Marcum, J. W. (2008, May/June). The Social Studies. Washington, 99(3), 99.
Benjamin Franklin found happiness in reading and writing and radiated the qualities of an education enthusiast.
From an early age he borrowed books from his brother's print shop, and read them overnight. He used any available money he had to purchase books. Books were his "most consoling" possessions and "trustworthy friends for life" (Marcum, 2008). Franklin loved to read. Marcum (2008), writes, on one journey home from Europe in 1785 he returned with twenty-seven crates of books. For Franklin reading was a lifelong habit; when he died he owned 3,700 titles, quite a feat considering the relative scarcity and high cost of books in that day (Marcum, 2008).
According to Marcum (2008), his first significant publication came at age fourteen. It consisted of a series of letters written under the literary double Silence Dogood. In 1730 he purchased a colonial newspaper, the Pennsylvania Gazette. Three years later Franklin introduced Poor Richard's Almanac. Poor Richard's Almanac was written intended for tradesmen and farmers.
As a teenager Franklin had far-reaching thoughts. When he was a young man he moved from Boston to Philadelphia. According to Marcum (2008), Philadelphia was a frontier town, where fewer questions and more lax social standards allowed Franklin to father an illegitimate son and take a common-law wife without business or social consequence; one's work and contribution to the community were more important than propriety and otherworldliness. These types of behaviors would not have been legitimate in Boston. University of Phoenix and its cutting edge education serve as OUR frontier town. Franklin found Philadelphia to be more liberal and a place that allowed him to develop his interests more freely.