Franklin

Franklin

[frangk-lin]
Buchanan, Franklin, 1800-1874, American naval officer, b. Baltimore. Appointed a midshipman in 1815, Buchanan rose to be a commander in 1841. He was chief adviser to Secretary of the Navy George Bancroft in planning the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis and was its first superintendent (1845-47). In Sept., 1861, he took the rank of captain in the Confederate navy, commanding the Virginia (formerly the Merrimack) against the Union blockading squadron in Hampton Roads (Mar. 8, 1863). Wounded in that engagement, he took no part in the battle of the Monitor and Merrimack the next day. Promoted to ranking officer in the Confederate navy, he was forced to surrender to David G. Farragut in the battle of Mobile Bay (Aug. 5, 1864).

See biography by C. L. Lewis (1929).

Pierce, Franklin, 1804-69, 14th President of the United States (1853-57), b. Hillsboro, N.H., grad. Bowdoin College, 1824. Admitted to the bar in 1827, he entered politics as a Jacksonian Democrat, like his father, Benjamin Pierce, who was twice elected governor of New Hampshire (1827, 1829). He served in the New Hampshire general court (1829-33), being speaker in 1831 and 1832, and had an undistinguished career in the U.S. House of Representatives (1833-37) and in the U.S. Senate (1837-42). On resigning from the Senate, he achieved success as a lawyer in Concord, N.H., and continued to be important in state politics. A strong nationalist, he vigorously supported and then served in the Mexican War, becoming a brigadier general of volunteers.

In 1852 the Democratic party was split into hostile factions led by William L. Marcy, Stephen A. Douglas, James Buchanan, and Lewis Cass, none of whom could muster sufficient strength to secure the presidential nomination. Pierce, personally charming and politically unobjectionable to Southerners since he favored the Compromise of 1850, was made the "dark horse" candidate by his friends. He won the nomination (on the 49th ballot) and went on to defeat the Whig candidate, Gen. Winfield Scott, his commander in the Mexican War.

Pierce's desire to smooth over the slavery quarrel and unite all factions of the Democratic party was reflected in the composition of his cabinet, for which he chose such outstanding sectional representatives as Marcy, Jefferson Davis, and Caleb Cushing. A vigorous expansionist foreign policy was adopted, but it failed in most of its objectives. After the Black Warrior affair (1854), which brought the United States to the brink of war with Spain, Pierce authorized his European ministers, Pierre Soulé, John Y. Mason, and Buchanan, to confer on the means by which the United States might acquire Cuba. Their report, the so-called Ostend Manifesto, was leaked to the press and caused such an uproar that the administration was forced to disavow it. Troubled relations with Great Britain were not improved by the U.S. naval bombardment (1854) of San Juan del Norte, British protectorate in Nicaragua; the filibustering activities of William Walker further aggravated Central American affairs. Moves to annex Hawaii, acquire a naval base in Santo Domingo, and purchase Alaska ended fruitlessly. One achievement, the successful Japanese expedition of Commodore Matthew C. Perry, had been initiated in Millard Fillmore's administration.

On the domestic scene Pierce stood for development of the West (the Gadsden Purchase was made during his administration), but plans for a transcontinental railroad fell through. The Kansas-Nebraska Act enraged many Northerners and precipitated virtual civil war between the pro- and antislavery forces in Kansas. Pierce, by that time very unpopular, was passed over by the Democrats for renomination, and Buchanan succeeded him. Pierce's opposition to the Civil War made him more than ever disliked in the North, where he died in obscurity.

See biography by R. F. Nichols (rev. ed. 1958).

Franklin, Ann Smith, 1696-1763, American printer; sister-in-law of Benjamin Franklin. After the death in 1735 of her husband, James Franklin, she carried on his commercial printing business, in Newport, R.I., aided by two daughters and her son James. She printed a series of almanacs: the first numbers (1728-35) were written by Joseph Stafford and published by James Franklin. Those published from 1736 to 1741 she wrote herself. Franklin published the Newport Mercury and, as colony printer, printed its many legal documents and its paper money. In 1748 her son James became her partner.
Franklin, Aretha, 1942-, American singer, b. Memphis. She began singing in the choir of her father's church. Known as the "Queen of Soul," she recorded such hits as "Respect," "Chain of Fools," and "Who's Zoomin' Who," "(You Make Me Feel Like) a Natural Woman," and "Highway of Love."

