“Beer is proof that God loves us and wants to see us happy.”
Many of us have probably seen this quoted at least one time in our life whether it be on a t-shirt, a mug, a poster, etc. with a picture of Benjamin Franklin above or below it. However, contrary to popular belief Benjamin Franklin did not in fact ever say these alleged words. This has created a common misconception about Franklin being a lover and avid consumer of beer.
This quote originally came from a letter that Franklin wrote to his friend Abbe Morellet where Franklin wrote: “We hear of the conversion of water into wine at the marriage in Cana, as of a miracle. But this conversion is, through the goodness of God, made every day before our eyes. Behold the rain which descends from heaven upon our vineyards, and which incorporates itself with the grapes to be changed into wine; a constant proof that God loves us, and loves to see us happy”. It has been difficult for historians to find when exactly Franklin began being misquoted and when the subject of the quote changed over to beer. Regardless, historians can confirm that the infamous quote from Franklin has been misinterpreted and changed from its original content.
Therefore, one can conclude that though Franklin may not have been as big a fan of beer that people have made him out to be; he apparently possessed a deep passion for wine and felt that it was a sheer sign that God wanted humans to be happy.
In essay number three published in April 1722 by Silence Dogood, Franklin emphasizes the notion that people should make it their duty to serve their country to the best of their abilities whatever that may be. He clearly states in the beginning of his essay that he has not quite lived up to this expectation in the past by stating: “I sincerely acknowledge that I hitherto been very deficient in this Particular”. Franklin also makes a point of noting that he (from a young age) has always been a studious individual who desires to gain all of the knowledge that he possibly can. He goes on to make his point that this knowledge has benefitted him because it has improved his mind and given him a greater understanding of the world.
One of the other main points of essay number three is to set the standards of the way that a writer should practice their craft. For example, in the third paragraph of the essay he discusses that while it is impossible for a writer to please every reader; they should try their best to do so. He states that writers should vary the themes, subjects, and styles of their writing in order to appeal to a wide variety of readers. Franklin makes this clear when he writes: “He that would (in this way of writing) please all, is under a necessity to make his themes almost as numerous as his letters”. It seems that Franklin is trying to relate writing to the first point of his essay, which was that people should make it their duty to serve their country to the best of their abilities. In this case, writers should be writing for the readers and not necessarily for themselves.
Franklin closes out his essay by discussing how he has finished his foundation, and that he intends to continue on working on himself to raise his “building”. He ends with calling himself the most humble and obedient of all servants. Overall, Franklin is making a point to his readers that they should make use of their abilities or craft in order to serve the greater good of the rest of their country and the people who live in it.
The Benjamin Franklin statue, located at the old Boston City Hall, was constructed by Richard Greenough in 1856 and was the city’s first public statue of a person. The statue is located along School Street and overlooks the former site of the Boston Latin School, where Franklin actually once attended. The statue was constructed with four bronze panels around its base in order to depict Franklin’s most significant accomplishments; such as being a printer, a scientist, being present at the Declaration of Independence, and at the signing of the Treaty of Paris. When you get closer to these bottom panels, you will be able to see detailed pictures of all four of these events in Franklin’s life carved into the bronze. The statue has become a popular and famous tourist attraction for the city of Boston, due to the fact that it is located along the popular Freedom Trail. When examining the statue in person, it is amazing how detailed the images on the four panels are, considering they were carved out of bronze about one-hundred sixty years ago. By taking the time to actually read and absorb the information on the statue, a person can learn a great deal about some of the most important times in Benjamin Franklin’s life.