Our Georgia History
 

Benjamin Franklin
January 6, 1706 Benjamin Franklin born, Boston, MA.
  Benjamin Franklin
October 2, 1729 Ben Franklin acquires the Pennsylvania Gazette
  Benjamin Franklin
April 11, 1768 Governor Wright signs into law an ordinance passed by both houses of the Georgia legislature appointing Benjamin Franklin as the state's colonial agent.
  Benjamin Franklin
June 1, 1768 Benjamin Franklin becomes Georgia's colonial agent
  Benjamin Franklin
July 10, 1770 James Habersham receives rhubarb seeds from John Ellis and distributes them to local growers including Samuel Bowen, who successfully grows the first rhubarb crop in America (generally attributed to Benjamin Franklin)
  Benjamin Franklin
March 2, 1774 Georgia's lower house passes a resolution reappointing Benjamin Franklin as colonial agent.
  Benjamin Franklin
May 2, 1774 Wanting to return to Philadelphia, Benjamin Franklin turns over the job of Georgia's colonial agent to Grey Elliot.
  Benjamin Franklin
July 16, 1775 The plan known as the Constitutional Post is adopted by the Second Continental Congress. Benjamin Franklin is appointed the first postmaster general
  Benjamin Franklin
February 25, 1784 Franklin County created
  Creation of Georgia Counties
  Franklin County, Georgia
  Benjamin Franklin
April 17, 1790 Benjamin Franklin dies, Philadelphia, PA
  Benjamin Franklin


Benjamin Franklin's name is so closely associated with the American Revolution that few people appreciate his role in the early formation of the rebellion. It was Franklin's famous "Join or die!" snake that is one of the earliest proposals of a "United States."

Benjamin Franklin was born in Boston the youngest son of a candlemaker. At 12 he started working as an apprentice to the publisher the New England Courant, James Franklin (his brother). Becoming disatisfied, young Ben began travelling, first to Philadelphia and later, England. As money ran out he returned to his trade work, printing.

After buying and publishing The Pennsylvania Gazette, Franklin began working on Poor Richard's Almanac, with which his name is closely associated. He began what would become the Philadelphia Public Library in 1732 and in 1736 he was selected clerk of the Pennsylvania General Assembly. In the 1740's he toyed with monthly publication, actually producing six issues of The General Magazine and Historical Chronicle for all the British Colonies in America. But the inventor/philosopher in him began to take over.

With the Franklin stove (1742) he showed his brilliance by adding baffles to a stove to let it more effectively warm a room. The following year he began working on a proposal for an academy (today's University of Pennsylvania) and in 1744 formed the American Philosophical Society. Electricity next drew his attention, culminating six years of work in 1752 with his famous "kite" experiment and the invention of the lightning rod. He is generally credited with the establishment of meteorology as a science, although even Franklin knew he was repeating what sea captains had known for 50 years.

Following his 1754 "Join or die," Franklin took part in fighting the French, even leading a group of militia who held a defensive position in northwest Pennsylvania. Over the next several years he excelled in establishing relationships with the British and having relations with young women. He effectively ended the Penn family's control of the Pennsylvania General Assembly and represented certain states, including Georgia, to the Parliment and king. Returning to England after an 18-month hiatus, Franklin protested the Stamp Act and worked to educate the British as they tried to control the fledgling colonies. He returned to America on the eve of the Revolution when he was 69 years old. After serving on the committee that edited the Jefferson-written Declaration of Independence, Franklin journeyed to France to forge political relations with our new friend. France entering the war on the side of America (1778) and the Treaty of Paris (1783) were both feathers in the aging Franklin's hat.

During the Constitutional Convention Franklin was kept from having anything to do with the document. The founding fathers were afraid he might include something humorous that they might fail to catch. Still, Franklin's signature was on the document when it was sent to Congress.

When he died in 1790 the old man of American politics was 85 years old. Franklin County, Georgia was named in his honor while he was in Paris. When he returned from Paris he became an outspoken critic of slavery, alienating many in Georgia.




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