See her autobiography (with David Ritz, 1999).

Franklin, Benjamin, 1706-90, American statesman, printer, scientist, and writer, b. Boston. The only American of the colonial period to earn a European reputation as a natural philosopher, he is best remembered in the United States as a patriot and diplomat.

Printer and Writer

The son of a tallow chandler and soapmaker, Franklin left school at 10 years of age to help his father. He then was apprenticed to his half brother James, a printer and publisher of the New England Courant, to which young Ben secretly contributed. After much disagreement he left his brother's employment and went (1723) to Philadelphia to work as a printer. Industry and thrift—qualities he was to praise later—helped him to better himself.

After a sojourn in London (1724-26), he returned and in 1729 acquired an interest in the Pennsylvania Gazette. As owner and editor after 1730, he made the periodical popular. His common sense philosophy and his neatly turned phrases won public attention in the Gazette, in the later General Magazine, and especially in his Poor Richard's Almanack, which he published from 1732 to 1757. Many sayings of Poor Richard, praising prudence, common sense, and honesty, became standard American proverbs.

Franklin also interested himself in selling books, established a circulating library, organized a debating club that developed into the American Philosophical Society, helped to establish (1751) an academy that eventually became the Univ. of Pennsylvania, and brought about civic reforms. His writings are still widely known today, especially his autobiography (covering only his early years), which is generally considered one of the finest autobiographies in any language and has appeared in innumerable editions.

Scientist

Franklin had steadily extended his own knowledge by study of foreign languages, philosophy, and science. He repeated the experiments of other scientists and showed his usual practical bent by inventing such diverse things as the Franklin stove, bifocal eyeglasses, and a glass harmonica (which he called an armonica; see harmonica 2). The phenomenon of electricity interested him deeply, and in 1748 he turned his printing business over to his foreman, intending to devote his life to science. His experiment of flying a kite in a thunderstorm, which showed that lightning is an electrical discharge (but which he may not have personally performed), and his invention of the lightning rod were among a series of investigations that won him recognition from the leading scientists in England and on the Continent.

Statesman

Diplomat from Pennsylvania

Franklin held local public offices and served long (1753-74) as deputy postmaster general of the colonies. As such he reorganized the postal system, making it both efficient and profitable. His status as a public figure grew steadily. A Pennsylvania delegate to the Albany Congress (1754), he proposed there a plan of union for the colonies, which was accepted by the delegates but later rejected by both the provincial assemblies and the British government. He worked for the British cause in the French and Indian War, especially by providing transportation for the ill-fated expedition led by Edward Braddock against Fort Duquesne. Franklin was a leader of the popular party in Pennsylvania against the Penn family, who were the proprietors, and in 1757 he was sent to England to present the case against the Penns. He won (1760) for the colony the right to tax the Penn estates but advised moderation in applying the right.

He returned to America for two years (1762-64) but was in England when the Stamp Act caused a furor. Again he showed prudent moderation; he protested the act but asked the colonists to obey the law, thus losing some popularity in the colonies until he stoutly defended American rights at the time of the debates on repeal of the act. He was made agent for Georgia (1768), New Jersey (1769), and Massachusetts (1770) and seriously considered making his home in England, where his scientific attainments, his brilliant mind, and his social gifts of wit and urbanity had gained him a high place.

Revolutionary Leader

As trouble between the British government and the colonies grew with the approach of the American Revolution, Franklin's deep love for his native land and his devotion to individual freedom brought (1775) him back to America. There, while his illegitimate son, William Franklin, was becoming a leader of the Loyalists, Benjamin Franklin became one of the greatest statesmen of the American Revolution and of the newborn nation. He was a delegate to the Continental Congress, was appointed postmaster general, and was sent to Canada with Samuel Chase and Charles Carroll of Carrollton to persuade the people of Canada to join the patriot cause. He was appointed (1776) to the committee that drafted the Declaration of Independence, which he signed.

Late in 1776 he sailed to France to join Arthur Lee and Silas Deane in their diplomatic efforts for the new republic. Franklin, with a high reputation in France well supported by his winning presence, did much to gain French recognition of the new republic in 1778. Franklin helped to direct U.S. naval operations and was a successful agent for the United States in Europe—the sole one after suspicions and quarrels caused Congress to annul the powers of the other American commissioners.

