Benjamin Franklin Background

Benjamin Franklin was a Boston Baby, born on January 17, 1706. His family was poor, and he was one of 17 children. He apprenticed to his brother, a printer, and by the age of 17 he had already struck out on his own, moving to Philadelphia and setting up a printing shop there. In 1724 his autobiography describes how he was encouraged in Philadelphia to set up his printing shop. "I went, however, with the governor and Colonel French to a tavern, at the corner of Third-street, and over the Madeira he propos’d my setting up my business, laid before me the probabilities of success, and both he and Colonel French assur’d me I should have their interest and influence in procuring the public business of both governments. "

By his mid 20s he joined the Freemasons and his printing business was a success. The two went hand in hand as he worked to help out those around him. With his Freemason group he diligently worked to help improve the city around him, developing a fire department, police department, and library for his young city. As a printer, he published information he felt the public should know, even if it went against the ruling English.

By the 1760s and 1770s, he had teamed up with Thomas Jefferson and George Washington to work seriously on US Independence, and in 1776 the Declaration of Independence was signed. He continued to perform ambassador roles through 1790, when he dies in his sleep.

Ben Franklin's personal favorites were Madiera, which was a very popular fortified wine from an island off of Portugal, and Rum Punch. Rum Punch was so popular in those days that no party would be complete without a large bowl of punch on the buffet table, and glasses passed all around before dinner began.

When asked how he wanted to die, Ben said that actuall he wanted to be put into suspended animation, so he could come back in 100 years and see what all his hard work had achieved for future generations. He said he would "prefer to an ordinary death being immersed with a few friends in a cask of Madeira" to help preserve them until they could be woken back up.

Ben Franklin's Background Ben Franklin's Winemaking Instructions: 1743 Benjamin Franklin's Wine Quotes

Wine Regions in History

All content on the WineIntro website is personally written by author and wine enthusiast Lisa Shea. WineIntro explores the delicious variety and beautiful history which makes up our world of wine! Lisa loves supporting local wineries and encouraging people to drink whatever they like. We all have different taste buds, and that makes our world wonderful. Always drink responsibly.