Saturday, November 26, 2011
Benjamin Franklin "Join, or Die."
"The image first appeared in the May 9, 1754, issue of Franklin’s Pennsylvania Gazette. By the 1750s, France and Great Britain had been arguing for years over the extent one another’s landholdings in the Americas. Franklin considered the American colonies to be dangerously fragmented and, through this cartoon and its accompanying article, hoped to convince the American colonies that they would have great power if they united against the threat of French expansion in North America.
"The “Join or Die” snake enjoyed popularity long after its first publication in the Pennsylvania Gazette in 1754. Newspapers throughout the colonies copied and reprinted the image. For example, in 1774 Paul Revere adopted a snake device in the masthead of The Massachusetts Spy. As the years progressed, Franklin’s image lost its usefulness as a symbolic map, yet the powerful message of strength in unity it conveyed remained for centuries."