Benjamin Franklin and Religious Freedom

Color image of a detail of a painting of Benjamin Franklin, showing Franklin seated, wearing a powdered wig and silver rimmed glasses, with his chin resting on his right thumb.
Detail, Benjamin Franklin by David Rent Etter, after Charles Willson Peale after David Martin, 1835

Independence National Historical Park

 

Franklin's father emigrated from England to Massachusetts for religious freedom. Raised as a Congregationalist in Boston, as an adult, Benjamin Franklin was not a member of any organized church. In his autobiography, Franklin states his conviction of the existence of a deity and his tolerance for various religions although he bemoaned their divisiveness. "...I respected them all, tho' with different degrees of Respect..." Franklin wrote his own religious liturgy and followed it in private.

Learn more about Franklin's life and character traits in the Benjamin Franklin Museum, part of Independence National Historical Park.

 

Last updated: September 3, 2016

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