Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Franklin's Hidden Role at the Constitutional Convention

Ran across this article at Franklin on Freedom.

Emotions ran high at the Constitutional Convention and the delegate who sooth tempers was usually Ben Franklin. He often did this with a humorous quip, but once filibustered a nonsensical proposition until tempers eventually abated.

Franklin did more. He also teamed with Washington for behind the scene negotiations to keep the convention from collapsing. Reading Madison's notes, it appears arguments often escalated from about mid-week to reach a crescendo on Fridays. Many sessions were recess for the weekend with acrimony high, but on Monday, with little discussion, a compromise or procedural change would resolve or delay the issue. Obviously something had been negotiated outside the chamber. Most likely, the deal would have been struck under the mulberry tree in Franklin's yard.

Benjamin Franklin was one of our greatest Founders and this article is a fun read about an interesting historical character.