He was chosen (1781) as one of the American diplomats to negotiate peace with Great Britain and laid the groundwork for the treaty before John Jay and John Adams arrived. British naval victory in the West Indies made the final treaty less advantageous to the United States than Franklin's original draft. The Treaty of Paris was, in contradiction of the orders of Congress, concluded in 1783 without the concurrence of France, because Jay and Adams distrusted the French.

Constitutional Convention Delegate

Franklin returned in 1785 to the United States and was made president of the Pennsylvania executive council. The last great service rendered to his country by this "wisest American," as he is sometimes called, was his part in the Federal Constitutional Convention of 1787. Although his proposals for a single-chamber congress and a weak executive council were rejected, he helped to direct the compromise that brought the Constitution of the United States into being. Though not completely satisfied with the finished product, he worked earnestly for its ratification.

Bibliography

See the definitive edition of Franklin's works, ed. by L. W. Labaree et al. (37 vol. so far, 1959-2003) See biographies by J. Parton (1864, repr. 1971), S. G. Fisher (1899), P. L. Ford (1899, repr. 1972), B. Faÿ (1933, repr. 1969), C. Van Doren (1938, repr. 1973), P. W. Conner (1965), A. O. Aldridge (1965), T. J. Fleming (1971), H. W. Brands (2000), E. S. Morgan (2002), W. Isaacson (2003), and J. A. L. Lemay (2 vol. so far, 2005-); I. B. Cohen, Benjamin Franklin's Science (1990); T. Tucker, Bolt of Fate (2003); G. S. Wood, The Americanization of Benjamin Franklin (2004); S. Schiff, A Great Improvisation: Franklin, France and the Birth of America (2005); P. Dray, Stealing God's Thunder (2005); J. Weinberger, Benjamin Franklin Unmasked: On the Unity of His Moral, Religious, and Political Thought (2005).

Franklin, Sir John, 1786-1847, British explorer in N Canada whose disappearance caused a widespread search of the Arctic. Entering the navy in 1801, he fought in the battle of Trafalgar. On his first overland expedition (1819-22) in N Canada, his party crossed the barren grounds from Great Slave Lake to the Arctic coast at the mouth of the Coppermine River and explored eastward along the coast for c.175 mi (280 km). In his Narrative of a Journey to the Shores of the Polar Sea (1823, repr. 1969), Franklin describes this journey. On his next expedition (1825-27), the party descended the Mackenzie River and surveyed another long stretch of the Arctic shoreline, westward to Return Reef (c.160 mi/260 km from Point Barrow, Alaska) and eastward to the mouth of the Coppermine. By way of the Coppermine he went to Great Bear Lake, where he built Fort Franklin (now Déline). Franklin's Narrative of a Second Expedition to the Shores of the Polar Sea (1828, repr. 1968) is an account of these feats. On both of these expeditions he was accompanied by Sir George Back. After serving (1836-43) as governor of Van Diemen's Land (now Tasmania), Franklin set out in the Erebus and the Terror in 1845 to search for the Northwest Passage. When, three years later, no word from him had been received, there was dispatched the first of the more than 40 parties that in the following years were to search the Arctic for traces of the expedition. Although the geographical knowledge gained by the searchers was immense, no certain clues as to Franklin's fate were revealed until John Rae, in 1853-54, and Sir Francis McClintock, between 1857 and 1859, found evidence of the great arctic tragedy. The latter expedition, fitted by Lady Franklin, found records at Point Victory that established that Franklin's ships had been frozen in the ice between Victoria Island and King William Island. After his death in 1847, the survivors had abandoned ship in 1848 and had undertaken a journey southward over the frozen wastes of Boothia Peninsula toward civilization. Of the entire expedition of some 129 men, not one is known to have survived. Relics and documents of the Franklin party and of later search expeditions have been found as recently as 1960, and the quest for Franklin's diaries is still being continued.

See biographies of Franklin by A. H. Markham (1891) and H. D. Traill (1896); the life, diaries, and correspondence of his wife, Lady Franklin (ed. by W. F. Rawnsley, 1923); R. Collinson, Journal of HMS Enterprise on the Expedition in Search of Sir John Franklin's Ships (1869, repr. 1976); P. Nantor, Arctic Breakthrough (1970); L. Neatby, The Search for Franklin (1970).

