Mrs. Silence Dogood
When Ben Franklin was 16, he invented his first popular pen name, "Mrs. Silence Dogood,” in order to educate people about morals & money.
Ben had an older brother who owned a newspaper called "The New-England Courant." He kept denying Ben's letters from being approved, so Ben invented the alternate personality, wrote some publications and submitted them to his brother under his pen name Mrs. Silence Dogood.
The letters written by "Mrs. Silence Dogood" were a great success. Her character became so popular that men would write in asking for her hand in marriage.
Ben gave this alternate personality a ton of thought. The backstory contains stories of her ancestors, lessons she’s learned from her dead relatives, and many relatable life issues that all readers of The New-England Courant seem to have. Mrs. Silence Dogood was also a widow, which explains the proposal letters Ben received from men falling in love with him.
Ben's goal with this character was to educate citizens about important things in a relatable and simple way. One quote is, "Know then, That I am an Enemy to Vice, and a Friend to Vertue. I am one of an extensive Charity, and a great Forgiver of private Injuries: A hearty Lover of the Clergy and all good Men, and a mortal Enemy to arbitrary Government & unlimited Power."
Eventually, Ben's older brother found out about Mrs. Silence Dogood being Ben, and Ben had to leave for Philadelphia. In the future, he'd open up his own printing presses and reunite with his older brother. His older brother became terminally ill and apologized for the past, asking Ben to take care of his family when he died. Ben accepted, and his older brother died while they were on excellent terms.