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Benjamin Franklin was born in Boston, the tenth son of a soap-maker. While apprenticing for his brother, a printer, he gained fame as a writer, working under the pseudonym "Mrs. Silence Dogood". In 1723, Franklin moved to Philadelphia and continued his career in printing and writing as well as other odd jobs. In 1725, he visited the Royal Society of London for scientific experiments.
Upon his return to the colonies, Franklin became a true polymath. He created "the Junto", a discussion group for issues of the day that inspired many intellectual societies. In 1732 he created one of the first subscription libraries in the colonies, and the following year began to publish his famous "Poor Richard's Almanack." Over a decade later, he began his experiments with electricity, using it to create and improve devices such as the capacitor and the Leyden jar.
His political writing began to gain attention and in 1754, Franklin attended Albany Congress to discuss the conflict with the French colonies as well as tensions with the Iroquois Nation. He proposed a unified government to organize the colonies, and created the political cartoon with the motto "Join or Die." Although the unification was accepted by the delegates at the conference, it was rejected by the British Board of Trade.
Franklin took several political trips to England to represent colonial interests. Although he initially fought for the rights of colonists as British citizens, he concluded that independence was the true solution. Franklin contributed writing to the Declaration of Independence and was present at its signing on July 4, 1776.