September 17, 1787: A Republic Madam, If You Can Keep It


A lady asked Dr. Franklin Well Doctor what have we got a republic or a monarchy. A republic replied the Doctor if you can keep it.

Doctor James McHenry, a delegate to the Constitutional Convention from Maryland.  The quote is excerpted from his diary.  The lady referred to was Elizabeth Powel.  She was a daughter of a mayor of Philadelphia and the wife of another mayor of Philadelphia.  She would live to 1830, the Republic kept during her long life (She was born in 1742.).

Published in: on September 17, 2019 at 5:30 am  Comments Off on September 17, 1787: A Republic Madam, If You Can Keep It  
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Benjamin Franklin’s Speech on Signing the Constitution

A woman to Benjamin Franklin at the close of the Constitutional Convention:

“Well, Doctor, what have we got—a Republic or a Monarchy?”

  Benjamin Franklin“A Republic, if you can keep it.”

September 17 of this week was the 225th anniversary of the signing of the Constitution on  September 17, 1787 at the close of the Convention.  The speech of Benjamin Franklin on this occasion has always struck me as being chock full of wisdom.  Here is the text of his address: (more…)

Published in: on September 21, 2012 at 5:30 am  Comments (4)  
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Charlie Brown at the Constitutional Convention

I confess that I was unaware of the above Peanuts video on the Constitutional Convention until I came across it on Youtube.  Apparently this was part of an episode mini-series This is America, Charlie Brown that was broadcast in 1988-1989 and, amazingly enough, not re-broadcast on television since then. What a shame, since I think this series could help children develop an interest in American history.  If I had my way, they would be rebroadcast every year.

Published in: on February 8, 2012 at 5:30 am  Comments Off on Charlie Brown at the Constitutional Convention  
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A Republic, If You Can Keep It

The Founding Fathers, as a group, were a band of very wise men.  Perhaps the wisest was Benjamin Franklin, a rare combination of genius and solid common sense.  He also had that attribute of truly wise people:  the sense to hide his intellect to some extent behind a fog of good humor.  How fortunate for America that throughout his life he placed his intellect at the service of his country, a country he understood at an early date embraced all of the colonies in British America. (more…)

Published in: on July 27, 2011 at 5:30 am  Comments Off on A Republic, If You Can Keep It  
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Benjamin Franklin: Peacemaker


At the Constitutional Convention in 1787, Benjamin Franklin added one great last service to the long list of services he rendered to America.  At the age of 81, a very advanced age for his time, he took on the onerous and thankless task of peacemaker between the contending factions and often rancorous individuals who hammered out the Constitution.  His spirit of compromise and conciliation is well set forth in this speech he gave at the Convention: (more…)

Published in: on June 1, 2010 at 5:50 am  Comments (2)  
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