Is Benjamin Franklin′s autobiography a reliable primary source?

Benjamin Franklin is the founder and father of America. Benjamin Franklin was the author, a politician, Freemason, printer and a polymath. He was also a scientist, a statesman, and a diplomat and contributed in writing a lot of book in sciences like History Of Physics and American Enlightenment. He invented the lightning rod and Franklin stove. He participated in many organizations in America like the department of fire in Philadelphia. He earned the title the first America because of its important roles in the America.

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Before we compare Benjamin Franklin Autobiography and bibliography lets look at Benjamin Franklin his autobiography and get it from his mouth. Autobiography is the account and history of a person written by self thus it I true as compared to the bibliography which is written by someone thus it is prone to alterations to suit someone needs. The two can be the same, and also it can be different depending on the loyalty of the person.

Short Biography on the Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin

Benjamin Franklin was born on 6 January 1706 at Milk Street Boston. The father of Benjamin Franklin was Josias Franklin, and he married twice. He had a total of nineteen children, and Benjamin Franklin was the youngest son in the family of nineteen children. Josiah Franklin, Benjamin Franklin Father, work as Chandler to earn his living. When Benjamin Franklin was twelve years old, he assisted his older brother James in Printing, and they published the first book, “New England Courant.” He contributed very much to this journal and started working full time as an editor.

However, his brothers became Jealous and quarreled, Benjamin Franklin ran away to New York and later settled in Philadelphia and came back to Boston in October 1723. He started working as a printer and was duped by Keith the Governor to go to London where he finds the Governor was lying he came back and worked as a compositor. Denman gave Benjamin Franklin the position in the business he was running in Philadelphia. When Denmark the merchant died, he returned to his work of Printing and started his magazine “Penny Silvia Magazine” where he began a little cash for himself. He started being famous because he contributed in many essays in the local reforms.

Moreover, In 1732 he began writing his famous book, “Poor Richard`s Almanaca2 where he composed a lot of utterances which is a short and most populous word in this book was his reputation. He finished his book, and in 1758 he printed Father Abraham`s Sermon” and this also become popular because it was the literature book in colonial America. In the meantime, Benjamin Franklin was familiarizing himself with the public affairs and created The `American Philosophical Society” and created an Academy which later becomes the University of Pennyslvia. In 1748 he sold his business so as to find time for study. In politics, he was controversialist and administrator, but in office work, he practiced nepotism by employing most of his relatives.

Benjamin Franklin decides to go to England because he was sent in 1757 to protest against Penns`s influence in the colony. He stayed there for good five years, and while there he teaches people about public affairs and the conditions of the colony. When he returned to America, he vied for assembly in Paxton, but he was defeated. In 1764 he went back to Englan as an ambassador of the colony. In America politics, he opposes many affairs like stamp act but later loses his credit because he forged to his a friend a stamp. In1767 he went to France, and he was received with great honor.In 1775 he lost the position of the post matter in the Massachutes affair in the famous letter of Oliver and Hutchinson. When he arrived in Philadelphia, he was appointed as a member of Congress continental.

In 1777 he went to France to represent the United States as a commissioner. He remains inFrance til 1785 where he played good politics in serving the people of America. He liked the French society so much, and it was his favorite. Because of good representation, he came back to America was among who champion the Independence of America. He later died on 17 April 1790.

Truth about the sources

The primary sources of Benjamin Franklin autobiography is not a reliable source because we see many differences between the book sources. On the first part when he was a child other sources contradict on the number of children his father had. Other sources claimed that he was the 15th child and the youngest son. Many sources claimed that Ben Franklin experience education through self-taught while other argued that Ben Franklin attended a Latin school at an early age and learned to read when he was still young.

Also in other sources, we are told that Josiah Franklin had children with two wives and the first wife had seven children and the second wife had ten more children. The total is seventeen children, but other sources claimed that Josiah Franklin had nineteen children in total. The sources are complicating the whole life and work of Benjamin Franklin, and there is no primary sources are enough reliable to be a followed. They contradict each other regarding the main events.

During the revolutionary war, many of the papers of Benjamin Franklin lost and other remaining biography is just but a mere use of quotes found in another book. Benjamin Franklin as said in other sources did not complete his autobiography; he writes his autobiography between 1706 when he was born and 1757 when he started concentrating on the affairs of the country. Most of the time he went to France and Britain to represent the United States, and because he left his autobiography to the second-hand person, we cannot be able to trust the source because of the alterations of people to suit their needs.

Benjamin Franklin marriage life is not well elaborated; it is a complicated one. In many sources, it claims that Benjamin Franklin was married to Deborah Read and had children, but in other sources, it claims that Benjamin Franklin did not married at all. The truth sources are that Benjamin Franklin did not marry, but they lived with Deborah as a couple and had children together.

Benjamin autobiography passed through many hands of persons because his first autobiography which he wrote alone was in the year 1757. Other chapters were composed in England in 1771. It later continued in 1788 and 1785 and again it was written in1788. The final manuscript was printed out Bigelow John Mr. All this process may be a subject to alteration because they were not trusted sources which were guaranteed.


Work cited

“American history from revolution to reconstruction and beyond.” 1994. Web. 28 Feb. 2017.

EServer, the. Books: The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin. 2004. Web. 28 Feb. 2017.