Guides and Materials About Mr. Franklin
An Introduction
Ben Across the Curriculum
Essay Contest

August 7: James Franklin began publication of The New England Courant, the first American newspaper to feature humorous essays and other literary content
Franklin became a vegetarian. Though his primary reason was a principle against killing, the regimen also gave him more money to buy books and to read.
April 2: The first letter of “Silence Dogood” published in the Courant, followed by 13 others (in America’s first essay series) before Franklin revealed his identity in October of that year.
September 25: Aged 17, Franklin broke his apprenticeship with James, calling him “harsh and tyrannical.” and ran away from Boston. He sailed secretly for New York, looking for work with the nearest printer. En route, Franklin broke his vegetarian diet and ate cod.
October 6: Franklin arrived in Philadelphia, having found no work in New York
October 1723 through March 1724: Franklin employed as a printer in the shop of Samuel Keimer.
April through June: Franklin returned to Boston to ask his father for a loan to start a printing business in Philadelphia. His father refused to assist him.
November 5: With an offer of financial backing from provincial Pennsylvania Governor Sir William Keith, Franklin sailed to London to buy type and other printing supplies.
December 24: Franklin arrived in London (aged 18)
Franklin worked in the London printing shops of Samuel Palmer and John Watts.
July 21: Franklin left London for Philadelphia
October 11: Franklin arrived in Philadelphia, found work as a clerk in a dry-goods store, and then returned to the printing shop of Samuel Keimer
January 17: Franklin turned 21
February: Franklin suffered his first pleurisy attack and nearly died during February 1727 (he would die of pleurisy in 1790.)
Fall: Franklin founded the Junto club, a society of young men who met together on Friday evenings for self-improvement, study, mutual aid, and conviviality The Junto lasted until 1765.
June 1: Franklin and a fellow Keimer printer, Hugh Meredith, left Keimer’s shop and opened their own printing and stationery shop, with funds provided by Meredith’s father.
October 2: Franklin became the owner, publisher, and editor of the weekly newspaper, the Pennsylvania Gazette.
ca. 1729 Franklin became a father, out of wedlock, of a son, William. William’s mother, and the year and date of his birth, are not known. Terms of Use Credits