Essay on William Franklin: Traitor? Patriot?

Essay on William Franklin: Traitor? Patriot?

Length: 2379 words (6.8 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Research Papers

Open Document

Essay Preview

In marked contrast to his famous father, who worked diligently on his autobiography until declining health would no longer allow it , William Franklin spent the years following the Revolutionary War wandering without purpose, the quintessential man without a country. Like many prominent loyalists to the Crown of England, William had suffered the confiscation of his property and the loss of his good name. William Franklin spent the first years of his English exile arguing in front of British Parliament for recompense on behalf of his fellow loyalists, with varying success, and for himself with none whatsoever. This endeavor having proven unfulfilling, William attempted to reconcile with his father and his son, Benjamin Franklin and William Temple Franklin, who had replaced William as Benjamin’s heir. For his efforts, William was rebuffed and made to suffer the indignity of virtual disinheritance. In defending his disownment of William, Benjamin bitterly noted, “the part he acted against me in the late war, which is of public notoriety, will account for my leaving him no more of an estate he endeavoured [sic] to deprive me of.”
The conflict between Benjamin Franklin and his only living son is a microcosm of the little-understood clash between those Americans who strived for independence from British occupation and those that felt the country was either not or never would be ready for self-governance. Benjamin Franklin felt strongly enough about his son’s actions to label them betrayal; William Franklin felt strongly enough about the foolhardiness of the Revolution to suffer his father’s wrath. The actions of the loyalists are understood by Americans to constitute treason, but this is a simplification. Many loyalists felt that r...


... middle of paper ...


...n Franklin, letter to William Franklin dated January 30, 1772, Benjamin
Franklin Papers, American Philosophical Society.

26. Benjamin Franklin, letter to William Franklin dated July 14, 1773, Benjamin Franklin
Papers, American Philosophical Society.


27. Benjamin Franklin, letter to William Franklin dated October 6, 1773, Benjamin
Franklin Papers, American Philosophical Society.

28. Isaacson, Benjamin Franklin, 276-7.

29. BF, Autobiography, 202.

30. Skemp, William Franklin, 147.

31. Ibid., 149, 154.

32. Ibid., 155.

33. Ibid., 162.

34. Isaacson, Benjamin Franklin, 293-4.

35. Skemp, William Franklin, 202-4.

36. Ibid., 232.

37. Ibid., 247.

38. Ibid., 262-5.

39. Joseph Stansbury and Jonathan Odell, The loyal verses of Joseph Stansbury and Jonathan Odell relating to the American Revolution (Albany: J. Munsell, 1860), 23.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Was Benedict Arnold a Real Traitor? Essays

- ... The Patriots were showing more respect, and love to George Washington, Alexander Hamilton, Thomas Jefferson and others whom now recognized as the Founding Fathers of the United States. Benedict Arnold had sacrificed the same things with those important people, but he did not get attention. So, as an effect of the unfairness of the American government to Benedict Arnold, Arnold started making deals with the British. The reasons why he started talking to the British was that he was really irritated with the American government for not considering him as a significant person....   [tags: notorious traitors, American history]

Research Papers
952 words (2.7 pages)

To Kill a Mockingbird and My Life as a Traitor Essays

- To quote Julia Alvarez, “In a world without books, we would not be the same critter.” Books have made up the essence of how people live their lives, whether it being about learning about how the world formed, or understanding a far away culture. This understanding makes people think, and causes the book to be remembered as a classic. Classics provide the backbone of what good literature stands for. Without these books that can inspire generations, good literature stands meaningless: a waste of time....   [tags: My Life as a Traitor]

Research Papers
1165 words (3.3 pages)

Movie Review of The Patriot Essay

- Movie Review of The Patriot I. Title- The Patriot Production Date- June 28th 2000 Major Characters- Benjamin Martin: Mel Gibson Gabriel Martin: Heath Ledger Charlotte Selton: Joely Richardson Johnny Issacs: William Tavington Lisa Brenner: Anne Howard Charles Cornwallis: Tom Wilkinson II. Movie Summary: “The Patriot” takes place during the Revolutionary War. It’s 1776 and intense fighting is going on in the north, while in the south the people are scrambling to recruit anyone who was willing to fight against the British....   [tags: The Patriot Movies Film Revolutionary War Essays]

