Library exhibit continues with ‘Benjamin Franklin and the army’

Benjamin Franklin had a lasting impact in multiple areas but not everyone knows of his military success.

“If you just look at Ben Franklin as a politician, diplomat, and inventor, you really limit what he has accomplished,” said Lt. Col. Stephen Knotts, professor and chair of military science.

As part of Booth Library’s current exhibit on Benjamin Franklin, Knotts will present information on Franklin’s military activities and his experiences with the Revolutionary War. The event is titled ‘Benjamin Franklin and the Army’ and will be at 4 p.m. today in the library’s conference room on the fourth floor.

“I want to educate people on a different facet in Ben Franklin’s life,” Knotts said, “He was quite the renaissance man.”

Jocelyn Tipton, head of reference services at the library, originally contacted Knotts. She explained that she contacted much of Eastern’s faculty members in order to find people interested in speaking about Franklin and his work in their fields of expertise.

“(Franklin) didn’t actually serve in the military, but he did a lot to secure the Colonies during the Revolutionary War,” Tipton said.

She also explained that the event was timely, as it focuses on what Franklin developed and how some of the same techniques are still being used in America’s military presence today.

“How we take care of troops then as compared to now, will be interesting,” Tipton said.

Knotts explained that Franklin’s experience building a military fort in Pennsylvania during the French and Indian War helped him gain experience and knowledge to help with the Revolutionary War.

According to Knotts, Franklin’s logistic methods used to procure and deliver materials such as uniforms, food, weapons, gunpowder, and ships for the navy, involved foreign relations and private contractors. This is a system that is similar to methods used by today’s military.

Tipton also explained that, when compared to previous presentations on Franklin, the information used in today’s presentation will more directly relate to information in the library’s exhibit.

The presentation known as Benjamin Franklin’s Standup Comic: The Speech of Miss Polly Baker, presented by Parley Ann Boswell. was originally scheduled for last week, but was canceled due to weather. It will now be at 4 p.m. Thursday in the library’s conference room.

Seth Schroeder can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected].