“How many observe Christ’s birthday! How few, His precepts!” ~ Benjamin Franklin

I found researching Benjamin rather interesting. Never was I much of a history buff as my eyes glazed over in school as a child as it was a rare moment a teacher got my attention on the subject. That was also my experience with the Old Testament in church week after week. When the Barney family came into my life, that all changed. The history of the Bible especially when talking with Bob, well, God has used him to help make the holy pages come to life for me! Just the same I love talking with him any chance I get when it comes to the history of America. I have always with pride and humility, pledged allegiance to the Country I was blessed to be born in but learning the Truth of how America has been specifically blessed by God has brought me to a place where I now love diving in. And so, here is a smattering of what I have found interesting this week in history as it relates to Mr. Franklin, and a little more. ~ Jennifer Rae Vliet

This week on January 17th we remember the birth and life of one of our Founding Fathers, Benjamin Franklin.

His plentiful accomplishments have advanced society and as a result, have contributed to a more comfortable way of life for you and me. 

Benjamin Franklin was one of the wealthiest Americans in colonial America and deservedly so. He was a scientist who discovered electricity and had celebrity status as he was known worldwide.  Even though patenting has been around since the 1400’s, the first patent recorded in the USA was in 1790 and had nothing to do with Benjamin or any of his inventions. He chose to never patent anything believing that it was for the good of mankind not to. Did you know he was the first postmaster general of the United States post office? He invented such things as the lightening rod, the catheter, bifocals, the instrument called the Glass Armonica, the Franklin Stove, The Poor Richard’s Almanack, the first public hospital (in PA), the first circulating library in the USA, and created the first political cartoon in America published in, would you believe it, a paper called, The Plain Truth in 1747.

Bejamin was a very forward-thinking man, a radical guy of sorts and severed ties with his son William who was the Governer of New Jersey during the war, over his son keeping ties to England. He also was famous for being a womanizer and had many affairs during the Revolutionary War and was guilty of such even as an old man.

He was a deist and answered questions about his faith to a Reverend stating in a letter, “You desire to know something of my Religion. It is the first time I have been questioned upon it. But I cannot take your Curiosity amiss and shall endeavour in a few Words to gratify it. Here is my Creed. I believe in one God, Creator of the Universe. That he governs it by his Providence. That he ought to be worshipped. That the most acceptable Service we render to him is doing good to his other Children. As to Jesus of Nazareth, my Opinion of whom you particularly desire, I think the System of Morals and his Religion, as he left them to us, the best the World ever saw or is likely to see; but I apprehend it has received various corrupting Changes, and I have, with most of the present Dissenters in England, some Doubts as to his Divinity; tho’ it is a question I do not dogmatize upon, having never studied it, and think it needless to busy myself with it now, when I expect soon an Opportunity of knowing the Truth with less Trouble”. (All punctuation and capitalization left as is from his actual letter)

The most poignant of all his contributions to America was his hand in helping design the framework of our government as a new nation. Krisanne Hall has a great timeline of the true events leading up to our independence and the actual day of the independence of the colonies here. Benjamin Franklin went to the grave in 1790 at the age of 84.

black and brown brick wall

Some of his famous quotes:

“We are all born ignorant, but one must work hard to remain stupid.”

“Justice will not be served until those who are unaffected are as outraged as those who are.”

“Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.”

My Bibliography and some interesting reading on Benjamin Franklin: Bob Barney, The President Who Was Never President – On This Day, Benjamin Franklin Biography, History, and Facts. Benjamin Franklin On His Religious Faith | AMERICAN HERITAGE

THIS WEEK IN HISTORY as well that struck me as interesting:

 27BC The title Augustus is bestowed upon Gaius Julius Caesar Octavian by the Roman Senate

1493 Christopher Columbus leaves the New World and sets sail for Spain

1831 1st US-built locomotive to pull a passenger train makes 1st run

1863 1st US newspaper printed on wood-pulp paper, Boston Morning Journal (now they make Vanillan from wood pulp, gack)

1919 Two million gallons of molasses flood Boston Massachusetts in the “Great Molasses Flood” when a storage tank burst, drowning 21 and injuring 150.  (Molasses is one of my favorite things, such a tragedy involving something so wonderful)

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