Benjamin Franklin and the Seal of the United States

To celebrate Benjamin Franklin’s birth is to be reminded of a prolific inventor, author, printer, librarian, postmaster, and, by the way, one of our country’s most prominent Founders! But did you know that in 1776, Franklin, John Adams, and Thomas Jefferson proposed a seal of the United States depicting the Israelites escaping Egypt, from the book of Exodus?

From John Adam’s description, “Dr. Franklin proposes . . . Moses lifting up his Wand, and dividing the Red Sea, and Pharaoh, in his Chariot overwhelmed with the Waters. Jefferson proposed The Children of Israel in the Wilderness, led by a Cloud by day and a Pillar of Fire by night.” From colonial times to speeches of Martin Luther King Jr.—the story of the exodus has an enduring legacy in America.

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