Ben Franklin.

  • This topic has 4 replies, 2 voices, and was last updated 6 years ago by Josh.
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  • #8798
    Josh
    Participant

    I don’t know much about this. I know there are some books around on the subject but I’ve not read them, so I’m asking what others think.

    Is there enough evidence that Franklin was a double agent, I believe the name agent number 72 is the Dumas like moniker attached to this theory.

    As a what if? What would have been his motive, hedging bets?

    Your thoughts?

    Josh.

    #8811
    D
    Keymaster

    Very interesting thought, and I’m sure will raise some debate especially given the accomplishments of Franklin.

    I think he would certainly be capable of it. He might also be so prudent as to hedge his bets to ensure he came out on top of whatever side won the war. All that, however, I think there is to much displaying his loyalties than to leave any doubt as to his intentions.

    Franklin was very true to Britain as long as he could be, seeking peace with the Crown rather than pushing for war. It was only after Britain ignored many opportunities for peace that Franklin reserved himself to the truth that war would be inevitable.

    Franklin also broke off most personal ties with his loyalist son, the governor of New Jersey (whom he helped get the position in the first place). Just as Franklin’s allegiance to Britain waned when compromise was unachievable, so did his relationship with his son. This was very personal and I think beyond the scope of an acting spy.

    Franklin also was so integral in many negotiations and efforts to help the American cause, he could have thrown it the British way at any time.

    I would say Franklin was a loyal Britain, then a loyal American, true to his cause whenever he was involved in one.

    #8818
    Josh
    Participant

    Sounds sensible. In that sense he can be seen as quite typical of many Americans torn between old and new loyalties, not a few I’d wager hedged a little especially in the early days.

    Josh.

    #8823
    D
    Keymaster

    I can only imagine the politics, negotiations, and “acts” some folks must have been engaged in. With a mix of loyalists, neutral, and pro-war perspectives, and at times not knowing whom you met supported what position, it must have been a very tense and uncertain time. Also with Britain being such a world power, likely many people found some plan to be seen as loyal for as long as possible.

    I do imagine there were folks who spied for the British. How high their ranks in the colonial army though I’m not too sure.

    #8827
    Josh
    Participant

    I think we’d need an expert to answer that!

    Josh.

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