28 November 2010

Respecting the turkey on Thanksgiving weekend

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 Cincinnati of America 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 & 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.
---Benjamin Franklin, in a letter to his daughter.

Via Historical Indulgences.


  1. I hope you've seen the relevant scene in the musical 1776

    --Leah @ Unequally Yoked

  2. The references to Cincinnatus crop up more than I would expect in the writings of the founding fathers.

  3. Some of the references are undoubtedly to this group:


  4. Oh, yeah those guys crack me up. Forming an exclusive hereditary society to celebrate their defeat of an exclusive hereditary society. Comedy gold.


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