to disturb my rest.
. . ” Benjamin Franklin- In 1776, Franklin went to France, as one of three commissioners, to help negotiateThe Treaty of Commerce and alliance, which was signed with Franklin’s help, in 1778. He then helped negotiate a peace treaty with Great Britain, signed in Paris in 1783,known as the Treaty of Paris. He remained in France for nine years, working on tradetreaties. Franklin became a hero to the French, and his company was sought by diplomatsand nobility.
He was honored by Louis XVI, and his portrait was placed on everything Returning to the U. S. in 1785, Franklin served as a member at the ConstitutionalConvention in 1787 for 2 years. In 1787, he was elected the first president of thePennsylvania Society for Promoting the Abolition of Slavery cause. Franklin was bedridden during the final year of his life and died on April 17,1790. As one of his final public acts, he signed a petition to the U.
S. Congress urging theabolition of slavery, just two months before his death at the age of 84 in 1790. Thomas Jefferson was born on April 13, 1743, in Shadwell, Virginia. His father,Peter Jefferson, was a surveyor who built a substantial estate; he died in 1757 leavingJefferson and his family a very wealthy will. His mother, the former Jane Randolph, wasa member of one of Virginia’s most wealthy and respected families.
Jefferson was theoldest of two sons; he also had six sisters. In 1760, Jefferson entered the College of William & Mary in Williamsburg,Virginia. He studied law with the state’s leading legal scholar, .