i read this and thought of you.
Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790) stood in the front rank of the people who built the United States. He was the only person who signed all four of these key documents in American history:
the Declaration of Independence
the Treaty of Alliance
the Treaty of Peace with Great Britain
the Constitution of the United States
Aside from going down in history as a great printer, publisher, scientist, inventor, public servant, statesman, diplomat and philanthropist, he is also remembered for his wise sayings, such as:
"Early to bed and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise."
But how many people know what his opinion was on the symbol chosen for the Great Seal of the United States?
Here's what he wrote in a letter to his daughter on January 26, 1784:
"For my own part I wish the bald eagle had not been chosen the Representative of our Country. He is a Bird of bad moral Character. He does not get his Living honestly. You may have seen him perched on some dead Tree near the River, where, too lazy to fish for himself, he watches the Labour of the Fishing Hawk; and when that diligent Bird has at length taken a Fish, and is bearing it to his Nest for the Support of his Mate and young Ones, the bald eagle pursues him and takes it from him.
With all this Injustice, he is never in good Case but like those among Men who live by Sharping & Robbing he is generally poor and often very lousy. Besides he is a rank Coward: the little King Bird not bigger than a Sparrow attacks him boldly and drives him out of the District. He is therefore by no means a proper Emblem for the brave and honest Americans who have driven all the King Birds from our Country...
...the Turkey is in Comparison a much more respectable Bird, and withal a true original Native of America...He is besides, though a little vain and silly, a Bird of Courage and would not hesitate to attack a Grenadier of the British Guards who should presume to invade his Farm Yard with a red Coat on."