Facts and Events
William Franklin (ca. 1730 – November 1814) was an American soldier, attorney, and colonial administrator, the acknowledged illegitimate son of Benjamin Franklin. He was appointed as the last Colonial Governor of New Jersey (1763–76). Franklin was a steadfast Loyalist throughout the American War of Independence. As his father (Benjamin Franklin) was one of the most prominent Patriots and a Founding Father of the United States, their differences caused an irreconcilable break between them.
Following imprisonment during the war, in 1782 the younger Franklin went into exile in Britain. He lived in London until his death.
Generally considered the illegitimate son of Benjamin Franklin and an unknown mother, but was raised by Benjamin and his common-law wife Deborah Read, and there is some speculation that he really was their son and the circumstances of his birth were obscured.