Franklin, John Hope, 1915-2009, the dean of 20th-century African-American historians, b. Rentiesville, Okla., grad. Fisk Univ. (A.B., 1935), Harvard (M.A., 1936; Ph.D., 1941). Franklin served on the faculties of his alma mater (1936-37), St. Augustine's College (1939-43), North Carolina College (1943-47), Howard Univ. (1947-56), Brooklyn College (1956-64), and the Univ. of Chicago (1964-82) before assuming (1982) the James B. Duke Professorship of History at Duke. He became professor emeritus in 1985, but taught at Duke's law school from 1985 to 1992. Franklin was also president of Phi Beta Kappa (1973-76), the American Historical Association (1978-79), and several other scholarly organizations.

Franklin's many publications focused on the history of the American South, on slavery and Reconstruction, and on the African-American contribution to the development of the United States. His best-known book, the pioneering From Slavery to Freedom (1947; 8th ed. 2000), revolutionized the understanding of African-American history and changed the way the subject is taught. Among Franklin's other works are The Militant South: 1800-1860 (1956), Reconstruction after the Civil War (1961), The Emancipation Proclamation (1963), Color and Race (1968), Racial Equality in America (1976), Race and History (1989), The Color Line (1993), and In Search of the Promised Land (with L. Schweninger, 2005). He also edited a number of books, including the autobiography (1997) of his father, an Oklahoma lawyer.

Active in the civil-rights movement, Franklin provided historical information vital to the brief for the landmark Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kans. case, marched with Martin Luther King, and testified repeatedly at congressional hearings regarding racial issues. He was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1995 and was appointed President Clinton's adviser on race two years later. His papers form the nucleus of Duke's John Hope Franklin Research Center for African and African-American Documentation.

See his autobiography, Mirror to America (2005).

Franklin, William, c.1730-1813, last royal governor of New Jersey; illegitimate son of Benjamin Franklin. He grew up in Philadelphia, served in King George's War, and was (1754-56) comptroller of the general post office in Philadelphia. In 1757 he went with his father to England, where he studied law and through influential friends was appointed (1763) governor of New Jersey. Although well-liked at first, his strong attachment to England and British authority soon made him unpopular. After the American Revolution began, he sided with the Loyalists and quarreled bitterly with his father. The New Jersey congress ordered (1776) his arrest, and he was imprisoned in Connecticut until he was exchanged in 1778. Franklin went to England in 1782, never to return. In 1784 he was reconciled with his father.
Franklin. 1 City (1990 pop. 12,907), seat of Johnson co., S central Ind., inc. 1823. It is a farm trade center. Manufactures include auto parts, aluminum doors and windows, and copper panels. Franklin College of Indiana is there. 2 City (1990 pop. 11,026), Warren co., SW Ohio, on the Great Miami River, in a farm area; inc. 1813. Paper products are manufactured in the city, which was a flourishing river port in the mid-19th cent. 3 City (1990 pop. 21,855), Milwaukee co., W central Wis., a residential suburb of Milwaukee; inc. 1956.
Franklin, river: see Gordon, river.
Franklin, State of, government (1784-88) formed by the inhabitants of Washington, Sullivan, and Greene counties in present-day E Tennessee after North Carolina ceded (June, 1784) its western lands to the United States. Following preliminary conventions at Jonesboro (Aug. and Dec., 1784), the first assembly, meeting at Greeneville early in 1785, elected John Sevier governor for a three-year term, established courts, appointed magistrates, levied taxes, and enacted laws. A permanent constitution was adopted in Nov., 1785. Unable to secure congressional recognition and pressed by North Carolina in its attempt to reestablish jurisdiction (in Dec., 1784, North Carolina repealed the act ceding the lands), Sevier's government passed out of existence when the terms of its officers expired. The region reverted temporarily to North Carolina.

See S. C. Williams, History of the Lost State of Franklin (rev. ed. 1933).

(born Oct. 27, 1800, Springfield, Mass., U.S.—died March 2, 1878, Jefferson, Ohio) U.S. politician. He practiced law in Ohio before serving in the U.S. Senate (1851–69), where he opposed the extension of slavery and the Kansas-Nebraska Act. In the American Civil War he joined the Radical Republicans in demanding vigorous prosecution of the war and headed a joint congressional committee to investigate the Union military effort. He cosponsored the Wade-Davis Bill, which brought him into conflict with Abraham Lincoln. Opposed to Pres. Andrew Johnson's Reconstruction policies, he voted for his removal from office at his Senate trial and, as Senate president pro tem, prepared to succeed Johnson. Disappointed by the trial's outcome, he was later defeated for reelection.

