Article abstract: Franklin helped shape most of the important political, social, and intellectual developments in eighteenth century America. He became a veritable symbol of America by the end of his life, both at home and abroad, and he remains an influential folk hero.
Among Benjamin Franklin’s English ancestors, one had owned a bit of land only twelve miles from the English ancestral seat of the Washingtons. His father, Josiah, had repudiated the Church of England and removed from England to Boston in the 1680’s; his mother’s...
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