Title Image - Quotes by Author Benjamin Franklin

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Wikipedia Summary for Benjamin Franklin

Benjamin Franklin (January 17, 1706 [O.S. January 6, 1705] – April 17, 1790) was one of the Founding Fathers of the United States. A polymath, he was a leading writer, printer, political philosopher, politician, Freemason, postmaster, scientist, inventor, humorist, civic activist, statesman, and diplomat. As a scientist, he was a major figure in the American Enlightenment and the history of physics for his discoveries and theories regarding electricity. As an inventor, he is known for the lightning rod, bifocals, and the Franklin stove, among other inventions.

He founded many civic organizations, including the Library Company, Philadelphia's first fire department, and the University of Pennsylvania.

Franklin earned the title of "The First American" for his early and indefatigable campaigning for colonial unity, initially as an author and spokesman in London for several colonies. As the first United States ambassador to France, he exemplified the emerging American nation.

Franklin was foundational in defining the American ethos as a marriage of the practical values of thrift, hard work, education, community spirit, self-governing institutions, and opposition to authoritarianism both political and religious, with the scientific and tolerant values of the Enlightenment. In the words of historian Henry Steele Commager, "In Franklin could be merged the virtues of Puritanism without its defects, the illumination of the Enlightenment without its heat." To Walter Isaacson, this makes Franklin "the most accomplished American of his age and the most influential in inventing the type of society America would become."Franklin became a successful newspaper editor and printer in Philadelphia, the leading city in the colonies, publishing the Pennsylvania Gazette at the age of 23. He became wealthy publishing this and Poor Richard's Almanack, which he authored under the pseudonym "Richard Saunders". After 1767, he was associated with the Pennsylvania Chronicle, a newspaper that was known for its revolutionary sentiments and criticisms of the policies of the British Parliament and the Crown.

He pioneered and was the first president of Academy and College of Philadelphia which opened in 1751 and later became the University of Pennsylvania. He organized and was the first secretary of the American Philosophical Society and was elected president in 1769. Franklin became a national hero in America as an agent for several colonies when he spearheaded an effort in London to have the Parliament of Great Britain repeal the unpopular Stamp Act. An accomplished diplomat, he was widely admired among the French as American minister to Paris and was a major figure in the development of positive Franco–American relations. His efforts proved vital for the American Revolution in securing shipments of crucial munitions from France.

He was promoted to deputy postmaster-general for the British colonies on August 10, 1753, having been Philadelphia postmaster for many years, and this enabled him to set up the first national communications network. During the revolution, he became the first United States postmaster general. He was active in community affairs and colonial and state politics, as well as national and international affairs. From 1785 to 1788, he served as governor of Pennsylvania. He initially owned and dealt in slaves but, by the late 1750s, he began arguing against slavery, became an abolitionist, and promoted education and the integration of blacks in American Society.

His life and legacy of scientific and political achievement, and his status as one of America's most influential Founding Fathers, have seen Franklin honored more than two centuries after his death on the fifty-cent piece, the $100 bill, warships, and the names of many towns, counties, educational institutions, and corporations, as well as numerous cultural references and with a portrait in the Oval Office.

Nothing preaches better than the act.

--Benjamin Franklin

A penny saved is two pence clear, A pin a day's a groat a year.

--Benjamin Franklin

If you'ld have a servant that you like, serve yourself.

--Benjamin Franklin

Grace thou thy house and let not that grace thee.

--Benjamin Franklin

Be not niggardly of what costs thee nothing, as courtesy, counsel and countenance.

--Benjamin Franklin

A father's a treasure; a brother's a comfort; a friend is both.

--Benjamin Franklin

I believe in one God, the creator of the universe. That he governs it by his Providence. That he ought to be worshipped. That the most acceptable service we can render to him is doing good to his other children.

--Benjamin Franklin

If we do not hang together, we will all hang separately.

--Benjamin Franklin

I fear the man who drinks water and so remembers this morning what the rest of us said last night.

--Benjamin Franklin

Proclaim not all thou knowest, all thou owest, all thou hast, nor all thou can'st.

--Benjamin Franklin

Hear reason or she will make you feel her.

--Benjamin Franklin

To find out a girl's faults, praise her to her girl friends.

--Benjamin Franklin

Where there is Hunger, Law is not regarded; and where Law is not regarded, there will be Hunger.

--Benjamin Franklin

Many have quarreled about religion that never practised it.

