“[They are] the most stupid in the nation, few of their children speak English and through their indiscretion . . . great disorders may one day arise among us.” Benjamin Franklin (Can you guess what group he was referring to?*)As you may be saddened to know, I’ve been building a case against Benjamin Franklin. I believe he may be the most over-rated of our Founding Fathers, and let's see, where was I… yes, let the record show that Franklin didn’t even like his new nation’s name, preferring the United States of North America. (Rats, that’s actually a good idea.) Okay, let me start over.
Ah, here we are. In 1741, Franklin printed the first magazine ad ever to run in North America. It was a “Wanted” ad for a runaway slave. Nice.
And while much is made of Franklin’s success as a diplomat in France, he earned a spot at the bottom of a chamber pot during his tenure there. True, Franklin was enormously popular with the French. That was the problem; he was TOO popular. When King Louis overheard one of Marie Antoinette’s ladies-in-waiting swooning over how great Franklin was, the king took measures. He had a customized porcelain chamber pot made. At its bottom was a picture of Franklin. And it was sent to the lady-in-waiting, who, I’m guessing, took the hint.
* He was talking about German immigrants. My sources are here.