It is a common saying that many people know: “Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.” While many followers of this quote may stick to its meaning, there is some misconception behind the actual person who stated these words. It is in fact proven that Benjamin Franklin did not state these words; no link has ever associated the two together.
While his statement on beer was not true, a similar saying has been found to be directly quoted from Franklin. Franklin, in a 1779 letter to a friend, wrote:
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!
In this, one can see that Franklin was more of a wine drinker, and the message reflected the fake quote about beer. Overall, one can see that throughout history, a simple message can be morphed over time into a less-than-accurate representation of a person’s beliefs. Because Franklin looks like more of a wine drinker, we can safely associate beer to a fellow Founding Father: Sam Adams.
Benjamin Franklin’s “Silence Dogood” essays give readers a satirical account of social life as well as enabled Franklin to publish his works on his brother’s paper, the New England Courant. The fictional character Silence Dogood brings humor and sadness to the colonists’ everyday life. Ben Franklin is able to create a following that gradually increased throughout the writing of the fourteen publications. In his essay Number 2, Franklin introduces the characters and creates an in-depth background on Dogood’s life.
The second essay begins with an explanation of the relationship she had. This brings in the minister, a well-developed character that assists the story of Silence. After many small relationships, Dogood’s soon-to-be husband, the minister, ended up marrying Silence. Her acceptance to marriage, however, did not come so easily. Silence “…promis’d him [she] would take his Proposal into serious Consideration” and later she stated that she would “…speedily give him an answer.” Through things such as love and pride, he was able to persuade her to marriage. The couple later had three kids: two girls and a boy. She seems to brush over the fact, however, as she moves on to explain her husband’s death. The children are not brought up again in the essay, as her sadness and pain play a role in the concluding paragraphs. Though she was sad at her husband’s passing, she finishes by saying that she is ready to marry again, giving readers some insight on the traits of the widowed Dogood.
Ben Franklin’s second essay shines light on the back story of Silence. While it looks like she has an average life in the colonies, the unexpected passing of her husband changes her life drastically. Her story pulls readers to explore her life, and the death of her husband creates a sense of mourning in the community. One of the most important parts of the second essay is the final paragraph; she explains her characteristics and interests, which helps tie the reader to her, and ends up causing her essays to gain popularity.
Benjamin Franklin’s statue, erected in 1856, is located in front of the Old City Hall on School Street. With Franklin himself standing on top, the monument has four engraved pictures focusing on his most famous points in his life. Two of these focused on things he did in his private life, including the studies on electricity and his time as an apprentice in a printing shop. The other two focus on his publicized work, such as the signing of the Declaration of Independence. the location of the monument is very fitting, as he was born about 2 blocks away from where this piece of history stands.