While free from Force the Press remains,
Virtue and Freedom chear our Plains,
And Learning Largesses bestows,
And keeps unlicens’d open House.
We to the Nation’s publick Mart
Our Works of Wit, and Schemes of Art,
And philosophic Goods, this Way,
Benjamin Franklin was born in Boston on January 17, 1706. While he is best known for his scientific and political endeavors, he was also an accomplished writer and poet, beginning with several articles he published in the New England Courant under the pseudonym “Silence Dogood.” He created the Philadelphia Gazette in 1730 as a platform for his writing, and in 1732, he began publishing Poor Richard’s Almanac, an annual pamphlet offering advice, information, and the occasional poem. He went on to write several books and pamphlets, including Experiments and Observations on Electricity (Philadelphia, 1751). He was a pioneering scientist, an accomplished inventor, and a pivotal figure in securing American independence. He died on April 17, 1790, in Philadelphia.