Benjamin Franklin was one of the Founding Fathers of the United States of America. He was also a noted polymath, a leading author and printer, satirist, political theorist, politician, scientist, inventor, civic activist, statesman, and diplomat. In 1751, Franklin and Dr. Thomas Bond obtained a charter from the Pennsylvania legislature to establish a hospital. Pennsylvania Hospital was the first hospital in what was to become the United States of America. In June, 1776, he was appointed a member of the Committee of Five that drafted the Declaration of Independence. Although he was temporarily disabled by gout and unable to attend most meetings of the Committee, Franklin made several small changes to the draft sent to him by Thomas Jefferson. In December, 1776, Franklin was dispatched to France as commissioner for the United States and remained in France until 1785. Franklin retained a lifelong commitment to the Puritan virtues and political values with which he had grown up. Through his civic work and publishing, he succeeded in passing these values into the American culture permanently.
By the author of Peter Parley's Tales Lives of Benefactors (New York, NY: Bradbury, Soden & co, 1884)