Benjamin Franklin – (004)

Benjamin Franklin (January 17, 1706 [O.S. January 6, 1705] – April 17, 1790) was one of the Founding Fathers of the United States. A noted polymath, Franklin was a leading author, printer, political theorist, politician, postmaster, scientist, musician, inventor, satirist, civic activist, statesman, and diplomat. As a scientist, he was a major figure in the American Enlightenment and the history of physics for his discoveries and theories regarding electricity. He invented the lightning rod, bifocals, the Franklin stove, a carriage odometer, and the glass ‘armonica’. He formed both the first public lending library in America and the first fire department in Pennsylvania.. Benjamin Franklin (Boston, 17 de janeiro de 1706 — Filadélfia, 17 de abril de 1790) foi um jornalista, editor, autor, filantropo, abolicionista, funcionário público, cientista, diplomata, inventor e enxadrista. 

Benjamin’s Thirteen Virtues

Franklin sought to cultivate his character by a plan of 13 virtues, which he developed at age 20 (in 1726) and continued to practice in some form for the rest of his life. His autobiography lists his 13 virtues as:

• “Temperance. Eat not to dullness; drink not to elevation.”

• “Silence. Speak not but what may benefit others or yourself; avoid trifling conversation.”

• “Order. Let all your things have their places; let each part of your business have its time.”

• “Resolution. Resolve to perform what you ought; perform without fail what you resolve.”

• “Frugality. Make no expense but to do good to others or yourself; i.e., waste nothing.”

• “Industry. Lose no time; be always employ’d in something useful; cut off all unnecessary actions.”

• “Sincerity. Use no hurtful deceit; think innocently and justly, and, if you speak, speak accordingly.”

• “Justice. Wrong none by doing injuries, or omitting the benefits that are your duty.”

• “Moderation. Avoid extremes; forbear resenting injuries so much as you think they deserve.”

• “Cleanliness. Tolerate no uncleanliness in body, cloaths, or habitation.”

• “Tranquility. Be not disturbed at trifles, or at accidents common or unavoidable.”

• “Chastity. Rarely use venery but for health or offspring, never to dullness, weakness, or the injury of your own or another’s peace or reputation.”

• “Humility. Imitate Jesus and Socrates.”

Franklin did not try to work on them all at once. Instead, he would work on one and only one each week “leaving all others to their ordinary chance”. While Franklin did not live completely by his virtues and by his own admission, he fell short of them many times, he believed the attempt made him a better man contributing greatly to his success and happiness, which is why in his autobiography, he devoted more pages to this plan than to any other single point; in his autobiography Franklin wrote, “I hope, therefore, that some of my descendants may follow the example and reap the benefit.”

 

Benjamin Franklin (January 17, 1706 [O.S. January 6, 1705] – April 17, 1790) was one of the Founding Fathers of the United States. A noted polymath, Franklin was a leading author, printer, political theorist, politician, postmaster, scientist, musician, inventor, satirist, civic activist, statesman, and diplomat. As a scientist, he was a major figure in the American Enlightenment and the history of physics for his discoveries and theories regarding electricity. He invented the lightning rod, bifocals, the Franklin stove, a carriage odometer, and the glass ‘armonica’. He formed both the first public lending library in America and the first fire department in Pennsylvania.

Franklin earned the title of “The First American” for his early and indefatigable campaigning for colonial unity; as an author and spokesman in London for several colonies, then as the first United States Ambassador to France, he exemplified the emerging American nation. Franklin was foundational in defining the American ethos as a marriage of the practical and democratic values of thrift, hard work, education, community spirit, self-governing institutions, and opposition to authoritarianism both political and religious, with the scientific and tolerant values of the Enlightenment. In the words of historian Henry Steele Commager, “In a Franklin could be merged the virtues of Puritanism without its defects, the illumination of the Enlightenment without its heat.”  To Walter Isaacson, this makes Franklin “the most accomplished American of his age and the most influential in inventing the type of society America would become.”

Franklin, always proud of his working class roots, became a successful newspaper editor and printer in Philadelphia, the leading city in the colonies. He was also partners with William Goddard and Joseph Galloway the three of whom published the Pennsylvania Chronicle, a newspaper that was known for its revolutionary sentiments and criticisms of the British monarchy in the American colonies. He became wealthy publishing Poor Richard’s Almanack and The Pennsylvania Gazette. Franklin gained international renown as a scientist for his famous experiments in electricity and for his many inventions, especially the lightning rod. He played a major role in establishing the University of Pennsylvania and was elected the first president of the American Philosophical Society. Franklin became a national hero in America when he spearheaded the effort to have Parliament repeal the unpopular Stamp Act. An accomplished diplomat, he was widely admired among the French as American minister to Paris and was a major figure in the development of positive Franco-American relations. For many years he was the British postmaster for the colonies, which enabled him to set up the first national communications network. He was active in community affairs, colonial and state politics, as well as national and international affairs. From 1785 to 1788, he served as governor of Pennsylvania. Toward the end of his life, he freed his slaves and became one of the most prominent abolitionists.

His colorful life and legacy of scientific and political achievement, and status as one of America’s most influential Founding Fathers, have seen Franklin honored on coinage and money; warships; the names of many towns, counties, educational institutions, namesakes, and companies; and more than two centuries after his death, countless cultural references.

[Wikipedia – English]

⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯

Benjamin Franklin (Boston, 17 de janeiro de 1706 — Filadélfia, 17 de abril de 1790) foi um jornalista, editor, autor, filantropo, abolicionista, funcionário público, cientista, diplomata, inventor e enxadrista estadunidense.

Foi um dos líderes da Revolução Americana, conhecido por suas citações e experiências com a eletricidade.

Religioso, calvinista, e uma figura representativa do iluminismo. Correspondeu-se com membros da sociedade lunar e foi eleito membro da Royal Society. Em 1771, Franklin tornou-se o primeiro Postmaster General (ministro dos correios) dos Estados Unidos.

[Wikipedia – Português]

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