Biography of Benjamin Franklin: Reflective and Discursive Essay

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Benjamin Franklin once said “Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember involve me and I learn.” A lot of people, even google, recognize Franklin as an inventor publisher or scientist, or politician. Franklin was more than that, as the author of this primary source, he was an influencer to everyone around him. A primary source is a source that was created at the time the event occurred or materials created by those that experiences the event. This can include the following; letters, speeches, diaries, documents, photographs, artifacts, interviews and more. The autobiography of Benjamin Franklin was in fact created by Benjamin Franklin himself. This proves why this source is a primary source and not a secondary source. A secondary source is a material that was created after the event that might tell you about an event, a person, time or place. A primary source is an autobiography while a secondary source is a biography. ( I will be using secondary sources to back up my claims of Benjamin Franklin's primary source. These secondary sources will include,,, and digital We also can't forget the autobiography itself of course.

You might recognize Benjamin Franklin for his accomplishments or most recognizable achievements. Franklin was a polymath, inventor, scientist, printer, politician, Freemason and diplomat. In this we will be discussing of course Benjamin Franklin himself but the challenges and accomplishments of his life. He edited the Declaration of Independence and the US Constitution. Shortly before his death he also included himself in the significance of the 1783 Treaty Of Paris which resulted in the ending of the Revolutionary War. Benjamin, born in 1706, didn’t have an easy life and went through some “out of the ordinary” things growing up as a child. In his book he talks about a lot of things that occurred in his life and family members and events that happened. One thing that stood out to me the most about Benjamin Franklin is that he had such a rough life and he didn’t let that stop him, he kept going he found a way out of no way. When there wasn’t a resource or a way he got through it and made it even better for others around him. This author paved a way for so many people including all of us now. From his inventions to his publications including this book which he liked to call his “life memoirs”. In chapter one, he talks about his interest and dislikes.

A few jobs he had he wasn't to fond of and some he was ok with. Benjamin tells us of a time when he was sixteen. He came across a book Tryon on a veggie diet. He persuaded his brother to help him and it was a way for him to get money weekly. This funded him and gave him an opportunity to purchase more books. He talked about a couple of f dishes he would make and some books he would read. Some of the books were the following: Cocker's book of arithmetic, Seller and Sherman's book of navigation of and more. He was content on improving his hikes language. In the autobiography, it tells us how he meets with English grammar. He speaks on how after he read Shaftesbury and Collins he became a real doubter in many points of religious doctrine.

Reading his biography and doing research on Franklin I learned that he was the 15th child and youngest son of his dad Josiah Franklin. Later on I found out he had seven children with his first wife, Anne Child, then had another ten with his second wife Abiah Folger. Franklin was taught at a young age how to read but eventually dropped out of school at the age of ten to work for his father at his soap and candle shop. On page eight of the autobiography, he talks about both of his parents. He stated how he’s never known his to parents to be sick and how his mother died at 89 and his father at 85 and they were buried in Boston. There’s also, located on this page, a brief message about his father and his father's wife Abiah. It’s stated that they lived together in wedlock for fifty-five years. In 1723, because of his relationship with his half-brother, he moved to Philadelphia. Then he began working as a printer. Only there for an ear he then sailed to London for two more years.

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Once he had gotten back to Philadelphia his printing game rose successfully. He published “The Pennslyvania Gazette (1730-48)”. Which was actually founded by another man in 1728. Also in 1728, he returned too printing paper currency in New Jersey before opening up his own shop with a partner in Philadelphia that published government pamphlets and books. In 1729 franklin published a pamphlet “A modest Enquiry into The Nature and Necessity of A power currency”, this advocated for an increase in the money supply to stimulate the economy. He used the money from this to purchase The Pennsylvania Gazette Newspaper from a former boss. Another successful work of art was “Poor Richards Almanac (1733-58)”. The fame of this book speeded tremendously and “blew” Benjamin’s name worldwide. In 1730 he married a woman by the name of Deborah Read. He had a son and daughter. Research says he had children by another woman out of wedlock whose name is unknown. Also in 1730, Franklin was the official printer of Pennsylvania. Then he formed the “Junto”, a social and self-improvement study group for young men.

They met every Friday to debate morality, philosophy, and politics. This is when the library came about in 1731. In 1736 he was chosen for the general assembly, and he turned the union fire company of Philadelphia. In 1737 he was elected to the assembly and appointed deputy postmaster general. In the book, at the time it was 1739, Benjamin speaks about a fervent who was a worldwide preacher George Whitefield. Whitefield had sailed the Atlantic 13 times to popularize a certain preaching style to a big audience. He talked about how Whitefield left them to preach through the colonies to Georgia. An idea came about, about building an orphan house, Benjamin liked the idea but insisted on another ovation and Whitefield denied so he decided to not contribute since Whitefield didn’t agree. The year 1743 Benjamin proposed a plan for an academy.

This was later adopted and developed into the university of Philadelphia. 1746 he published his pamphlet “The Plain Truth” , on the necessity for a disciplined defense. He also formed a military company. 1748 he achieved financial independence and gained recognition for his philanthropy. He then went on to pursue an interest in science as well as politics. He also was on the commission of the peace and chosen to the common council. In 1749 appointed commissioners to trade with the Indians. He also aided with the founding of a hospital in 2751. Franklin recurved a degree of M.A from Yale and Harvard in 1753. In 1754 he proposes a plan for the union of the colonies. 1757-62 and 1764-75 he resided in England as an agent for Pennsylvania. Later on he underwent a political metamorphosis. Also published his famous “Way to Wealth”. Going back a little to the autobiography Benjamin came across Quakers who were in a meeting near the market. Where he fell asleep then until it ended. He got up and went down to the river where he came across a younger Quaker than the one he encountered before. After getting acquainted with the man he took him to a place where he said they “entertained strangers”. While there, he gave him some things to cook food, he ate and took a nap. When he woke again the older man went with him to the “new printer”, Keimer. Who he had met through Bradford, the younger Quaker. He speaks on their intelligence saying Bradford was illiterate and Keimer was a mere compositor. He then became more acquainted with the Quakers of his town. He, later on, led the Quaker Party attack on the Anglican Proprietary Party and its Presbyterian Allies. During the Stamp Act Crisis, Franklin evolved as a leader in London for American rights. He included himself in the process of the bill in 1765. Franklin's family and new home were threatened back in Philadelphia. He immediately became a member of the Continental Congress.

Thirteen months later, he served on the committee that drafted the Declaration Of Independence. He was also a postmaster general. Less than a year and a half later he set fail once again for Europe. He then began his career as a diplomat. 1776-79 He was a commissioner, he directed the negotiations which led to treaties of commerce and the alliance with France. Franklin, John Jay, and John Adams negotiates the treaty of Paris in 1783. This ended the war for independence. In 1785 Franklin became president of the surprise executive council of Pennsylvania. Unfortunately in 1790 at 84 years old Benjamin Franklin passed turned the other leaf and was now residing on the other side of the dirt. Benjamin lived a good life and like it was said before he made so many changes. Besides the accomplishments, he achieved the awards and the degrees he received he was still one of the greatest inventors. He inventions once again included the franklin stove of 1740, bifocals, the harmonica, rocking chair, flexible catheter, and the American penny. He also discovered the Gulf Stream. He traveled the world and made world record changes and contributions to others around him. Of course with the help of other people. He used past experiences and knowledge to contribute and expand the resources they might not have had or were limited to.

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Biography of Benjamin Franklin: Reflective and Discursive Essay. (2022, July 14). Edubirdie. Retrieved April 23, 2024, from
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