The Franklin You Thought You Knew

Benjamin Franklin, Re-Inventor

30 Sep 2016, Posted by Founding Franklin in The Franklin You Thought You Knew

Among his many accomplishments, Benjamin Franklin is probably best known to the average person as an inventor.  Although he spent less of his time at this particular activity than at anything else, and never profited a cent from what we call his inventions ( and…

Franklin’s Hoax

31 Aug 2016, Posted by Founding Franklin in The Franklin You Thought You Knew

Benjamin Franklin was a brilliant satirist, and was fond of producing a hoax with a moralistic purpose. In this article from Founders Online, he is seen promoting tolerance, and in the process, having fun fooling his friends. This is a great read for summer. Enjoy!…

Ben Franklin and Religious Liberty

31 Jul 2016, Posted by Founding Franklin in The Franklin You Thought You Knew

One of my pleasures this summer has been appearing as Benjamin Franklin on Tuesday mornings at Christ Church, and in the afternoon in the National Museum of American Jewish History. This echoes Dr. Franklin’s view of religion, one that acknowledges the legitimacy of each view….

BEING BEN FRANKLIN

28 Jun 2016, Posted by Founding Franklin in The Franklin You Thought You Knew

BEING BEN FRANKLIN Having been Ben for nearly fifteen years, and an actor for forty years, I am constantly reminded of what happens when one gets inside a character. It is my life’s work these days to become Dr. Franklin as much as possible, in…

What would Franklin think?

25 May 2016, Posted by Founding Franklin in The Franklin You Thought You Knew

  What would Franklin think?   Of all the varied things that I get to do as Benjamin Franklin, one of my favorite is interacting with students, especially when they have taken the time and energy to seek my help on a school project. At…

BENJAMIN FRANKLIN, AMERICAN

30 Apr 2016, Posted by Founding Franklin in The Franklin You Thought You Knew

BENJAMIN FRANKLIN, AMERICAN Most Americans, more than likely, think of Benjamin Franklin as distinctly American, and indeed he was. He was born in the American colonies, in Boston, Massachusetts. He moved to Philadelphia at the age of seventeen. Although he traveled extensively out of the…

American Revolution Museum is coming

25 Mar 2016, Posted by Founding Franklin in The Franklin You Thought You Knew

The new American Revolution Museum is coming to Philadelphia next year. Meanwhile they are publishing wonderful historical articles.  Of note recently is a piece about a new book called Washington’s Spies: The Story of America’s First Spy Ring. It centers on The Culper Ring, a secret…

BENJAMIN FRANKLIN, FACT AND FICTION

28 Jan 2016, Posted by Founding Franklin in The Franklin You Thought You Knew

BENJAMIN FRANKLIN, FACT AND FICTION When I interpret Benjamin Franklin, I encounter people with varying degrees of knowledge about the man. Sometimes the person is a foreign visitor, with little or no consciousness of Benjamin Franklin. Occasionally, and wonderfully, I meet someone with a vast…

BENJAMIN FRANKLIN, SATIRICAL WRITER

23 Dec 2015, Posted by Founding Franklin in The Franklin You Thought You Knew

BENJAMIN FRANKLIN, SATIRICAL WRITER Over the past several months, I have focused on various aspects of Benjamin Franklin’s life and work. Most of these observations were based on serious accomplishments in Franklin’s life. There is, however, a very significant item on Dr. Franklin’s resume which…

A Useful Life

28 Sep 2015, Posted by Founding Franklin in The Franklin You Thought You Knew

A Useful Life I have written several articles during the publication of this monthly newsletter, but this month I would like to share an article that was sent to me by a friend. I thank Sandy Lloyd, historian at Historic Philadelphia, for making me aware…

Benjamin Franklin and Religion

04 Sep 2015, Posted by Founding Franklin in The Franklin You Thought You Knew

Benjamin Franklin and Religion So much is made today of the religious beliefs in the lives of public figures, especially politicians and political candidates. It seems that one almost has to declare strong Christian alliances in order to satisfy certain audiences, whether one seems to…

Benjamin Franklin and Travel

30 Jun 2015, Posted by Founding Franklin in The Franklin You Thought You Knew

It seems that nearly everyone knows, or thinks he knows, something about Benjamin Franklin. Of course, much of the “knowledge” that is circulated in our time is based on innuendo, gossip or poor scholarship. The wonderful thing about Dr. Franklin’s life and accomplishments is that…

The Education of Benjamin Franklin

26 May 2015, Posted by Founding Franklin in The Franklin You Thought You Knew

This month we will examine how Benjamin Franklin, a man with only two years of formal education, became one of the most widely published writers, thinkers and scientists of the eighteenth century. There were many influences in Franklin’s long life, but I want to concentrate…

Benjamin Franklin and Women

24 Sep 2014, Posted by Founding Franklin in The Franklin You Thought You Knew

As I portray and interpret Benjamin Franklin to all sorts of people and groups, one aspect of Dr. Franklin’s life and work almost always rears its head.  People want to talk about his relationships with, and conduct toward women.  Franklin did, of course, interact with…