Interior: $100 bill
Benjamin Franklin Synopsis Breviate
Benjamin Franklin, born 1706 in Boston, was an author, printer, diplomat, philosopher and scientist. His contributions to the American Revolution and the newly formed government rank him among the country’s greatest statesmen. His industriousness began at age 13 when he apprenticed to his brother, a printer and newspaper publisher. Within two years, Franklin was publishing articles and winning wide acclaim. Resettling in Philadelphia and London, he became a distinguished figure in the literary and publishing world. In 1731, Franklin founded America’s first public library in Philadelphia. He invented the lightning rod and his education proposals led to the formation of the University of Pennsylvania. In 1750 and for 25 years thereafter, he held important colonial posts. In 1775, he was sent to England to mediate the conflict between the colonies and Great Britain. Recognizing that war was inevitable, he returned to America and became a member of the 2nd Continental Congress. He helped draft the Declaration of Independence and was one of its signers. Popular in France, Franklin was able to secure French assistance during the American Revolution, representing the turning point of the war. In 1781 he negotiated a peace treaty with Great Britain. In 1787 he was elected to draw up the Constitution of the United States. One of his last public acts was to sign a petition to the Congress in 1790, the year of his death, urging the abolition of slavery.