--Benjamin Franklin

An open foe may prove a curse but a pretended friend is worse.

--Benjamin Franklin

We must indeed all hang together, or, most assuredly, we shall all hang separately.

--Benjamin Franklin

Consider how hard it is to change yourself and you'll understand what little chance you have in trying to change others.

--Benjamin Franklin

Observe all men; thyself most.

--Benjamin Franklin

Love your enemies; for they shall tell you all your faults.

--Benjamin Franklin

The rule is simple: Be sober and temperate, and you will be healthy.

--Benjamin Franklin

Philosophy as well as foppery often changes fashion.

--Benjamin Franklin

He that blows the coals in quarrels that he has nothing to do with, has no right to complain if the sparks fly in his face.

--Benjamin Franklin

Longer Version:

He that blows the coals in quarrels that he has nothing to do with, has no right to complain if the sparks fly in his face. -- Ben Franklin.


Don't halloo until you're out of the wood.

--Benjamin Franklin

Be always at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let each new year find you a better man.

--Benjamin Franklin

A quarrelsome man has no good neighbours.

--Benjamin Franklin

We must all hang together, or assuredly, we shall all hang separately.

--Benjamin Franklin

If passion drives, let reason hold the reins.

--Benjamin Franklin

After crosses and losses, men grow humbler and wiser.

--Benjamin Franklin

Be neither silly, nor cunning, but wise.

--Benjamin Franklin

Virtue and happiness are mother and daughter.

--Benjamin Franklin

Taxes on consumption, like those on capital or income, to be just, must be uniform.

--Benjamin Franklin

The busy man has few idle visitors; to the boiling pot, the flies come not.

--Benjamin Franklin

For every minute spent organizing, an hour is earned.

--Benjamin Franklin

Money never made a man happy yet, nor will it. The more a man has, the more he wants. Instead of filling a vacuum, it makes one.

--Benjamin Franklin

Do not anticipate trouble or worry about what may never happen. Keep in the sunlight.

--Benjamin Franklin

Where liberty dwells there is my country.

--Benjamin Franklin

If we do do not hang together then we will surely hang separately.

--Benjamin Franklin

He that's content has enough. He that complains hath too much.

--Benjamin Franklin

It is wise not to seek a secret and honest not to reveal it.

--Benjamin Franklin

We do not stop playing because we grow old. We grow old because we stop playing.

--Benjamin Franklin

Wealth is nothing more or less than a tool to do things with. It is like the fuel that runs the furnace or the belt that runs the wheel only a means to an end.

--Benjamin Franklin

Eat not to dullness; drink not to elevation.

--Benjamin Franklin

One man may be more cunning than another, but not more cunning than everybody else.

--Benjamin Franklin

Neglect kills injuries, revenge increases them.

--Benjamin Franklin

Tart Words make no Friends: a spoonful of honey will catch more flies than Gallon of Vinegar.

--Benjamin Franklin

What signifies knowing the names, if you know not the natures of things.

--Benjamin Franklin

Wise men learn by others' harms; fools by their own.

--Benjamin Franklin

That as soon as a party has gained its general point, each member becomes intent upon his particular interest; which, thwarting others, breaks that party into divisions and occasions more confusion.

--Benjamin Franklin

The sting of a reproach is the truth of it.

--Benjamin Franklin

Pay what you owe and what you're worth you'll know.

--Benjamin Franklin

Avoid dishonest gain: no price can recompence the pangs of vice.

--Benjamin Franklin

Bad gains are true losses.

--Benjamin Franklin

A man that raises a large family does, indeed, while he lives to observe them, stand a broader mark for sorrow; but then he stands a broader mark for pleasure too.

--Benjamin Franklin

Cunning proceeds from lack of capacity.

--Benjamin Franklin

Bacon is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.

--Benjamin Franklin

Friendship increases by visiting friends but visiting seldom.

--Benjamin Franklin

A true friend is the best Possession.

--Benjamin Franklin

Wine is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.

--Benjamin Franklin

Longer Version:

We hear of the conversion of water into wine at the marriage in Cana as of a miracle. But this conversion is, through the goodness of God, made every day before our eyes. Behold the rain which descends from heaven upon our vineyards; there it enters the roots of the vines, to be changed into wine; a constant proof that God loves us, and loves to see us happy. The miracle in question was only performed to hasten the operation, under circumstances of present necessity, which required it.


