Benjamin Franklin has been called “the founder with a human face.” Of all American founders, Franklin is the most approachable and down to earth. He is us, flesh and blood to the bone; not made of mild white marble carefully set on a pedestal at a safe distance from us. He is the quintessential American, up from nothing. Franklin embodied what it was to be American: hard working, thrifty and practical, generous and philanthropic, suspicious of tyranny in any form, the businessman, citizen, and statesman. Franklin was a human pressure cooker of ideas, sputtering and spewing one original invention and fresh concept after another: electricity linked to lightning, the pot-belly stove, bifocals, a conventional chair, library ladders and Poor Richard’s Almanac, to name a few. He helped draft our Declaration of Independence and worked as our indispensible diplomat, our man in London winning the war, making peace in France. He was one of our founding American architects of the story of freedom in America.
“There is a natural inclination in mankind to kingly government. There is scarce a king in a hundred who would not, if he could, follow the example of pharaoh. Get first all the peoples’ money, then all their lands, and then make them and all their children servants forever.”
                  - Benjamin Franklin