Virtual Exhibit

Timeline: Educating the Youth of Pennsylvania

A (Brief) Franklin Chronology

"...your Biography will not merely teach self-education, but the education of a wise man...." -- Benjamin Vaughan to Benjamin Franklin, 1783

  • 1706
    Born in Boston to Abiah Folger Franklin and Josiah Franklin.
  • 1714-16
    Studies at Boston Grammar (Boston Latin) School for "not quite one year" (age 8); attends George Brownell's English school for another year. Reads in his father's library.
  • 1718-20
    Apprenticed to his brother James, a printer. Writes ballads; reads The Spectator, Xenophon, Shaftesbury.
  • 1721-22
    Writes for James's The New England Courant, including "Silence Dogood" papers.
  • 1723
    Flees from his brother and his apprenticeship, arriving in Philadelphia October 6.
  • 1724-26
    In London: works as a printer; reads and debates with other workers.
  • 1726
    Returns to Philadelphia and works as a clerk for Thomas Denham, Quaker merchant.
  • 1727
    After his own illness and that of Denham, returns to printing. Forms Junto, "a Club for Mutual Improvement," with other young tradesmen.
  • 1730
    Named official printer for Pennsylvania colony. Begins to study French and German. Common-law marriage to Deborah Read.
  • 1731
    Forms plan for Library Company.
  • 1732
    Prints first issue of Poor Richard's Almanac; also prints a short-lived German newspaper, Philadelphische Zeitung.
  • 1739
    Arrival of George Whitefield to preach in Philadelphia. Franklin forges a friendship and prints his journals.
  • 1743
    Prints A Proposal for Promoting Useful Knowledge, founding American Philosophical Society. Claims to have first conceived idea for an Academy in this year.
  • 1745-46
    Performs first electrical experiments.
  • 1748
    Forms partnership with David Hall and retires from active participation in printing business. Moves to a new house and acquires a slave.
  • 1749
    Writes notes on electricity for Ebenezer Kinnersley, who demonstrates Franklin's lightning rod experiments. Writes and prints Proposals Relating to the Education of Youth in Pensilvania.
  • 1751
    Opening of Academy of Philadelphia.Publication of Franklin's Idea of the English School.
  • 1754-55
    Works to form a plan of union among colonies and to organize militias along the Pennsylvania frontier.
  • 1757
    Named by Pennsylvania Assembly to serve as agent in England for negotiating disputes with the Proprietors. Last Franklin-authored Poor Richard's Almanac, for 1758, contains "Father Abraham's Speech," later called "The Way to Wealth".
  • 1758
    Joins with the Associates of Dr. Bray in planning for the education of blacks in the American colonies.
  • 1759
    Receives an honorary Doctor of Laws from University of St. Andrews, Scotland; afterwards known as "Dr. Franklin".
  • 1762-63
    Returns to Philadelphia. Visits a school for blacks in Philadelphia sponsored by the Associates of Dr. Bray.
  • 1764
    Elected speaker of Pennsylvania Assembly in May, but defeated for reelection in October due to accusations of corruption and anti-German prejudice. Returns to London as Assembly's agent.
  • 1765
    Colonies protest against Stamp Act, which Franklin is accused of supporting
  • 1768
    Devises a phonetic alphabet and uses it in letters he writes.
  • 1773-74
    Fails in negotiations to calm growing rupture between colonies and Britain. Death of Deborah Franklin.
  • 1775
    Returns to Philadelphia and is chosen delegate to the Second Continental Congress.
  • 1776
    Leaves Philadelphia for France to negotiate French aid for the American cause.
  • 1782
    Articles of peace with Britain signed by Franklin and John Adams.
  • 1785
    Returns to Philadelphia; elected President of the Supreme Executive Council of Pennsylvania.
  • 1787
    Named President of Pennsylvania Society for Promoting the Abolition of Slavery.
  • 1789
    Named President of reorganized Board of Trustees of the College of Philadelphia, which meets at his home.
  • 1790
    Dies April 17.
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Educating the Youth of Pennsylvania
Educating the Youth of Pennsylvania
Educating the Youth of Pennsylvania
Educating the Youth of Pennsylvania
Educating the Youth of Pennsylvania
Educating the Youth of Pennsylvania
Educating the Youth of Pennsylvania
Educating the Youth of Pennsylvania
Educating the Youth of Pennsylvania