Revealing Picture of Franklin. He is no other than Benjamin Franklin, the “First American”. He has been given this title since he was an early proponent of Colonial unity He owes his personal integrity, the respect of his fellowmen as well as foreigners, not to mention his financial success over the years to the thirteen virtues listed in his Autobiography and his strict adherence to them. They are as follows:
When Franklin framed his 13 virtues, he meant them not for himself alone but also for others to follow, particularly his progeny. He is said to have stated: “Having emerged from the poverty and obscurity at which I was born and bred, to a state of affluence and some degree of reputation in the world and having so well succeeded, my posterity may like to know as they may find some of them suitable to their own situations, and therefore fit to be imitated.” (Franklin, 1791)
Benjamin Franklin living out the 13 virtues, embodied the American identity. This is how he envisioned his compatriots to live out their lives. Today, for most Americans, most, if not all of the aforementioned character traits are lived out in their daily lives – whether or not they have patterned their actions on the example of Benjamin Franklin.
Benjamin Franklin who lived from January 17, 1706, to April 17, 1790, was possibly the most famous 18th century American, next only to George Washington. He authored Poor Richard’s Almanac under the pseudonym Richard Saunders, which writing contained advice on how to get ahead in the world. Apparently, he followed his own advice and by 1757 made a small fortune for himself. His reports on electrical experiments and theories brought him fame among European scientific circles.
It was about this time that he was starting a long career as a politician. He became the chief spokesman for the British colonies in their debates with the king’s ministers. In 1776, he was a member of the Committee of Five that .drafted the Declaration of Independence.