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Happy Inde-BEN-dance Day! Here's what Ben Would Have Written in the Declaration


Photo by The Daily Pennsylvanian

It's common knowledge that Ben Franklin wasn't allowed to write the Declaration of Independence because the founding fathers feared he would put a joke in it. Perhaps to an even greater extent than Alexander Hamilton, Ben certainly had undeniable "skill with the quill". As Penn students, we have some informed hypotheses for what that unrealized joke may have been.

1.) "We hold these truths to be self-evident that all men...are endowed with certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Dat Ass"

2.) Ending the clause, "He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing [him] with manly firmness" with the comment "not that George has ever been able to experience manly firmness, much less repeatedly"

3.) Frequent use of the phrase "Ben there done that".

4.) For the phrase, "He has ... sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance."  the addition, "Although the ladies report that you British chaps know nothing about eating out at Le Café Minou"

5.) The disclaimer "For the sake of brevity, I will henceforth be shortening the words "dissent" and "assent" to 'dis' and 'ass'" at the beginning of the declaration.

6.) For the phrase, "For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us" he would add, "If I were interested in large bodies, I'd pay a visit to his majesty's mother".