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(born April 26, 1830, near Owego, N.Y., U.S.—died Aug. 6, 1915, New York, N.Y.) U.S. public official. He served as a county district attorney (1853–59) and, after fighting in the American Civil War, as U.S. attorney (1866–73). Appointed secretary of the navy (1889–93) by Pres. Benjamin Harrison, he continued the expansion of the navy begun by William C. Whitney, authorizing construction of new battleships and cruisers. His departmental reforms and modernization contributed to eventual U.S. naval superiority.

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Franklin D. Roosevelt, 1937.

(born Jan. 30, 1882, Hyde Park, N.Y., U.S.—died April 12, 1945, Warm Springs, Ga.) 32nd president of the U.S. (1933–45). Attracted to politics by the example of his cousin Theodore Roosevelt, he became active in the Democratic Party. In 1905 he married Eleanor Roosevelt, who would become a valued adviser in future years. He served in the New York senate (1910–13) and as U.S. assistant secretary of the navy (1913–20). In 1920 he was nominated by the Democrats as their vice presidential candidate. The next year he was stricken with polio; though unable to walk, he remained active in politics. As governor of New York (1929–33), he set up the first state relief agency in the U.S. In 1932 he won the Democratic presidential nomination with the help of James Farley and easily defeated Pres. Herbert Hoover. In his inaugural address to a nation of more than 13 million unemployed, he pronounced that “the only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” Congress passed most of the changes he sought in his New Deal program in the first hundred days of his term. He was overwhelmingly reelected in 1936 over Alf Landon. To solve legal challenges to the New Deal, he proposed enlarging the Supreme Court, but his “court-packing” plan aroused strong opposition and had to be abandoned. By the late 1930s economic recovery had slowed, but Roosevelt was increasingly concerned with the growing threat of war. In 1940 he was reelected to an unprecedented third term, defeating Wendell Willkie. He developed the lend-lease program to aid U.S. allies, especially Britain, in the early years of World War II. In 1941 he met with Winston Churchill to draft the Atlantic Charter. With U.S. entry into war, Roosevelt mobilized industry for military production and formed an alliance with Britain and the Soviet Union; he met with Churchill and Joseph Stalin to form war policy at Tehrān (1943) and Yalta (1945). Despite declining health, he won reelection for a fourth term against Thomas Dewey (1944) but served only briefly before his death.

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Franklin Pierce.

(born Nov. 23, 1804, Hillsboro, N.H., U.S.—died Oct. 8, 1869, Concord, N.H.) 14th president of the U.S. (1853–57). He served in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1833 to 1837 and in the Senate from 1837 to 1842. At the deadlocked Democratic Party convention of 1852, he was nominated as a compromise presidential candidate; though largely unknown nationally, he unexpectedly trounced Winfield Scott in the general election. For the sake of harmony and business prosperity, he was inclined to oppose antislavery agitation. His promotion of U.S. territorial expansion resulted in the diplomatic controversy of the Ostend Manifesto. He reorganized the diplomatic and consular service and created the U.S. Court of Claims. Pierce encouraged plans for a transcontinental railroad and approved the Gadsden Purchase. To promote northwestern migration and conciliate sectional demands, he approved the Kansas-Nebraska Act but was unable to settle the resultant problems. Defeated for renomination by James Buchanan in 1856, he retired from politics.

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orig. Christine Ladd

(born Dec. 1, 1847, Windsor, Conn., U.S.—died March 5, 1930, New York, N.Y.) U.S. scientist and logician. She fulfilled Ph.D. requirements at Johns Hopkins University in the 1880s, but, because women candidates were not recognized, she was not awarded her degree until 1926. In symbolic logic, she reduced syllogistic reasoning to an inconsistent triad with the introduction of the antilogism, a form that made the testing of deductions easier. The Ladd-Franklin theory of colour vision stressed increasing colour differentiation with evolution and assumed a photochemical model for the visual system. Her principal works are The Algebra of Logic (1883), The Nature of Color Sensation (1925), and Color and Color Theories (1929).

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John Hope Franklin, 1990

(born Jan. 2, 1915, Rentiesville, Okla., U.S.) U.S. historian. He attended Fisk University and received graduate degrees from Harvard and has taught at many colleges and universities, including Howard, Chicago, and Duke. He first gained international attention with From Slavery to Freedom (1947). He helped fashion the legal brief that led to the landmark Brown v. Board of Education decision. He was the first black president of the American Historical Association (1978–79) and was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1995.

