Ben Franklin's ancestors who had been protestants since the 16th century came to England in about 1682 to avoid the narrow religion of the Restoration era. His father Josiah, was a candle maker and skillful mechanic. His mother Abiah Folger, of the island Nantucket. She was a secretive and honest woman. Benjamin Franklin, was the eighth of his parent's ten children. He was born in Boston on January 17, 1706.
Although Ben had no friends or money on arrival at Philadelphia he found a job through his skill as a printer. In 1724, he went to England, where for a year and a half he worked as a master printer. He returned to Philadelphia in 1726, he worked hard and skillfully, soon he owned his own press. He published a newspaper called Pennsylvania Gazette. He began writing Poor Richard's Almanac in 1732, and did most of public printing about Pennsylvania. He also became clerk of the Pennsylvania Assembly and the post master of Philadelphia and also operated a book shop. He established partnerships with other printers from Nova Scotia to Antigua. By 1748, at the age of forty two Ben Franklin was able to retire and live happily for 20 years off the money he had made from his printing business.
In 1727, intent on community improvement in Philadelphia, Ben organized the Junta. This was a group of content tradesmen like himself who met each week for a discussion. In 1731 he led the Junta in establishing a community library. In 1736 he established a fire company and in 1743 a Philosophical Society was built. In 1749 a college chartered as an academy that later became the University of Pennsylvania was established. Also in 1751 they established a insurance company and a hospital. Franklin also offered practical plans for paving, cleaning, and lighting the streets and for organizing an economical, sensible night watch. He overcame the Quakers by forming and equipping a voluntary military to defend their city against attacking warships.