Benjamin Franklin, famous for his numerous scientific achievements, socio-political activity and views against slavery, is also known for his membership in freemasonry, even thought he does not mention this anywhere in his autobiography. Still, he contributed greatly to its creation and popularization.
Surrounded by masons, despite his many duties, he was never absent from any masonic meetings. It is believed that his indoctrination took place in 1731 in the St. John lodge, which drastically changed his style of writing in the "Pennsylvania Gazzete" newspaper, which he published.
His rise in the lodge became inexorable, he became Secretary and later Grand Master, reissued the first masonic book, "Constitutions of the Free-Masons", whose author was James Anderson and advertised it in his newspaper.
Franklin wrote 2 letters about freemasonry. One was to Henry Price and the Grand Lodge in Massachusetts, titled "Right Worshipful Grand Master", while the other was "Dear Brother Price". These were proof that inaugural power did not exist in the Masonry in Pennsylvania.
Following the first anti-masonic reactions in 1738, Franklin wrote to his parents to assure them that the Freemasons are not opposed to religion and virtues.
In 1749 in Boston, he was named Provincial Grand Master, while in 1750 he was removed from his high post and became Deputy Grand Master. In 1777 in France, he became a member of the Nine Sisters lodge, whose goal was to encourage the arts and the community, bearing the motto "Truth, Unity and Strength".
A year later, Franklin helped the philosopher Voltaire become initiated into the lodge. Shortly after Voltaire's death, Franklin became a Venerable Master and as such, gathered intellectuals and expanded the lodge's function.
He and his followers in the lodge supported nationalized, inexpensive education and urged them to set aside funds to build a school. In 1782, Franklin became a member of the Saint-Jean de Jérusalem lodge, while in 1790 he moved to the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania.
The immense talent and diverse actions of the first American diplomat, make it difficult to gather facts about his membership in freemasonry. But it is unquestionable that his association had a great influence on his personality.
To American society, Benjamin Franklin left values such as marriage, frugality, education, hard work, and a social spirit opposed to authoritarianism. He took part in writing the "Declaration of Independence" and left much knowledge for the subsequent development of physics.