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Did Ben Franklin Leave $2,000 Each to Boston and Philadelphia?

Within the 12 months previous his 1790 dying, Benjamin Franklin bequeathed $2,000 every to the cities of Boston and Philadelphia to be invested in group philanthropic initiatives 200 years later. 

The declare was posted to Fb by the web page Historical past Hustle on Aug. 20, 2021. On the time of this writing, the publish had greater than 19,000 shares.

And in accordance to The Franklin Institute, a science museum in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, it’s true. Franklin bequeathed the cities of Boston and Philadelphia that sum upon his dying in 1790.

“While Franklin is well-known for his scientific accomplishments, he also was quite a successful businessman (although certainly not a billionaire). Upon his death in 1790, he left a large amount of his fortune to the cities of Boston, where he was born, and Philadelphia … A reasonable portion of that money has gone on to support organizations including The Franklin Institute,” wrote the Franklin Institute.

The Pennsylvania-based philanthropic group Centre Foundation, which additionally obtained funds from the Ben Franklin Fund, famous that Franklin left $2,000 to the town of Philadelphia and one other $2,000 to the town of Boston and directed each governments to forego drawing the funds for a century and distributing for 2.

“The funds were invested, and after the first 100 years, the funds began making personal loans to the citizens of Philadelphia. After the 200 years were up, the State of Pennsylvania directed the money to be split between most of the community foundations in the state,” wrote the Centre Basis, who has distributed grants from the funds to charities in numerous counties across the state.

In 1990, the Pennsylvania Legislature used among the then-$2 million complete to create the Ben Franklin Funds and have allotted financial items to a number of foundations and establishments, together with the Washington County Community Foundation, the Lehigh Community Foundation, the Foundation for Enhancing Communities, and the Chester County Community Foundation, amongst others.

In accordance to a now-archived article printed by The New York Instances on the time of the 1990 disbursement, the $2,000 fund within the Boston belief, in the meantime, was value about $4.5 million. 

The scientist, inventor, and in the end philanthropist is credited with saying, “If you would not be forgotten, as soon as you are dead and rotten, either write things worth reading or do things worth the writing.”


$2,000 in 1790 → 2021 | Inflation Calculator. Accessed 10 Sept. 2021.

“10 Reasons Why Benjamin Franklin Was Actually A Superhero.” The Franklin Institute, 18 Mar. 2016,

“Ben Franklin Fund.” Centre Basis, Accessed 10 Sept. 2021.

Ben Franklin Fund | Washington County Group Basis. Accessed 10 Sept. 2021.

Ben Franklin Belief Fund | Lehigh Valley Group Basis. Accessed 10 Sept. 2021.

Benjamin Franklin Belief | Chester County Group Basis. Accessed 10 Sept. 2021.

“GHCF Benjamin Franklin Trust Fund Grant Guidelines.” The Basis For Enhancing Communities, Accessed 10 Sept. 2021.

“Log into Facebook.” Fb, Accessed 10 Sept. 2021.

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