Biography and History

Benjamin Franklin was one of the most prominent of the founders and early political figures and statesmen of the United States despite never holding national elective office. Born in Boston, Massachusetts, Franklin became a newspaper editor, printer, and merchant in Philadelphia, Pa. He also played a major role in establishing both the University of Pennsylvania and the Franklin and Marshall College. Franklin had several extramarital liaisons, including that which produced his illegitimate Loyalist son, William Franklin, who became the colonial governor of New Jersey.

Source: From the finding aid for C1059

  • Carl Van Doren Papers. 1900-1950 (inclusive).

    Call Number: C0072

    The collection illustrates the literary career of American author and professor Carl Van Doren, including typescripts and research notes for his Pulitzer Prize winning biography of Benjamin Franklin. The collection also contains various documents, including Van Doren's will, souvenirs, memorabilia, photographs, clippings, and printed material, as well as legal papers and correspondence dealing with his participation in several lawsuits involving copyright infringement.

  • George Simpson Eddy Collection of Benjamin Franklin. 1684-1947 (inclusive).

    Call Number: C0330

    Consists of material by and about American patriot and founding father Benjamin Franklin collected by George Simpson Eddy in the process of pursuing various projects on and studies of Franklin.

  • Bache and Wistar Family Correspondence. 1777-1895 (inclusive).

    Call Number: C0381

    The Bache and Wistar Family Collection consists of correspondence between several members of the Bache and Wistar families of Philadelphia, Pa.

  • Benjamin Franklin Collection. 1753-1771 (inclusive).

    Call Number: C1059

    Consists primarily of selected correspondence and documents, both original and copies, of Benjamin Franklin, one of the most prominent of the founders and early political figures and statesmen of the United States.

  • Benjamin Franklin Collection. 1753-1771 (inclusive).

    Call Number: C1059

    Consists primarily of selected correspondence and documents, both original and copies, of Benjamin Franklin, one of the most prominent of the founders and early political figures and statesmen of the United States.