After much deliberations the Soap Commitee Action Task Force has reached the final phases of planning for our segmant in the Honors symposium. We have decided on a soap carving contest, as making soap is often too time consuming and dangerous for such an event. We feel this would be a good way to attract attention from passers by, as well as gather enough people in the area to have a disscuion about how one actually made soap in the 1700’s and how this realtes to Franklin’s life.
In the 1700’s it was common for a son to follow in his fathers profession. As the son of a soap maker, history wouldve expected Franklin to become one aswell, luckily for us, this did not happen. Franklin’s father, having the foresight to diversify the traits of his offspring lead the young Benjamin to persue a life outside of the humble makings of soap. While Franklin never did end up a soap maker like his father, its an important part of his life story. Benjamin Franklins’ fathers pefession, in contrast to his future acomplishments tells alot about him as a person, and makes his life that much more eventful in comparison.
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“Beer is proof that God loves us and wants to see us happy.”
In the modern age, where misinformation spreads like wildfire through the internet, and people take little time to fact check their findings, it is hard to know if what you read is true or fake. This applies double to quotes, as anyone can easily open up a program such as MS paint and put a string of words next to a historical person’s face and claim it to be true.
This is what many people are curious about, as a quote allegedly said by the famous Benjamin Franklin surfaced, on the topic of beer. This quote of course was “Beer is proof that God loves us and wants to see us happy.”
As the American people seem to love anything alcohol related this “quote” quickly spread, with people ordering t-shirts, posters, and signs with this phrase. Few people however, stopped to look into the origin and source of this quote.
With a quick look into it, multiple sources seemed to debunk this quote, but its origins have become more clear. There is evidence to show that in a letter to a colleague Franklin wrote a passage that roughly translates to:
“Behold the rain which descends from heaven upon our vineyards, there it enters the roots of the vines, to be changed into wine, a constant proof that God loves us, and loves to see us happy.”
Focusing on the later part “…wine, a constant proof that God loves us, and loves to see us happy.” One could make a claim that “Beer is proof that God loves us and wants to see us happy.” is a misstranslation, or actually a alternative translation, as the two quotes are very similar. While Franklin never did in fact say, or write the line about beer (atleast in english), its easy to understand how this quote began, and grew in popularity, and surley alot of those who enjoyed the fake quote would be delighted to hear that Franklin did once say something along the same lines.
In the 6th Letter of Benjamin Franklin’s “Silence DoGood” series, Franklin, through his pen name take the opportunity to speak of the evil and consequences of pride and for this reason, states it is the “most hateful (vice) to God and Man”. . Franklin notes that the proud man aims only to be better than others and that this is not an appropriate way to go about one’s life. Franklin claims that pride come before and leads to the destruction of life.
Franklin claims that pride come before and leads to the destruction of life. This may seem like a hefty claim, but Franklin backs it up with logic, and the reader can easily follow the process he used to arrive at that conclusion. Franklin explains that if one dominated by pride arrives at a small fortune, he or she will be unable to prevent their pride from consuming their entire life, and fortune. Following pride would lead a man or women to strive to imitate those around and them, those who in fact poses more than them. This will cause the person who once possessed a small fortune to end up worse off than when they began. Imitating wealth is a very expensive process, and as Franklin says “By striving to appear rich they become really poor”. This makes the argument that pride is a bad thing even stronger, as its no longer a question of morality, but can clearly have a negative effect on a person’s life.
It is at least slightly ironic to write a letter aimed at convincing people to improve themselves while arguing that one should avoid pride. By writing a letter aimed at improving other lives is to say that Franklin felt he was in some way wiser, or more educated that his readers would be. This is clearly Franklins pride showing, which contradicts the message he puts forward. If Franklin is so successful, yet clearly has some level of pride, why should other avoid pride? It clearly worked for Franklin.
In front of the first public school in America, the Boston Latin School stands a statue of Benjamin Franklin, one of the schools most famous attendees. The Boston Latin school saw the likes of Samuel Adams and John Hancock pass through their doors, yet the statue of Franklin is the one that appears here. This happened despite Franklin typically being association with Philadelphia, while Adams and Hancock are more associated with Boston. The fact that Franklins attendance over shadows that of the others shows just how influential and admired Franklin was, and still is today. A likely reason for this is Franklins diversity in accomplishments, several of which are displayed on the statue.
The statue commemorates multiple points in Benjamin Franklin’s life, and acts well as a monument to his expansion of traits. The most prominent figure of the monument, the actual statue of Franklin displays him as most recognize him, later in life during his time as a writer and diplomat. Below the statue of Franklin there are several bronze plaques, each showing a different time in Franklins life. The front shows Franklin as he first begins as a printer. As many know Franklin worked as a printer in both Boston when he first left school, and continued in Philadelphia where he eventually moved. The back of the Statue holds a plaque that shows Franklin and his famous lighting experiment, this both directly shows and represents Franklins innovation as a scientist. Finally, on either side of the statue are plaques demonstrating Franklin’s skill as a diplomate. One the right side Franklin is shows during the drafting of the Declaration of in dependance, and on the left he is working on America’s early treaty with Paris. These four plaques truly show how much Franklin was able to accomplish in drastically different fields.