On this day in 1776, London’s St. James Chronicle announces that “The very identical Dr. Franklyn [Benjamin Franklin], whom Lord Chatham so much caressed, and used to say he was proud in calling his friend, is now at the head of the rebellion in North America.”
This confirmed Franklin’s position as an American leader, and he was instrumental in securing an the crucial alliance with France.
Cleverly crafting an argument for ratification of the newly written Constitution, Franklin wrote “A Comparison of the Conduct of the ancient JEWS, and of the ANTIFEDERALISTS in the United States of AMERICA.” He concluded it with this paragraph:
“I beg I may not be understood to infer, that our general convention was divinely inspired when it formed the new federal constitution, merely because that constitution has been unreasonably and vehemently opposed: yet, I must own, I have so much faith in the general government of the world by Providence, that I can hardly conceive a transaction of such momentous importance to the welfare of millions now existing, and to exist in the posterity of a great nation, should be suffered to pass without being in some degree influenced, guided, and governed by that omnipotent, omnipresent and beneficent Ruler, in whom all inferior spirits live, and move, and have their being.”
He did “own” it. After all, it was Franklin who, in 1787, urged the Assembly at the Constitutional Convention toward morning “prayers imploring the assistance of Heaven, and its blessings on [their] deliberations.” In so doing, he made this famous quote:
“I have lived a long time, Sir, a long time, and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth—that God governs in the affairs of men. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without his notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without his aid?”
Might we suggest that you “own” Our shirt commemorating that quote: