Benjamin Franklin exhorted the delegates to sign the new Constitution unanimously, for dissent by its very framers would kill any chance of ratification, and would embolden foreign enemies waiting to divide and conquer the separate states.

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Second: I have taken outrageous artistic license here (as usual). I’ve knocked one of Franklin’s most powerful and moving speeches into a few terse blurbs — cutting out both not only the poetry and emotion, but also the jokes! Outrageous!

And I’ve had him say the words himself. I’ve denied you what happened in real life — he was too weak to speak, it was a monumental effort for him to even attend, and so with an unsteady hand he handed his prepared remarks to James Wilson to read for him. The delegates were all

I denied you all that. And I’m going to do it again, real soon.


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  1. If anyone’s curious, this is the full text of Franklin’s speech.

    The comic’s speech is more of a summary than a paraphrase, but the message is about right. And the lines at the end of the comic are taken straight from the speech.

    However, there’s one more beautiful bit of prose that I want to quote:

    “The Opinions I have had of its Errors, I sacrifice to the Public Good. I have never whispered a Syllable of them abroad. Within these Walls they were born, and here they shall die.”

    Franklin realized how important perception is in politics. The convention had to *seem* united, no matter how divided they really were.

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