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John Hope Franklin, 1990

(born Jan. 2, 1915, Rentiesville, Okla., U.S.) U.S. historian. He attended Fisk University and received graduate degrees from Harvard and has taught at many colleges and universities, including Howard, Chicago, and Duke. He first gained international attention with From Slavery to Freedom (1947). He helped fashion the legal brief that led to the landmark Brown v. Board of Education decision. He was the first black president of the American Historical Association (1978–79) and was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1995.

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(born Jan. 17, 1706, Boston, Mass.—died April 17, 1790, Philadelphia, Pa., U.S.) American printer and publisher, author, scientist and inventor, and diplomat. He was apprenticed at age 12 to his brother, a local printer. He taught himself to write effectively, and in 1723 he moved to Philadelphia, where he founded the Pennsylvania Gazette (1729–48) and wrote Poor Richard's almanac (1732–57), often remembered for its proverbs and aphorisms emphasizing prudence, industry, and honesty. He became prosperous and promoted public services in Philadelphia, including a library, a fire department, a hospital, an insurance company, and an academy that became the University of Pennsylvania. His inventions include the Franklin stove and bifocal spectacles, and his experiments helped pioneer the understanding of electricity. He served as a member of the colonial legislature (1736–51). He was a delegate to the Albany Congress (1754), where he put forth a plan for colonial union. He represented the colony in England in a dispute over land and taxes (1757–62); he returned there in 1764. The issue of taxation gradually caused him to abandon his longtime support for continued American colonial membership in the British Empire. Believing that taxation ought to be the prerogative of the representative legislatures, he opposed the Stamp Act. He served as a delegate to the second Continental Congress and as a member of the committee to draft the Declaration of Independence. In 1776 he went to France to seek aid for the American Revolution. Lionized by the French, he negotiated a treaty that provided loans and military support for the U.S. He also played a crucial role in bringing about the final peace treaty with Britain in 1783. As a member of the 1787 Constitutional Convention, he was instrumental in achieving adoption of the Constitution of the U.S. He is regarded as one of the most extraordinary and brilliant public servants in U.S. history.

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(born March 25, 1942, Memphis, Tenn., U.S.) U.S. popular singer. Franklin's family moved from Memphis to Detroit when she was two. Her father, C.L. Franklin, was a well-known revivalist preacher; his church and home were visited by musical luminaries such as Clara Ward, Mahalia Jackson, B.B. King, and Dinah Washington. Franklin made her first recording at age 12. At first she performed only gospel music, but at age 18 she switched from sacred to secular music. After struggling for a number of years to achieve crossover success, in 1967 her powerful and fervent voice took the country by storm as she began to release a string of songs including “I Never Loved a Man,” “Respect,” “Chain of Fools,” “Think,” and “Natural Woman.” Her rousing mixture of gospel and rhythm and blues defined the golden age of soul music of the 1960s. In 1987 she became the first woman inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

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Franklin Pierce.

(born Nov. 23, 1804, Hillsboro, N.H., U.S.—died Oct. 8, 1869, Concord, N.H.) 14th president of the U.S. (1853–57). He served in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1833 to 1837 and in the Senate from 1837 to 1842. At the deadlocked Democratic Party convention of 1852, he was nominated as a compromise presidential candidate; though largely unknown nationally, he unexpectedly trounced Winfield Scott in the general election. For the sake of harmony and business prosperity, he was inclined to oppose antislavery agitation. His promotion of U.S. territorial expansion resulted in the diplomatic controversy of the Ostend Manifesto. He reorganized the diplomatic and consular service and created the U.S. Court of Claims. Pierce encouraged plans for a transcontinental railroad and approved the Gadsden Purchase. To promote northwestern migration and conciliate sectional demands, he approved the Kansas-Nebraska Act but was unable to settle the resultant problems. Defeated for renomination by James Buchanan in 1856, he retired from politics.

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Franklin D. Roosevelt, 1937.

