Summary (Masterplots, Fourth Edition)
The first part of the Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin (also known as the Autobiography) was begun in 1771. In the work, Benjamin Franklin first addresses his adult son, William. After a few pages about his ancestry and his own birth in Boston as the fourteenth of his father’s seventeen children (and the seventh by his second wife), Franklin tells of being taken from grammar school at the age of ten and put to work for his father, a maker of candles and soap. The young Franklin did not enjoy this work but found consolation in being a leader among the boys in his neighborhood and in being an omnivorous reader.
At the age of twelve, Franklin was apprenticed to his printer brother, James. When the latter started his own newspaper, The New England Courant, Franklin not only worked at printing and delivering the newspaper but also made anonymous contributions, usually of a satirical nature, to the publication.
Franklin had been physically abused by his older brother, who had benefited from Franklin more than he realized. In 1723, Benjamin decided, without consulting his family, to leave home and live on his own. He traveled to New York but found no jobs for a printer. He continued to Philadelphia, where he found work with a printer named Keimer. He lived with the Read family and soon fell in love with young Deborah Read. He also made the acquaintance of Governor William Keith, who suggested that he travel to London...
(The entire section is 1752 words.)
Want to Read More?
Subscribe now to read the rest of Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin Summary. Plus get complete access to 30,000+ study guides!