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Benjamin Franklin and John Foxcroft receipt

Biographical note

Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790), most notable as one of the Founding Fathers of the United States, was born on January 17, 1706, in Boston, Massachusetts. In 1723, he left Boston for Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and by 1726 Franklin had established a reputation as one of the best printers in the city. In 1729, Franklin purchased the Pennsylvania Gazette, the city’s most important newspaper, and in 1732 he began publishing the popular Poor Richard’s Almanac, thus gaining attention as a writer too. Franklin also enhanced Philadelphia’s cultural and intellectual life with the establishment of the Junto in 1727, Library Company of Philadelphia in 1731, the American Philosophical Society in 1743, an insurance company, and an academy that would later become the University of Pennsylvania. He also became known for his scientific experiments and inventions.

Nearly ten years after relocating to Philadelphia, Franklin began to be more directly involved in the political life of the colonies and was able to retire from active involvement in his businesses by 1749. In 1736, he was elected clerk of the Pennsylvania Assembly and postmaster of Philadelphia in 1737. By 1753, he was promoted to one of two deputy Postmasters General for the colonies and remained in this post until January 1774. In July 1757, Franklin was dispatched by the Philadelphia Assembly to London, England, and spent most the next eighteen years in England as a colonial agent for Pennsylvania and other colonies. He returned to Pennsylvania in 1775 and was elected to the Continental Congress and in the following year was selected as a member of the drafting committee for the Declaration of Independence. From 1775-1785, he served as a commissioner to France, gaining financial support from the French for the American Revolutionary War (1775-1783) and later to negotiate the peace between the United States and Great Britain. Benjamin Franklin died in Philadelphia on April 17, 1790, leaving being a great legacy of political and scientific achievement.

John Foxcroft (d. 1790) served as one of the two deputy Postmasters General for the colonies alongside Benjamin Franklin from October 1761-1775. During the American Revolutionary War, Foxcroft remained loyal to the British government. After the war, Foxcroft became an agent for British packet ships in New York City. John Foxcroft died in 1790 and was buried in the Trinity Churchyard in New York, New York.