Franklin versus Franklin


This information may be apocryphal but so what? Apocryphal stories can be fascinating. A biblical apocryphal story titled “The Wisdom of Solomon” has the author (the smartest man of all time!) caution men not to marry more than one wife, as the anger and conflicts caused by those backbiting women couldn’t be contained.

Ben Franklin and his illegitimate son William Franklin were close for a while, but when the Revolutionary War was brewing William was a “loyalist” to the British, while Ben supported the Revolution. That didn’t enhance their relationship.

William and Ben also disputed which language should be used by Americans; it was a tossup between German and English.  The Germans dominated the northern populace throughout the early days and they were the first of the hated immigrants.  Ben wanted people to speak only English while William leaned towards German. That didn’t enhance their relationship either.

But their big blowout came about because of a bird or, rather, two birds—the bald eagle and the wild turkey. There was a big debate flaring in the colonies as to which bird should be their emblem and later on, the emblem of United States.

William championed the bald eagle because he and his supporters thought the bird was regal and a true monarch of the air. Ben advocated the wild turkey because it was combative and didn’t take any guff from other birds or people. It also tasted a lot better than the bald eagle. Perhaps Ben liked the wild turkey because it was quite promiscuous, enjoying the intimate company of as many lady turkeys as it could.

To this day Americans love turkey, consuming over 750 million pounds of it, according to the University of Illinois Extension.

William’s predilection for the regality of the bald eagle probably came from his love of the British crown and royalty in general. Although not as promiscuous as his father, William did sire his own illegitimate son much like Ben and King Solomon.

Although a close look at the bald eagle will reveal that although it does nail fish and small varmints, it will also chow down on carrion. So it isn’t as regal as William at first thought. Still, unlike the turkey, the bald eagle does not make a habit of attacking people. It’s generally a loner, while the wild turkey prefers gang colors.

Father/son relationships can be fraught with difficulties, as many of you know; just look at Luke Skywalker and his dear old dad, Darth Vader. That relationship cost Luke an arm, although I actually prefer the leg (of a turkey that is).

Visit Frank’s web site at His books are available at,, as e-books and at bookstores.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *