Benjamin Franklin’s life spanned almost the entire 18th century.
Between his birth on January 17, 1706 and his death on April 17, 1790, Franklin lived well-traveled and accomplished life.
Michael D. Hattem, research assistant for the Papers of Benjamin Franklin Documentary Editing Project, leads us on an exploration of the life and deeds of Benjamin Franklin.
About the Show
Ben Franklin’s World is a podcast about early American history.
It is a show for people who love history and for those who want to know more about the historical people and events that have impacted and shaped our present-day world.
Each episode features a conversation with an historian who helps us shed light on important people and events in early American history.
In today’s episode, Michael D. Hattem, research assistant for the Papers of Benjamin Franklin Documentary Editing Project, leads us on an exploration of the life and deeds of Benjamin Franklin.
During our conversation, Michael reveals how Yale University became home to the Papers of Benjamin Franklin documentary editing project and how the project began; Details about Benjamin Franklin’s politics and activities during the American Revolution and its War for Independence; And, the answers to several listener questions including Benjamin Franklin’s duties as postmaster and how he revolutionized the postal system of British North America.
What You’ll Discover
- How Yale University became home to the Papers of Benjamin Franklin Documentary Editing Project
- Overview of the papers Benjamin Franklin left behind and which repositories hold them
- The “editing” performed by documentary editors at the Papers of Benjamin Franklin Editorial Project
- Details about Benjamin Franklin’s life and accomplishments
- Details about how Franklin franchised his printing business
- How Benjamin Franklin assisted American POWs during the War for American Independence
- Franklin’s views on suffrage for white men
- Franklin’s activities in France after negotiating the Treaty of Paris 1783
- Franklin’s views on the Society of Cincinnati
- Franklin’s essay about European emigration to the United States
- Why Franklin preferred hard working immigrants for the United States rather than wealthy immigrants
- How Franklin viewed John and Abigail Adams and Thomas Jefferson
- Benjamin Franklin’s political views during the 1760s and early 1770s
- The role Benjamin Franklin played in the imperial government during the Stamp Act crisis
- Franklin’s involvement in the Thomas Hutchinson Letter scandal (1773)
- How editors at the Papers of Benjamin Franklin determine whether Franklin wrote an anonymous newspaper essay
- Cadwallader Colden and his relationship with Benjamin Franklin
- Franklin’s duties and responsibilities as postmaster
- How Benjamin Franklin revolutionized the postal system in colonial America
- The accuracy of Dean Norris’ portrayal of Benjamin Franklin in History Channel’s Sons of Liberty miniseries
- Information about the Papers of Benjamin Franklin digital editions
Links to People, Places, and Publications
- Papers of Benjamin Franklin Editorial Project
- Papers of Benjamin Franklin Digital Edition
- Founders Online, Franklin’s Papers Volumes 1-39
- Michael’s Junto blog post about Franklin
- American Philosophical Society
- Historical Society of Pennsylvania
- The Junto Blog
- The JuntoCast podcast
In your opinion what might have happened if Benjamin Franklin had not run away from Boston? Do you think he would have found his way to Philadelphia? Opened his own press? Accomplished as much as he did if he hadn’t run away?
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