Benjamin Franklin, Boston, Franklin Benjamin Franklin discussed on John Batchelor


John Baxter. This is John Bator show Nick Bunkers. New book is young Benjamin Franklin. The birth of ingenuity. This is Benjamin Franklin. Who we know is the man who wears the coonskin cap anus. The celebration of Paris. About the time of the revolution of the late 18th century. But here we are. In the late 17th century, Josiah has sailed for Boston with his young wife and Children. They joined the third church in 16 85. He rises through the church as a craftsman. He is not a dire, however. What does he choose to make his living with? Where he wanted to be a doctor, but he was forced in Boston to make do with being a maker of candles and of soap. Because there really wasn't a market in Boston for the kind of silk dying that he had been used to. There weren't enough makers of silk garments. He, however, is Industrias and works very hard and makes a good practice of himself. He did, But the trouble is, you see, he had had to take a step down. If you like any social status in Boston, you see he didn't rank a za Freeman of the city in the way that he had in London. He couldn't automatically vote in elections on DH for religious point of view, he couldn't automatically join a church, Iva because he had to pass a kind of test of holiness for many years. Absolutely right. I think he didn't accept re a communion until the 16 nineties nicely. This is an important element in the Franklin story, having been striving, ambitious, successful people in Britain. On arrival in America. They actually had to take a step down. I think that made them all the more ambitious. There's so many details here we get immediately to Franklin's birth. What is striking is that Franklin is born of elder parents at the time. Josiah is 49 Anne is 38. Of picking the 21st century. That's a senior parents for a son. So he's the youngest of a brood on he will come to depend upon his brother's, but he's born into early 18th century Boston. He's born with a gift. Ah, precociousness that is extraordinary. As if he could read immediately. I see him as a child wandering around reciting things to his parents. However, what's keen here is that he's going to be influenced by his family. First of all the place they grew up next to a place called the Millpond decided it and Franklin learned to swim Who taught him We don't know who taught him, but he seems to take into the water very, very readily, and he loved swimming. Hey, loved messing about with which is extraordinary routines. Not in Boston. It seems it seems in Boston. It was quite common, but he loved messing about in boats. And indeed, he conducted his first scientific experiment on the pond by lying on his back and swimming across the palm with with a kite in his hand. His Uncle Benjamin Senior will arrive when Franklin is nine years old, 10 years old in 17 15. This is very important for Benj for Franklin's education. What do we need to know about Ben Sr. The uncle because he comes after a sadness. I think he's lost. His wife was very sad story. Uncle Benjamin had lost his wife and almost all of his Children 10 and they lost. He's suffered a series of breathers or two. He suffered a series of bereavement, and he'd also lost all his money he had failed in business is as a dire and a trader and silken in London. But he was a very, very talented man. He wrote Some poems the great cycle of poems, which is still available in manuscript in American Archive collection. He was very, very literate man, very politically aware. Developed by way of his religion, and he was someone I think you came to excite exercise quite a profound influence on his name. He lived with the family for four years, and this is one. Franklin was 9 to 13 somewhere in there, and Franklin was keen on and they had the same name so that that's happy. ATT. This point. I'm circling a couple of names that become important to the family, Daniel Defoe. He has you've mentioned the primary has a primer and they Franklin learns to learn from Dafoe. But there's also something here about descent. Their doubt is in the family. In some fashion, deism has arrived, arrived and I wrote down this term Newtonian Christianity. I don't know where I got it from. Probably. You know, Newton and Christianity were in the household together. Did they go together? Well, Franklin read about Newton's physics when he was very young in his by the time he was about 16 or so he already was familiar with the basic principles on it. What was really happening, Wass that in England, the religious situation was becoming very much more complex, great. Many divisions between there's wings If you like of the different Christian churches on DH, there were an element within the church, both the Anglican Church and the dissenting churches. Who did indeed, try to kind of reconstruct Christianity on the basis of Newton science. That was an important element and, frankly became familiar with that very young. On the other hand, there are other people with far more traditional, their outlook. And so there were controls his disagreements in London, which swiftly got transmitted over to America in the Franklin family. Now, the Franklin family is Industrias. They value labor. And they value skills. The brother James, the older brother James decides to become a printer is that is that a fresh technology T choose in the early 18th century in Boston, where there were a number of printers in Boston? There had been a newspaper back in about 16 90. But what James did was very, very shrewd was to go to London. He had to go to London to buy his apparatus, his printing equipment, But he also while he was there appears to be immersed himself in the kind of journalism the British that the English did. And so what James was able to do was to bring back to Boston, the kind of journalistic innovation that was going on in the mother country, and that really became his kind of mission to transmit that to America and produce his own. Newspaper, The New England current The New England current is Where Franklin Benjamin Franklin, our hero, He will be apprenticed to his older brother. And apprentice had contracts. Jewel obligations, toe work for so many years and you couldn't be arbitrary about it. Otherwise you become a runaway, and when we come back, we're going to tell the story of Benjamin Franklin discovering The fact that he's not only a large, healthy, extremely precocious person. He's also a person who is going to become gifted with what we now understand his journalism and To be a columnist. The book is young Benjamin Franklin. The birth of ingenuity and wit. Nick Bunker is the author. I'm John Bachelor. This is the John Baxter. What matters.

Coming up next