Benjamin Franklin – il primo vero giornalista Americano

Benjamin Franklin (1706 – 1790) after a period of apprenticeship (= apprendistato) as a printer (= stampatore), started The New England Courant together with his brother James. It was the first newspaper in Boston with articles, opinion pieces written by James’s friends, advertisements, and news about ships departures and arrivals. .

Soon Ben got fame (= divenne) writing letters with the name of a fictional widow (= vedova immaginaria) ,  Silence Dogood, who was very critical of the world around her, particularly about women problem and how they were treate (=trattate). In Philadelphia he started  his own printing business (= tipografia) and, in 1730, together with  his wife, Deborah Read, he created a print shop, and a book store. In 1729, Franklin bought a newspaper, the Pennsylvania Gazette where the first political cartoon appeared, written by  Ben himself.

Meanwhile (= nel frattempo) Franklin continued his civic contributions (= contributi sociali): he launched (= lanciò) projects for an environmental clean (= pulizia dell’ambiente) and for the illumination of Philadelphia‘s streets; he helped to launch the American Philosophical Society, the first learned society in America;  he formed the PennsylvaniaHospital; he organized Philadelphia‘s Union Fire Company and helped to found the Philadelphia Contribution for Insurance Against Loss by Fire (= Asssicurazione per gli incendi). All these institutions still exist.

In the early 1750’s he turned to the study of electricity. His observations, including his kite experiment verified the nature of electricity and lightning and brought Franklin international fame.

In the 1750s politics attracted his interest and he went to England to represent Pennsylvania. Georgia, New Jersey and Massachusetts.

Then Franklin started working for American independence after the “Hutchinson Affair.” Thomas Hutchinson was a governor of Massachusetts appointed by the English government who pretended (= faceva finta) to take the side of the people of Massachusetts, but  was actually (= in realtà) working for the King.

Franklin was elected to the Second Continental Congress and worked on a committee of five for the draft (= bozza) of the Declaration of Independence. In 1776 Franklin signed the Declaration, and and went to France for the Treaty of Alliance with the Americans in 1778.

Back to America he became President of the Executive Council of Pennsylvania, delegate to the Constitutional Convention, and wrote an anti-slavery treatise in 1789.