You’ve undoubtedly heard of Benjamin Franklin. He was one of the founders of the United States. He was also a superior statesmen; the publisher of Poor Richard’s Almanack and the Pennsylvania Gazette; inventor of the Franklin stove and the lightning rod; one of the founders of the first public library; and the founder of the first volunteer fire department in America.
In honor of his accomplishments, Franklin’s image is on the American $100 bill and on the $1,000 Series EE Savings bond. And, in 1976, when America was celebrating their bicentennial,
Congress dedicated a 20-foot marble statue in Philadelphia’s Franklin Institute as the Benjamin Franklin National Memorial.
There are many more credits to Franklin’s name, as well as other honors that have been bestowed upon him. His accomplishments and his money-managing techniques allowed Franklin to become a wealthy man.
One thing that Benjamin Franklin did that you might not know about, is sire several children. The youngest, in particular, helped to route the course of history. The youngest of his brood was a daughter named Sarah. She was born to Franklin and his wife Deborah on September 11, 1743.
For some reason, the girl was nicknamed “Sally”, and she carried that moniker for the remainder of her life.
Sarah had a fairly typical childhood for a girl who was being raised up in Philadelphia at that time. She had a talent for music, and she became an exceptional harpsichord player.
Normal, that is, except when it came to politics. Normally, only men were involved in politics in the eighteenth century. But, being that she was the daughter of the infamous Benjamin Franklin, and she served as his hostess, Sarah was privy to learning about political life as she grew up in Philadelphia.
In 1767, when Sarah was twenty-four years of age, she wanted to marry a man by the name of Richard Bache. Her own family was wealthy, but Bache’s family was not. Benjamin Franklin didn’t approve of their union because of Bache’s shaky financial situation. He feared that Bache only wanted to marry Sarah because of her family’s wealth. So, her father requested that she wait until Bache became established in business before they marry. Sarah was heartbroken, so her mother went against Benjamin’s request. She gave her blessing, and Sarah and Bache were joined in wedlock on October 29 of that year.
Sarah and her husband had seven children- Benjamin, William, Betsy, Louis, Deborah, Richard and Little Sarah. Franklin granted Sarah and Richard several loans so they could set up their own business. Unfortunately all of their endeavors failed. Therefore, Benjamin Franklin was forced to support his daughter and her family until the end of his days on earth.
Though being a wife and a mother to her brood kept Sarah busy, she remained interested in politics. She watched closely as the events that led up to the Revolutionary War unfolded. Finally, Sarah Franklin Bache decided to join Esther De Berdt Reed’s fund-raising committee in Philadelphia. The patriotic committee was known as “The Ladies Association of Philadelphia”. Their purpose was to raise money for the advancement of General Washington’s Continental Army. After Esther De Berdt Reed passed away, Sarah took over leading the association in the year of 1780.
Sarah Franklin Bache worked for the association and she continued to collect money for the Continental Army. During her tenure, she managed to raise more than $300,000. A lot of money, even in today’s standards!
To make the money stretch even farther, Sarah purchased many yards of linen material. She then sewed, and managed a crew of seamstresses, who eventually turned the linen into over two thousand shirts for the soldiers.
Sarah worked hard to make a substantial contribution to the war effort. And after the war ended, she went back to being a wife to Richard and a mother to their seven children.
In the late 1700’s, Benjamin Franklin went back to Philadelphia to live with Sarah and her family. When he died, Sarah inherited most of his estate.
Sarah Franklin Bache herself passed away in the year of 1808.