Ben Franklin was a slaveowner for much of his life, but after a friend took him to visit a school for black children. He wrote that African ignorance was not inherently natural but come from lack of education, slavery and negative environments. And he petitioned Congress to end slavery.
Even though Benjamin Franklin is credited with many popular inventions, he never patented or copyrighted any of them. He believed that they should be given freely and that claiming ownership would only cause trouble and “sour one’s Temper and disturb one’s Quiet.”
In response to Britain sending their convicts to America in the 1700s, Benjamin Franklin suggested sending back shiploads of rattlesnakes to return the favor.
When Benjamin Franklin died he left the city of Boston $4000 in a trust to earn interest for 200 years. By 1990 the trust was worth over $5 million and was used to help establish a trade school that became the Franklin Institute of Boston.
Benjamin Franklin never patented any of his inventions. He reasoned that “we enjoy great advantages from the inventions of others”, and that “we should be glad of an opportunity to serve others by any invention of ours; and this we should do freely and generously”.
Benjamin Franklin designed one of the first American coins, and instead of saying “In God We Trust,” it said “Mind Your Business.”
During a 1998 renovation of Benjamin Franklin’s house, the bones of 10 people (6 of them children) were found in a windowless room in the basement. The bones were the result of anatomical study by one of Franklin’s friends.