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Benjamin Franklin is widely regarded as one of the founding fathers of the United States. He was a polymath, inventor, author, diplomat, and philosopher. He was also known for his love life, and many rumors have circulated about his affairs and mistresses. One of the most intriguing questions about Franklin’s love life is, “What is Franklin’s secret girlfriend number?” In this blog post, we’ll delve into the history and rumors surrounding Franklin’s romantic relationships and try to answer this question.
Early Life and First Marriage
Benjamin Franklin was born on January 17, 1706, in Boston, Massachusetts. He was the 15th of 17 children and only received two years of formal education. At the age of 17, he ran away from home and eventually settled in Philadelphia, where he worked as an apprentice for his brother, James, who was a printer. Franklin soon became a skilled printer himself and started his own printing business in 1728.
In 1730, Franklin married Deborah Read, a woman he had met in Philadelphia. They had two children together, but Franklin also acknowledged an illegitimate son, William Franklin, born out of wedlock with an unknown mother. Deborah and Benjamin Franklin’s marriage was stable, but they spent long periods apart due to Franklin’s diplomatic missions in Europe.
Rumors of Affairs and Mistresses
Despite his marriage, Franklin was known for his flirtatious behavior and numerous rumored affairs with women. Some of his rumored mistresses included Madame Helvétius, Madame Brillon, and Margaret Stevenson. He also had a close relationship with Polly Hewson, the daughter of a British friend.
One of the most infamous rumors about Franklin’s love life is that he had a secret code for his mistresses. It was said that he numbered his mistresses and referred to them by their number instead of their name. According to the rumor, his secret girlfriend number was 8, and this mistress was thought to be Anne Catherine Green, the wife of a wealthy Philadelphia merchant.
The Franklin-Alice Story
Another well-known story about Franklin’s love life is his relationship with Alice Addertongue, a fictional character created by a satirical newspaper in 1774. The newspaper, The London Chronicle, published a series of letters supposedly written by Addertongue to Franklin, detailing their affair.
Although the letters were a hoax, Franklin’s enemies used them to discredit him, and the rumors of his infidelity continued to circulate. Some historians believe that the Alice Addertongue scandal was an attempt to undermine Franklin’s political influence and reputation.
The True Nature of Franklin’s Relationships
Despite the rumors and scandals, it is unclear whether Franklin actually had numerous affairs or a secret girlfriend number. Many historians believe that Franklin was more interested in forming intellectual and emotional connections with women than in engaging in physical relationships with them.
Franklin corresponded with many women throughout his life, including his wife, Deborah, and his daughter, Sarah. He also had close relationships with women he met through his work and travels, such as Madame Brillon and Polly Hewson.
In conclusion, the question “What is Franklin’s secret girlfriend number?” remains unanswered. Although rumors and scandals have surrounded Franklin’s love life for centuries, the true nature of his relationships with women is still unclear. It is possible that he had numerous affairs and referred to his mistresses by number, but it is also possible that the rumors were exaggerated or false. Regardless of the truth, Franklin’s legacy as a founding father, inventor, and polymath is secure, and his influence on American history is undeniable.