Research Papers
1204 words (3.4 pages)

Admiral Jarok as a Traitor Essays

- In our recent viewing of the "The Defector", an episode in the saga of Star Trek: The Next Generation, we encountered a traitor. A traitor is one who has knowledge or power of information and betrays the cause, another, or trust; to commit an act of treason. Romulan Admiral Jarok is a traitor in the episode. Admiral Jarok is a traitor because he divulged top secret Romulan military information to the enemy; The Federation. Disclosure of restricted military information qualifies Admiral Jarok as a traitor....   [tags: Star Trek Traitor Essays Papers]

Free Essays
1041 words (3 pages)

Essay Admiral Jarok as Noble Traitor

- Admiral Jarok was a traitor, especially in the eyes of his countrymen. The very principles that define the Romulans are honor and loyalty and in no way can his actions be seen as loyal. Although some could argue his actions were those of a defector, his actions as Romulan official in this particular situation make him a traitor. A traitor is defined as a "person who betrays his or her country, cause, friends, etc. " (Webster) The true meaning of traitor is not found in this definition, but rather in the definition of the word betray....   [tags: Star Trek Traitor Essays Papers]

Free Essays
705 words (2 pages)

The Traitor Essay

- The Traitor Despite the episode's title, The Defector is a story about a traitor. I can not agree that Admiral Jarok is any way but parenthetically defecting to the Federation -- he demonstrates love for his country and his people on several occasions. Instead I feel that he is a reluctant traitor motivated by personal rather than political reasons. The difference between the terms is subtle, but important: the term 'defector' should not imply traitorous crime, nor should the term 'traitor' imply defection....   [tags: Star Trek Essays Papers]

Free Essays
758 words (2.2 pages)

The Patriot Act Essay

- The Patriot Act After the terrorist attacks of September 11th, 2001 our country underwent a change that has drastically affected the fundamental values that our founding fathers instilled in this country. Since that tragic day in September the aftermath of the attacks has started to implicate our Civil Liberties that in this country we hold so dear. Just 45 days after the September 11 attacks, with virtually no debate, Congress passed the USA Patriot Act on October 5th, 2001. This act expanded the surveillance powers of domestic law enforcement and international intelligence agencies....   [tags: Terrorism Government Patriot Act Essays]

Research Papers
1695 words (4.8 pages)

Traitor in The Defector Episode of Star Trek Essays

- Traitor in The Defector Episode of Star Trek In "The Defector," Jarroc becomes a traitor when he betrays the Romulan Empire. Merriam Webster's Collegiate Dictionary has several definitions for "betrayal," but the one we are interested in is the second, which reads, "to deliver to an enemy by treachery" (109). By defecting and telling the Federation of the Romulan plan to invade, Jarroc does just that. Merriam-Webster's further defines a traitor as "one who betrays another's trust or is false to an obligation or duty" (1252)....   [tags: Star Trek Traitor Essays Papers]

Research Papers
1015 words (2.9 pages)

The Patriot Essay

- The Patriot, written by Robert Rodat, takes place in South Carolina and reveals a widowed father’s love for his family and trying to keep them together, despite the Revolutionary War that had begun. Trying to keep his demons from reappearing, Benjamin Martin faces his fear of his past coming back to haunt him after serving in the French and Indian War. Martin is a South Carolina farmer who lost his wife, Elizabeth, and reluctantly signs up to join the Continental Army after his eldest son, Gabriel joined the regulars to fight against the British....   [tags: essays research papers]

Research Papers
933 words (2.7 pages)

Patriot Essay

- Patriot Benjamin Martin had seven children. His wife died while giving birth to his youngest daughter, Susan. The Martin family lived in South Carolina, where he built a small home on a farm. The Martin’s were well known and liked by both Patriots and Whigs alike. They only hired freedmen. Benjamin enjoyed making furniture; his main goal was to make the perfect chair, the three-pound rocking chair. His plantation, Fresh Water Plantation, was his retirement plan. The Patriot begins in March 1776, with a messenger from the Continental Mail Service delivering a stack of letters to Benjamin Martin....   [tags: essays papers]

Research Papers
2213 words (6.3 pages)