The Long Goodbye: Benjamin Franklin’s Death and Creating the American Identity

Wednesday April 17 2019, 5.30pm 

Early morning on 17 April 1790, Benjamin Franklin died at his home in Philadelphia.  Almost a generation older than most of America’s founders, he was the first to inspire a national, and indeed international, period of mourning.  In arranging Franklin’s memorial, his own and Craven Street family set in place lasting ideas on remembrance and identity.  Dr. Boudreau is a cultural historian focused on 18th century Anglo-America. His his Benjamin Franklin teacher workshops have received numerous grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities and he holds a 2019 post-doctoral fellowship at the George Washington Library at Mount Vernon.  He is author of Independence: A Guide to Historic Philadelphia (2012).

£6 per person. Available via Eventbrite 

The Battles of Blackfriars Bridge: London Improvement in the Age of Franklin

Thursday April 4th 2019, 6.30pm – 8pm

Dr Perry Gauci,Tutor in Modern History at Lincoln College, Oxford University, will speak about the stormy public debates surrounding the first Blackfriars Bridge, which opened in 1769. The bridge caused deep divisions within the metropolis, but its completion highlighted how Londoners managed to find common cause in pursuit of civic improvement in Franklin’s day.

Tickets are £6 and available on Eventbrite 

Election 2020 – Carol Gould on American Politics

Wednesday 12th of June 2019, 6.30pm

As the 2020 presidential race gains momentum, Carol Gould, a political commentator since 2004, will discuss the current state of play in American politics, including race relations, international affairs, and (in the spirit of Benjamin Franklin) freedom of the press. Carol is author of ‘Don’t Tread on me – anti-Americanism Abroad’.

Franklin and his British Friends

Wednesday 29th of May. 6:30pm

Dr. Márcia Balisciano, Director of Benjamin Franklin House will introduce Franklin’s British milieu, those who challenged and sustained him during his long London sojourn.  Fellow members of the Lunar Society like Josiah Wedgwood, Erasmus Darwin and Matthew Bolton, reformed rogues like Sir Francis Dashwood, and artists like the blind organist John Stanley will all feature in this illustrated talk.

£6 per person.

Tickets available via Eventbrite 

The Rise of Thomas Paine and the Case of The Officers of Excise

Wednesday March 6th at 6:30pm

Introducing his new book, The Rise of Thomas Paine, Paul Myles will tell the story of how the relatively unknown Englishman-Paine- came to be thrust onto the international stage and his literary role in the American War of Independence.

Tickets can be purchased via Eventbrite

Reviews

“This original and scholarly work explains the rise of Thomas Paine, who was chosen by a Commissioner of Excise, George Lewis Scott, to write The Case of the Officers of Excise, a work which identified and condemned the deep corruption within the English excise service, and called for the organization of workers to improve their pay and conditions. The origins of Paine’s links with figures such as Benjamin Franklin, so important when Paine moved to North America, is thereby explained”
-Professor Richard Whatmore University of St Andrews School of History

“Paul Myles has become the custodian of the reputation of Thomas Paine and this book is part of a remarkable job he is making of it.”- Melvyn Bragg

 

Museums at Night – ‘Candle Lit’ Architectural Tours

Thursday 16 & Friday 17 May, 6pm, 7pm & 8pm

The atmospheric rooms of Benjamin Franklin’s only remaining residence will be the feature of this night-time architectural tour, highlighting the original features of our Grade I listed Georgian townhouse in evening light.

£10/per person, drink included

Tickets available via Eventbrite

Independence Day: Thursday 4th July

Join us for a celebration of Independence Day at Benjamin Franklin House. Enjoy cake and a glass of bubbly following a 30 minute tour of the world’s only remaining Franklin home. As a founder of the United States, Franklin was the only statesman to have signed all four documents that created a new nation, including The Declaration of Independence, the Treaty of Alliance with France, the Treaty of Paris, and The Constitution. The first of these was signed on 4 July 1776.

Join us at one of the following celebration times: 12pm, 1pm, 2pm, 3.15pm, and 4.15pm

£10/per person, refreshments included

 

Talk: Benjamin Franklin’s influence at the Constitutional Convention

Dr Nicholas Cole is a Senior Research Fellow at Pembroke College, Oxford University, who specialises in the political thought of early America and the creation of America’s political institutions. He leads the Quill Project, an interdisciplinary project which studies the processes of negotiation that created America’s political system. Their flagship project is a digital model of the 1787 Constitutional Convention, which provides an opportunity to reassess the importance of Franklin’s role in the creation of the American Federal System.

Wednesday 17 October, 6.30pm

Book your free tickets via eventbrite

Franklin & Grant: Americans Against Slavery

Franklin & Grant: Americans Against Slavery

2018 Benjamin Franklin House Robert H. Smith Lecture in American Democracy- Dr. Márcia Balisciano, Director, Benjamin Franklin House 

Franklin and Grant, two American historical figures not traditionally linked, traversed similar paths to fervent antislavery conviction, both of whom left an important imprint on American democracy.

The last public role of 18th century entrepreneur, author, scientist, diplomat and nation builder, Benjamin Franklin, was President of the Pennsylvania Society for the Abolition of Slavery (1789- 1790). Franklin made a trajectory from acceptance to outspoken opponent of slavery by the end of his life. He rallied against abhorrent inhumanity for the enslaved and forecast a terrible toll for the new United States, a prediction borne out by the American Civil War (1861-1865).

Brilliant military general and eventual President, Ulysses S. Grant, traversed similar ground on the question of slavery. Though born into an anti-slavery family, he was initially apathetic, marrying into a slave-holding Southern family, but came to see moral purpose in perhaps his greatest role, as victor in the war that restored the American union.

Dr. Márcia Balisciano, historian and founding director of Benjamin Franklin House, will show the connections between two American leaders who left an indelible mark on modern America.

Thursday 4 October

Tickets to be booked through the Eccles Centre for American Studies, British Library

More details to follow

Fireworks, Franklin & the Fourth

In the run up to American Independence Day, Dr. Simon Werret will explore fireworks in Benjamin Franklin’s time, highlighting the differences and similarities between celebrating with in 18th century Britain and America. Simon will reveal how Franklin’s famous electricity experiments are connected to the history of fireworks.

Thursday June 28, 6.30pm

Book tickets via eventbrite