Facts and Events
Francis Folger Franklin (October 20, 1732 November 21, 1736) was the eldest son of Founding Father of the United States Benjamin Franklin by Deborah Read. In 1736, four-year-old Francis contracted the smallpox virus and died shortly thereafter. His father, despite being anti-inoculation earlier in life, had intended to inoculate his son, but had postponed the procedure due to an illness affecting Francis. His death devastated both his parents, who doted upon Francis, and after this incident, Franklin became "the most eloquent advocate of smallpox inoculation."