Monument to Franklin’s Parents


Benjamin Franklin erected this obelisk at his parents’ burial site to commemorate their lives and achievements. While his father was simply a soap-maker and his mother was a colonial housewife with a large hoard of children, they led a successful, accomplished life, as did all their children after them. Franklin’s parents were a prime example of hardworking Americans managing to provide for their children and contribute to their community, accumulating respect and a good family reputation, despite coming from little status and no affluence. Franklin surely wished for them to be thought of and remembered as such, and this grand monument to them was intended to remind the public of their achievements and the ideals they represented. Their grave marker is the most prominent in the Burying Ground, larger than those of Paul Revere, Samuel Adams, or John Hancock; such is, in and of itself, a testament to the essentialism of hard work and dedication, as well as how highly Franklin valued such ideals.

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