Danger is sauce for prayers.

--Benjamin Franklin

Oh the wonderful knowledge to be found in the stars. Even the smallest things are written there ... if you had but skill to read.

--Benjamin Franklin

Keep Conscience clear, then never fear.

--Benjamin Franklin

Youth is pert and positive, Age modest and doubting: So Ears of Corn when young and light, stand bolt upright, but hang their Heads when weighty, full, and ripe.

--Benjamin Franklin

Indeed, when religious people quarrel about religion, or hungry people quarrel about victuals, it looks as if they had not much of either among them.

--Benjamin Franklin

I have thought that wild flowers might be the alphabet of angels, -- whereby they write on hills and fields mysterious truths, which it is not given our fallen nature to understand.

--Benjamin Franklin

It might be judged an affront to your understanding should I go about to prove this first principle; the existence of a Diety and that He is the Creator of the universe, for that would suppose you ignorant of what all mankind in all ages have agreed in.

--Benjamin Franklin

An assembly of great men is the greatest fool upon earth.

--Benjamin Franklin

Avarice and Happiness never saw each other, how then should they become acquainted?

--Benjamin Franklin

Be ashamed to catch yourself idle.

--Benjamin Franklin

He is not well bred, that cannot bear ill breeding in others.

--Benjamin Franklin

There's many witty men whose brains can't fill their bellies.

--Benjamin Franklin

Hold your Council before Dinner; the full Belly hates Thinking as well as Acting.

--Benjamin Franklin

A full Belly is the Mother of all Evil.

--Benjamin Franklin

If you wou'd have Guests merry with your cheer, Be so your self, or so at least appear.

--Benjamin Franklin

One Man may be more cunning than another, but not more cunning than every body else.

--Benjamin Franklin

Cold and cunning come from the north: But cunning sans wisdom is nothing worth.

--Benjamin Franklin

He that drinks his cider alone, let him catch his horse alone.

--Benjamin Franklin

I consent Sir, to this Constitution because I expect no better, and because I am not sure, that it is not the best.

--Benjamin Franklin

He that sells upon Credit expects to lose 5 per Cent. By bad Debts; therefore he charges, on all he sells upon Credit, an Advance that shall make up that Deficiency.

--Benjamin Franklin

He's gone, and forgot nothing but to say farewell to his creditors.

--Benjamin Franklin

Despair ruins some, presumption many.

--Benjamin Franklin

Cowards can handle Arms, can strike where they are sure to meet with no Return, can wound, mangle and murder; but it belongs to brave Men to spare, and to protect.

--Benjamin Franklin

Would you live with ease, Do what you ought, and not what you please.

--Benjamin Franklin

Let thy discontents be thy secrets; if the world knows them 'twill despise thee and increase them.

--Benjamin Franklin

The most acceptable service of God is doing good to man.

--Benjamin Franklin

When the well is dry, they know the worth of water.

--Benjamin Franklin

Either write something worth reading, or do something worth writing.

--Benjamin Franklin

Electrical matter differs from common matter in this, that the parts of the latter mutually attract, those of the former mutually repel each other.

--Benjamin Franklin

In going on with these Experiments, how many pretty systems do we build, which we soon find ourselves oblig'd to destroy! If there is no other Use discover'd of Electricity, this, however, is something considerable, that it may help to make a vain Man humble.

--Benjamin Franklin

Those who are content have enough; those that complain, have too much.

--Benjamin Franklin

It is observable that God has often called men to places of dignity and honor when they have been busy in the honest employment of their vocation.

--Benjamin Franklin

He that lives upon hope will die farting.

--Benjamin Franklin

The best of all medicines are resting and fasting.

--Benjamin Franklin

Time is the stuff life is made of.

--Benjamin Franklin

No employment can be managed without arithmetic, no mechanical invention without geometry.

--Benjamin Franklin

Beware of meat twice boiled, and an old foe reconciled.

--Benjamin Franklin

As sore places meet most rubs, proud folks meet most affronts.

--Benjamin Franklin

Constant complaint is the poorest sort of pay for all the comforts we enjoy.

--Benjamin Franklin

Virtue alone is sufficient to make a man great, glorious, and happy.

--Benjamin Franklin

No man ever was glorious, who was not laborious.

--Benjamin Franklin

Carelessness does more harm than a want of knowledge.

--Benjamin Franklin

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