Liberty's Kids

Season 1 Episode 30

In Praise of Ben

Aired Unknown Nov 08, 2002 on PBS

Episode Recap

In 1780, Sarah arrived back in Philadelphia, and she wonders how her friends will think of her as she has once again changed her mind. James & Moses arrive at Ben Franklin's newspaper; with James complaining about the high prices of the day and find Sarah standing in the doorway. Moses gives Sarah a big hug, but James scowls as he sees her.

James says to Sarah, "It's about time!" As Sarah begins to tell of her adventures, Henri is fighting outside with another young kid, names Charles, told him that "Dr. Franklin is a fraud and a blowhard!" Moses breaks up the fight and convinces Henri that Charles is entitled to his opinion and has the right to express it. Then Moses demonstrates that Franklin is an inventor and shows Charles the Glass Harmonica, and then the key Franklin used in his electrical experiments. They then show Charles the Lightning Rod. And then Moses begins to tell Charles about Franklin's education when Charles' father bursts in and says, "what kind of lies are you filling my boy's head with?"

Moses tells the father and son that Franklin's father could not afford to educate young Ben, and that his father put him to work as a candle maker. That young Ben used the money he earned to by books and educate himself.

Sarah countered by telling them that Franklin founded the Library, Literary Society, Fire Department, and Hospital in Philadelphia.

James added that Franklin wrote "Poor Richard's Almanac."

Moses added how Franklin apprenticed himself out as a typesetter to his brother James for 9 years. How his brother treated him as a slave, and how that treatment gave Franklin a strong antislavery stance.

Charles & Henri snuck out to play but Charles runs in front of a wagon but is saved by Moses.

In France, Franklin writes to the four, of his experiences in France.