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Benjamin Franklin Left Boston - This Day in History - September 25th

Posted on Thursday, September 24, 2020

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On This Day in History, September 25th, Benjamin Franklin left Boston in 1723

Benjamin Franklin - Portrait by Robert Feke

Benjamin Franklin was only twelve years old when he signed an agreement of indenture to his older brother James. James would teach Benjamin the trade of printing, but in exchange for this education, Benjamin was not able to earn a wage for his labor until he reached the age of 21. Even at a young age however, Benjamin was incredibly ambitious and grew frustrated that James would not grant him the increased responsibilities that he desired. The relationship between Benjamin and James soured, and Franklin abandoned his apprenticeship and Boston in 1723 when he was just seventeen years old.

Franklin first traveled to New York City which was about 220 miles away from Boston, but as he was unimpressed with the opportunities for printers in New York, Franklin decided to continue travelling South about another 100 miles to Philadelphia. In Philadelphia, Franklin gained employment as a printer's assistant. But again, Franklin grew restless and dreamed of opening his own printing shop.

A few months after his arrival to Philadelphia, Franklin decided to take a trip to London to seek funding for purchasing printing equipment. Franklin's plans for acquiring funding in London did not go as planned, and Franklin extended his trip in London in part due to a lack of funds to return to America. Franklin continued working in printing shops in London and would eventually develop some valuable friendships in London.

One of those friends, a merchant named Thomas Denham, would come to employ Franklin in his shop. Franklin eventually accompanied Denham back to Philadelphia 1726 where Franklin continued to work for Denham before he returned to his original career of printing. By 1728, Franklin would open his own printing shop in Philadelphia, his adopted city, where he would spend most of his life and serve as one of the Founding Fathers of the United States of America.

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