The daughter of Franklin's first landlords in Philadelphia, Deborah
joined Ben in a common-law marriage in 1730. She was uneducated.
According to Franklin their marriage was happy, though Deborah
went for years at a time without seeing Ben. She died in 1774,
having been separated from Franklin for ten years.
James was Ben's half-brother, the son of Josiah Franklin
from his first wife, Anne, who had died in 1689. Ben was apprenticed
to James, a printer, for several years. During this time he learned
the printing trade, developed his writing style, and argued frequently
with James. James's warning to other printers in Boston not to
hire Ben forced Ben to leave the city.
and Abiah Franklin
Franklin's parents, Josiah and Abiah, were married
in 1689. Josiah was born in Ecton, Northamptonshire, England and emigrated
to Boston in 1683; Abiah, Josiah's second wife, was born on Nantucket.
William, Ben Franklin's illegitimate son, was born
at some point during 1728–1729. He would later become governor
of New Jersey and a Royalist. His refusal to support the American Revolution
led to a falling out with his father.
A Philadelphia printer, Keimer give Franklin his first
job after the young man arrived in Philadelphia nearly penniless.
Franklin twice worked for Keimer, whom he believed was lazy, and
later bought his failing newspaper.
Keith, while governor of Pennsylvania, promised to
help Franklin establish his own printing business in Philadelphia. Keith
failed to supply Franklin with the help he promised however, leaving
Franklin stranded in London.
Arthur Lee and Silas Deane
Franklin's co-commissioners in France, Lee and Deane
helped (and sometimes hindered) Franklin negotiate the treaty of alliance
with France, which was eventually signed in 1778.
A group of disgruntled frontiersman, the "Paxton Boys" slaughtered
a group of unarmed Christian Indians in 1765. Franklin was outraged
at this and wrote an article denouncing the killers. Franklin later
confronted the rioting Paxton Boys when they marched on Philadelphia,
displaying remarkable personal courage in the process, and convinced
them to return peacefully to their homes.