(born Jan. 30, 1882, Hyde Park, N.Y., U.S.—died April 12, 1945, Warm Springs, Ga.) 32nd president of the U.S. (1933–45). Attracted to politics by the example of his cousin Theodore Roosevelt, he became active in the Democratic Party. In 1905 he married Eleanor Roosevelt, who would become a valued adviser in future years. He served in the New York senate (1910–13) and as U.S. assistant secretary of the navy (1913–20). In 1920 he was nominated by the Democrats as their vice presidential candidate. The next year he was stricken with polio; though unable to walk, he remained active in politics. As governor of New York (1929–33), he set up the first state relief agency in the U.S. In 1932 he won the Democratic presidential nomination with the help of James Farley and easily defeated Pres. Herbert Hoover. In his inaugural address to a nation of more than 13 million unemployed, he pronounced that “the only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” Congress passed most of the changes he sought in his New Deal program in the first hundred days of his term. He was overwhelmingly reelected in 1936 over Alf Landon. To solve legal challenges to the New Deal, he proposed enlarging the Supreme Court, but his “court-packing” plan aroused strong opposition and had to be abandoned. By the late 1930s economic recovery had slowed, but Roosevelt was increasingly concerned with the growing threat of war. In 1940 he was reelected to an unprecedented third term, defeating Wendell Willkie. He developed the lend-lease program to aid U.S. allies, especially Britain, in the early years of World War II. In 1941 he met with Winston Churchill to draft the Atlantic Charter. With U.S. entry into war, Roosevelt mobilized industry for military production and formed an alliance with Britain and the Soviet Union; he met with Churchill and Joseph Stalin to form war policy at Tehrān (1943) and Yalta (1945). Despite declining health, he won reelection for a fourth term against Thomas Dewey (1944) but served only briefly before his death.

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(born March 12, 1928, Washington, D.C., U.S.) U.S. playwright. He was the adopted grandson and namesake of a well-known vaudeville theatre manager. Among his early one-act plays, The Zoo Story (1959), The Sandbox (1959), and The American Dream (1961) established him as an astute critic of American values. Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf (1962; film, 1966), his first full-length play, was widely acclaimed. Albee won Pulitzer Prizes for A Delicate Balance (1966), Seascape (1975), and Three Tall Women (1994). He also adapted other writers' works for the stage, including Vladimir Nabokov's Lolita (1981).

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orig. Christine Ladd

(born Dec. 1, 1847, Windsor, Conn., U.S.—died March 5, 1930, New York, N.Y.) U.S. scientist and logician. She fulfilled Ph.D. requirements at Johns Hopkins University in the 1880s, but, because women candidates were not recognized, she was not awarded her degree until 1926. In symbolic logic, she reduced syllogistic reasoning to an inconsistent triad with the introduction of the antilogism, a form that made the testing of deductions easier. The Ladd-Franklin theory of colour vision stressed increasing colour differentiation with evolution and assumed a photochemical model for the visual system. Her principal works are The Algebra of Logic (1883), The Nature of Color Sensation (1925), and Color and Color Theories (1929).

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(born , Nov. 5, 1818, Deerfield, N.H., U.S.—died Jan. 11, 1893, Washington, D.C.) U.S. army officer. A prominent attorney in Lowell, Mass., Butler served two terms in the state legislature (1853, 1859). In the American Civil War he commanded Fort Monroe, Va., where he refused to return fugitive slaves to the Confederacy, calling them “contraband of war,” an interpretation later upheld by the government. He oversaw the occupation of New Orleans in 1862 but was recalled because of his harsh rule. He led the Union army in Virginia, but after several defeats he was relieved of his command in 1865. In the U.S. House of Representatives (1867–75, 1877–79), he was a Radical Republican prominent in the impeachment trial of Pres. Andrew Johnson. He switched parties in 1878 to support the Greenback movement and later served as governor of Massachusetts (1882–84).

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(born Oct. 27, 1800, Springfield, Mass., U.S.—died March 2, 1878, Jefferson, Ohio) U.S. politician. He practiced law in Ohio before serving in the U.S. Senate (1851–69), where he opposed the extension of slavery and the Kansas-Nebraska Act. In the American Civil War he joined the Radical Republicans in demanding vigorous prosecution of the war and headed a joint congressional committee to investigate the Union military effort. He cosponsored the Wade-Davis Bill, which brought him into conflict with Abraham Lincoln. Opposed to Pres. Andrew Johnson's Reconstruction policies, he voted for his removal from office at his Senate trial and, as Senate president pro tem, prepared to succeed Johnson. Disappointed by the trial's outcome, he was later defeated for reelection.

