Turtledove
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Benjamin Franklin
Franklin.jpg
Historical Figure
Nationality: United States (born a British subject)
Date of Birth: 1706
Date of Death: 1790
Cause of Death: Pleurisy
Religion: Unclear, but generally accepted as having been a Deist
Occupation: Politician, Author of Non-Fiction, Author of Fiction, Businessman, Printer, Philosopher, Publisher, Inventor, Journalist, Scientist, Ambassador, Revolutionary, Postmaster
Spouse: Deborah Read (d. 1774)
Children: William, Francis, Sarah
Political Party: Independent
Political Office(s): Postmaster General of the United States,
Governor of Pennsylvania
Fictional Appearances:

Benjamin Franklin (January 17, 1706 - April 17, 1790) was an American scientist, inventor, author, diplomat, philosopher, statesman, and philanderer. He served on the First and Second Continental Congresses and, with John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, co-authored the Declaration of Independence. During the American Revolution, he negotiated an alliance with France that won the US recognition and military aid from that country. He also participated in the Constitutional Convention in which the United States Constitution was written.

In his own lifetime, Franklin was legendary for his sharp wit, his political acumen, his great intelligence, and his skill with the ladies.

Franklin's portrait appears on the US hundred-dollar bill, colloquially known as a Benjamin.

Literary Comment[]

Harry Turtledove's characters frequently reference the following Franklin aphorisms.

We must all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately.[1]

Three can keep a secret, if two of them are dead.[2]

Benjamin Franklin in Crosstime Traffic[]

In the late 21st century in the home timeline, a portrait Benjamin Franklin appeared on both the American $100 coin and the $100 bill. On the coin, the word LIBERTY was written above his head, the words "IN GOD WE TRUST" to one side of him, and the date and mint initial to the other side. The reverse showed a Bald Eagle, the words "United States of America", and in smaller characters "E Pluribus Unum", "One Hundred Dollars" and the date.[3]

Benjamin Franklin in The Disunited States of America[]

The Disunited States of America
POD: July, 1787
Type of Appearance: Posthumous reference
Date of Death: Unrevealed
Political Office(s): Governor of Pennsylvania (at the break-point)


Benjamin Franklin was still remembered in North America for his role in the Revolution, even though the United States ultimately failed and fell apart by the early 1800s.

Beckie Royer remembered Franklin's exhortation to the colonies that they must "hang together" or they would "hang separately" in the lead up to the Revolution. She wondered if perhaps that lesson should have been remembered beyond independence.[4]

Benjamin Franklin in Southern Victory[]

Southern Victory
POD: September 10, 1862
Appearance(s): Scattered
Type of Appearance: Posthumous references

A Pennsylvania man, Benjamin Franklin remained a favorite Founding Father in the United States after the War of Secession along with John Adams and Alexander Hamilton. A profile view of Franklin's face was printed on stamps issued in occupied Canada during and after the Great War.[5] Arthur McGregor, as a patriotic Canadian, disliked these US stamps.

Flora Hamburger once quoted Franklin's warning "Those who would trade essential liberty for a little temporary security deserve neither liberty nor security" in a floor debate in the House of Representatives--which, incidentally, met in Franklin's own Liberty Hall in Philadelphia.

Abraham Lincoln quoted Franklin to his host when he visited Salt Lake City in 1881.[6]

Benjamin Franklin in The Two Georges[]

The Two Georges
POD: c. mid-1760s
Type of Appearance: Posthumous references
Nationality: North American Union
Date of Death: Unrevealed


Benjamin Franklin was part of the delegation that averted the feared revolution of North America against the British Empire. He was one of those depicted in the background of the painting The Two Georges. Thomas Gainsborough succeeded in subtlety capturing Franklin's character by depicting him with one eye on the ceremony and another on a serving girl.

One province in the North American Union was named Franklin in his honour. [7]

See Also[]

References[]

  1. E.g., the War World Series story "Hang Together," which also uses it as a title source.
  2. E.g., All Fall Down, pg. 356.
  3. The Disunited States of America, chapter 13.
  4. Ibid., pg. 209.
  5. American Front, pg. 121-122.
  6. How Few Remain, pg. 67.
  7. The Two Georges, Ch. 1.
Political offices
(OTL)
Preceded by
New office
United States Postmaster General
1775-1776
Succeeded by
Richard Bache
Preceded by
New office
US Minister to France
1778-1785
Succeeded by
Thomas Jefferson
Preceded by
John Dickinson
"President" (Governor) of Pennsylvania
1785-1788
Succeeded by
Thomas Mifflin
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