February 7, 1775  Bringing A Knife to a Gunfight

It is often said that you should never bring a knife to a gunfight.  You probably don’t want to draw a rhetorical popgun, either.  Not if the other guy is carrying a cannon.

In early 1775, Benjamin Franklin was on an extended diplomatic mission to England.  The balance had not yet tipped toward Revolution, though things were headed in that direction.

113An unnamed British military officer felt the need to run his mouth before the Parliament, at the expense of his fellow British subjects in the American colonies.  “Americans are unequal to the People of this Country”, he said, “in Devotion to Women, and in Courage, and worse than all, they are religious”.

On this day in London, February 7, 1775, the man who would be called “The First American” for his early and tireless campaign for colonial unity, published his response.

Franklin himself was not the most religious man, but he reminded his readers that it was the zealous Puritans who rid Great Britain of the hated King Charles I.

Franklin went on to relate a history of the Seven Years’ War, in which the colonial militia were forever saving inept and blundering British regulars from themselves.

“Indiscriminate Accusations against the Absent are cowardly Calumnies”, he wrote, but old Ben saved his best for the crack about American men not liking women.  Franklin noted that the British population was declining at the time, while in the American colonies, numbers were increasing.  American men, he concluded, are clearly more “effectually devoted to the Fair Sex”, than their counterparts across the pond.

franklin (1)

It is often said that you should never bring a knife to a gunfight.  You probably don’t want to draw a rhetorical popgun, either.  Not if the other guy is carrying a cannon.


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Author: Cape Cod Curmudgeon

I'm not a "Historian". I'm a husband, a father, a son and a grandfather. A history geek and sometimes curmudgeon, who still likes to learn new things. I started "Today in History" back in 2013, thinking I’d learn a thing or two. I told myself I’d publish 365. The leap year changed that to 366. As I write this, I‘m closing in on a thousand. I do it because I want to & I make every effort to get my facts straight, but I'm as good at being wrong, as anybody else. I offer these "Today in History" stories in hopes that you'll enjoy reading them, as much as I’ve enjoyed writing them. Thanks for coming along for the ride. Rick Long, the “Cape Cod Curmudgeon”

3 thoughts on “February 7, 1775  Bringing A Knife to a Gunfight”

    1. I’ve always admired the man enormously, the only autobiography I’ve ever read, twice. I believe that Ben Franklin was every bit as important to the future of the American Revolution, as George Washington himself. Are you familiar with the Silence Dogood story?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oooh yes I sure am 🙂 What a man Franklin was. I have his autobiography also, and a few other books on him besides. The things he managed to accomplish in one life time never ceases to amaze me.

        Liked by 1 person

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