“Beer is proof that God loves us and wants to be happy” This quote is plastered all over taverns, tshirts, and beer mugs across America. It resonates with the working man or woman who enjoys unwinding with a cold one after a long days work. Perhaps one of the reasons it does so much is because it is attributed to possibly the ultimate self made working American, Benjamin Franklin. What most people do not know about this quote on their favorite tshirt is that is not exactly what Franklin stated.
Franklin, a oenophile, actually expressed his love for wine in a letter written in 1779 to Andre Morellet, a well known theologian, economist, and philosopher. In his letter, Franklin states “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.”
Works cited: https://www.anchorbrewing.com/blog/say-what-says-who-benjamin-franklin-on-beer-or-not/
Benjamin Franklin wrote the 8th letter of his series under the pseudonym Silence Dogood on July 9, 1722, at the age of 14. In this letter he discusses the idea of rights of citizens of a government, particularly the ideas of Freedom of Press and Freedom of Speech. Rather than discuss his own opinion on the matter Franklin, under his pen name Silence uses a long passage from the London Journal. He says, “I prefer the following Abstract from the London Journal to any Thing of my own, and therefore shall present it to your Readers this week without any further Preface.”
The passage of the journal gives a very extensive opinion on the ideas of free speech and press. It outlines the necessity of having these freedoms to have a well functioning society. It says that they are certainly rights that should not be deprived by any sort of tyranny, so long as the citizens who have these rights use them properly. The passage then goes on to illustrate the past tyrannical rulers of England who denied these rights. They were afraid that if these rights were allocated, that their regimes would be undermined by there servants. while this is a legitimate fear, the author of the passage counters by saying “Freedom of Speech is ever the Symptom, as well as the Effect of a good Government.” Essentially, by allowing your servants to have these rights, you will have a much better, and functioning government and society than you would by pressing these rights. In addition to this, all though the people of this government would have the right to criticize their leader publicly, there would be no turmoil and revolution over the oppression of their rights.
This statue of Franklin is located on the Freedom trail, on Milk Street. It depicts Boston native Franklin, in front of the old Massachusetts State house. This was the site of the first Boston Latin school. Franklin was a prodigy, and from a young age his intelligence was apparent. His family sent him to learn here so he could go on to go to college. He excelled and ended up at the front of the classroom in only his first year. He unfortunately was pulled out so that he could work for his very large family. However, this one year of education was obviously enough, because the bottom of the statue depicts his brilliance in diplomacy, politics, and science, with important scenes from his life in all of those fields.