- from Ben Franklin
Ben Franklin was born in Boston in 1706. He was the 15th of 17 children. Ben went to school for just two years before going to work in his father’s soap and candle shop.
At that time, school was a luxury that most tradespeople couldn’t afford. But Ben hated soap-making, so his father apprenticed him to his older brother James to learn printing. As an apprentice, Ben had to promise to work for James until he was 21—nine long years away.
Ben loved to write. But he knew James would never print his writings if he knew they were the work of his 16-year-old brother. So Ben signed his witty essays “Silence Dogood.” He slipped them under the printing shop door. James didn’t realize this, and he published several of Ben’s essays in the New England Courant, the newspaper he had started.
The brothers did not get along. After one bitter quarrel, Ben ran away to New York and then to Philadelphia, the place he called home for the rest of his long life.