In 1748, Franklin retired from the printing business and devoted himself fulltime to science and civic leadership, founding a hospital and a volunteer militia. In 1751, he was elected to the Pennsylvania assembly, where he quickly rose to power. When war with the French and Indians threatened in the mid-1750s, Franklin attended a meeting of colonial governments in Albany, where he drafted the Albany Plan of Union. Two years later, Franklin organized another militia, and then in 1757 sailed to Britain as a representative of the Pennsylvania assembly. There he tried to convince the British government to let the assembly tax Pennsylvania's proprietors. He returned in 1762 and soon faced a crisis when the Paxton Boys marched on Philadelphia. He became more deeply involved in Pennsylvania politics, leading a campaign to change Pennsylvania from a proprietary colony to a royal one. This mission took Franklin back to Britain in 1764. Once he was in London, however, he
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