Next to William Penn, the person who did the most for Philadelphia was a young man who had gone from Boston to make his home among the Quackers. He lived in a small house near the market. On a board over the door he had painted his name and business, who is he? He is the great "Benjamin Franklin"
During the year 1773, when the people of Savannah were building their first log cabin, Philadelphia had grown to be the largest city in the country.
Franklin's father was a poor man with a large family. He lived in Boston and made soap and candles. Benjamin went to school only for two years. When he was ten years old he was set to work in his father's factory. He never went to school again. He was then kept busy filling the candle moulds with melted grease, cutting off the ends of the wicks and running errands. But the boy did not like that kind of work. Finding his interest in books, his father put him in a printing press. The press was owned by James Franklin, one of the brother's of Benjamin.
James paid a small sum of money each week for Benjamin's board; but the boy told him if he would let him have half the money to use as he liked he would board himself. James was glad to do this. Benjamin gave up eating meat. While the others went out to dinner, he would stay in the printing of his, and eat either a boiled potato or a handful of raisins. Thus he was able to save a number of coppers every week. When he got enough laid by he woud buy a book.
But James Franklin was not only mean but also short tempered. Whenever he got angry with his young apprentice (one who is appointed to a master to learn a trade) he would thrash him. At length, the lad who was then seventeen decided to run away to New York. Benjamin ran away to New York in order to escape from James who was ill treating him. Bejnamin sold some of his books. With that money he paid his passsage to New York by a sailing vessel for in those days there were no streamboards or railroads in America. When he got to New York, he could not find work. Hence he decided to go on to Philadelphia.
He started to walk across New Jersey to Burlington, on the Delaware river, a distance about fifty miles, there he hoped to get a sailing boat going down the river to Philadelphia. Shortly after he set out, it began to rain hard, and the lad was soon wet to the skin and splashed all over with red mud., but he kept on until noon, then took a rest, and on the third day he reached Burlington and got passage down the river.
Franklin reached Philadelphia on Sunday morning 1723. He was very tired and left with one dollar. He bought three great puffy for a penny (an English coin worth 2 cents) each. Then he started up to Market street, where he was one day to have his newspaper office. He ate one roll and kept the other two. When he passed a house, he saw a young woman. The young woman thought Franklin a youthful tramp, who had been robbing a bakers shop. The young woman was Miss Deborah, who married Franklin after many years.
Then he marched Delaware river and drank water as much as possible to settle his breakfast. He gave other two rools to a poor woman with a child. Then he joined with the people to a Quacker meeting house. At the meeting no one spoke and not having any preacher to keep him awake. As Franklin was very tired he soon fell asleep, he slept till the meeting was over. He says, "This was the first house I was let or slept in, in Philadelphia". The next day he found some work in a printing office. Thus he started his career.
Directions: Answer the following multiple choice questions. Also, answer the following questions on a sheet of paper: