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Founding Fathers
History of the United States
Benjamin Franklin

What was Ben Franklin's view on slavery?

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September 13, 2011 3:22PM

Benjamin Franklin was against slavery, and it was one of the last things he fought for in his life as a senator of Pennsylvania. He was the President of Pennsylvania's Antislavery Society. However, most of the Founding Generation were against slavery (including John Adams, Alexander Hamilton, and, although a bit hypocritically, Thomas Jefferson and George Washington - who had his slaves freed after he and his wife, Martha, died), yet they realized that the country was too frail to really risk forcing the issue.

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It should not be surprising to learn that Franklin's views on slavery changed over time. When he was a young man he bought and sold slaves in his shop. Later on he became a staunch opponent of the practice and founded an early anti-slavery society. Michael Montagne

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Ben at one time offered rewards for runaway slaves as an ad in The Pennsylvania Gazzette.He also had his own negro servant that accompanied him to Independence Hall in Philadelphia.

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Benjamin Franklin was against slavery, and it was one of the last things he fought for in his life as a senator of Pennsylvania. He was the President of Pennsylvania's Antislavery Society. However, most of the Founding Generation said they were against slavery (including John Adams, Alexander Hamilton, Thomas Jefferson and George Washington) yet they did nothing in contrast to their actions to revolt from the British to bring about the end of slavery.

Franklin was against slavery for the simple reason that it was not economically beneficial. that, and the fact, Franklin learned slaves were intellectually equal to non slaves, led him to the belief that slavery was a waste. that no good came of it. Franklin's creed was that the greatist good man could do was to do good to his fellow man.