The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin is the unfinished record of Benjamin Franklin’s life written by Franklin himself and is one of the most influential examples of an autobiography ever written. Franklin’s account of his life is divided into four parts, reflecting the different periods at which he wrote them.
The first publication of The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin, Part One, was published in Paris, in French in 1791. It wasn't until 1818 that the full version of Franklin’s autobiography was published by his grandson, William Temple Franklin, who did not include Part Four because he has previously traded away the original holograph of the Autobiography for a copy that contained only the first three parts. In addition, Franklin’s grandson felt free to make stylistic revisions to his grandfather’s autobiography. W.T. Franklin's text was the standard version of the Autobiography for half a century, until John Bigelow purchased the original manuscript in France and in 1868 published the most reliable text that had yet appeared, including the first English publication of Part Four.
This edition of Autobiography of Ben Franklin comes from the original manuscript of Ben Franklin’s Memoirs and is presented in its entirety for enjoyment by all English speakers.
Benjamin Franklin was a man of many talents. He kept himself busy with careers ranging from author, printer, political theorist, politician, freemason, postmaster, scientist, inventor, civic activist, statesman, and diplomat. As a scientist, he was known for his invention of bifocals and the Franklin Stove, which was so efficient that it is still made today. As a printer, he wrote for, edited and published the Pennsylvania Chronicle, Pennsylvania Gazette, and Poor Richard's Almanac with his two other partners. Most renowned for his part in the American Revolution, Benjamin Franklin was dubbed 'The First American,' and was part of the United States of America throughout its birth.