Tracy, I saw your post and was baffled why there were some TWELVE posts after his with the answers/comments with various theories about why the name FRANKLIN and that DANFS was a trustworthy source of USN ships names and short history!!
I simply forgot to state ... "Since it appears NO ONE
So I reposted most of Tracy's post and I added the list of all five USN ships named after BEN FRANKLIN.
Since it appears NO ONE thought to read DANFS.
Quote DANFS ... NOT a WIKI street knowledge
There have been FIVE ships in the USN named FRANKLIN;
1. 1776 Schooner
2. 1805-07 Brigantine
3. 1815-1852 Ship-of-the-Line
4. 1867-1915 Screw Frigate
5. 1944-64 CV-13
Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790) was born in Boston but moved at an early age to Philadelphia where his countless talents and unlimited energies found expression in successful contributions as a statesman, diplomat, scientist, editor-author, and philosopher. During the Revolution he was appointed American Minister Plenipotentiary to the French Court enabling him to function also as the Navy's representative in Europe. He promoted the plan to bring the war to British shores, supporting Lambert Wickes' spectacular raids and enabling John Paul Jones to perform his daring feats by providing funds, attending to purchases and repairs, and determining questions of authority and discipline. His astute and visionary policies merit for him deserved recognition in the annals of the infant Navy as well as esteem as a founder of the United States. ( The first four ships of the name honor Benjamin Franklin; CV-13 perpetuated the names of specifically the ship-of-the-line and the frigate )
(Schooner: tonnage 60; armament 6 guns)
Franklin was originally a Marblehead fishing vessel fitted out by order of Colonel George Washington in 1775. She was part of the fleet of schooners under Commodore John Manley that captured numerous British vessels. She was returned to owner in 1776.
(Brigantine: tonnage 155; length 72'4"; beam 22'4"; complement 16; armament 8 guns)
The brigantine Franklin, built at Philadelphia in 1795, was captured by Tripolitan corsairs in 1802, and sold to the commercial agent of the Bey of Tunis. She was purchased on 27 April 1805 by Capt. James Barren at Trieste.
In June 1805, Franklin was ordered to Syracuse, Sicily, where she was placed in charge of Lt. Jacob Jones to accommodate officers seized from the frigate Philadelphia, and recently released from a Tripolitan prison. From July to September she served as storeship for the Mediterranean Squadron and on the 24th departed for the United States with General William Eaton, U.S. Navy Agent to the Barbary Powers, embarked.
Following an overhaul at the Washington [D.C.] Navy Yard she voyaged to New Orleans, La., with crew and supplies for that station. In December 1806 she carried a company of marines and munitions for the New Orleans station. There she was turned over to the Navy Agent for disposal and on 21 March 1807 was sold.
Updated, Robert J. Cressman
12 April 2021
I was hoping someone could shed some light on the naming of the U.S.S. Franklin of WW2 fame and tragedy. For years folks have always said she was named after Benjamin Franklin. That just doesn't seem to make sense since none of the other carriers in the fleet up until the FDR CV-42 were named after famous Americans. (U.S.S. Hancock was named so because of the massive fund-raising efforts dedicated undertaken by employees of the the John Hancock Insurance Company) Also, honestly Benjamin Franklin would seem an odd choice for a warship namesake. I read somewhere and it would seem more logical that she was named after the 1864 Union victory at the Battle of Franklin. At that time naming convention was that carriers were named for famous American battles (Lexington, Saratoga, Yorktown, Bunker Hill, Ticonderoga) or earlier famous warships (Enterprise, Wasp, Hornet, Essex) FDR was the first to really break with that convention and unfortunately we seem to be saddled with the current politically influenced conventions we have now. Egads..Carl Vinson, John Stennis, and too many presidents, good or bad, from both sides of the political spectrum) Too bad we don't have those glorious names of the old Yorktown, Essex, Midway, and Forrestal classes (Sorry not keen on Forrestal either) At least we have a new Enterprise on the ways. Would rather see her sailing into battle with a new Saratoga, Lexington or Ticonderoga.