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.
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