Thursday, September 23, 2010

Bald Eagle's Nest

Ben Franklin's Case for the Turkey

In a letter to his daughter Sarah Bache, Ben Franklin shares his disappointment that the Bald Eagle, and not the turkey, was chosen as the centerpiece for the Great Seal:

"For my own part I wish the 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 labor of the Fishing Hawk ... For the truth 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 & 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."

[source: The Franklin Institute]

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