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(born April 26, 1830, near Owego, N.Y., U.S.—died Aug. 6, 1915, New York, N.Y.) U.S. public official. He served as a county district attorney (1853–59) and, after fighting in the American Civil War, as U.S. attorney (1866–73). Appointed secretary of the navy (1889–93) by Pres. Benjamin Harrison, he continued the expansion of the navy begun by William C. Whitney, authorizing construction of new battleships and cruisers. His departmental reforms and modernization contributed to eventual U.S. naval superiority.

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(born , Nov. 5, 1818, Deerfield, N.H., U.S.—died Jan. 11, 1893, Washington, D.C.) U.S. army officer. A prominent attorney in Lowell, Mass., Butler served two terms in the state legislature (1853, 1859). In the American Civil War he commanded Fort Monroe, Va., where he refused to return fugitive slaves to the Confederacy, calling them “contraband of war,” an interpretation later upheld by the government. He oversaw the occupation of New Orleans in 1862 but was recalled because of his harsh rule. He led the Union army in Virginia, but after several defeats he was relieved of his command in 1865. In the U.S. House of Representatives (1867–75, 1877–79), he was a Radical Republican prominent in the impeachment trial of Pres. Andrew Johnson. He switched parties in 1878 to support the Greenback movement and later served as governor of Massachusetts (1882–84).

Learn more about Butler, Benjamin F(ranklin) with a free trial on Britannica.com.

(born Jan. 17, 1706, Boston, Mass.—died April 17, 1790, Philadelphia, Pa., U.S.) American printer and publisher, author, scientist and inventor, and diplomat. He was apprenticed at age 12 to his brother, a local printer. He taught himself to write effectively, and in 1723 he moved to Philadelphia, where he founded the Pennsylvania Gazette (1729–48) and wrote Poor Richard's almanac (1732–57), often remembered for its proverbs and aphorisms emphasizing prudence, industry, and honesty. He became prosperous and promoted public services in Philadelphia, including a library, a fire department, a hospital, an insurance company, and an academy that became the University of Pennsylvania. His inventions include the Franklin stove and bifocal spectacles, and his experiments helped pioneer the understanding of electricity. He served as a member of the colonial legislature (1736–51). He was a delegate to the Albany Congress (1754), where he put forth a plan for colonial union. He represented the colony in England in a dispute over land and taxes (1757–62); he returned there in 1764. The issue of taxation gradually caused him to abandon his longtime support for continued American colonial membership in the British Empire. Believing that taxation ought to be the prerogative of the representative legislatures, he opposed the Stamp Act. He served as a delegate to the second Continental Congress and as a member of the committee to draft the Declaration of Independence. In 1776 he went to France to seek aid for the American Revolution. Lionized by the French, he negotiated a treaty that provided loans and military support for the U.S. He also played a crucial role in bringing about the final peace treaty with Britain in 1783. As a member of the 1787 Constitutional Convention, he was instrumental in achieving adoption of the Constitution of the U.S. He is regarded as one of the most extraordinary and brilliant public servants in U.S. history.

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(born March 25, 1942, Memphis, Tenn., U.S.) U.S. popular singer. Franklin's family moved from Memphis to Detroit when she was two. Her father, C.L. Franklin, was a well-known revivalist preacher; his church and home were visited by musical luminaries such as Clara Ward, Mahalia Jackson, B.B. King, and Dinah Washington. Franklin made her first recording at age 12. At first she performed only gospel music, but at age 18 she switched from sacred to secular music. After struggling for a number of years to achieve crossover success, in 1967 her powerful and fervent voice took the country by storm as she began to release a string of songs including “I Never Loved a Man,” “Respect,” “Chain of Fools,” “Think,” and “Natural Woman.” Her rousing mixture of gospel and rhythm and blues defined the golden age of soul music of the 1960s. In 1987 she became the first woman inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

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(born March 12, 1928, Washington, D.C., U.S.) U.S. playwright. He was the adopted grandson and namesake of a well-known vaudeville theatre manager. Among his early one-act plays, The Zoo Story (1959), The Sandbox (1959), and The American Dream (1961) established him as an astute critic of American values. Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf (1962; film, 1966), his first full-length play, was widely acclaimed. Albee won Pulitzer Prizes for A Delicate Balance (1966), Seascape (1975), and Three Tall Women (1994). He also adapted other writers' works for the stage, including Vladimir Nabokov's Lolita (1981).

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Franklin may refer to:

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  • State of Franklin (1784–1789), an autonomous territory that later became part of the U.S. state of Tennessee

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