We are proud to have artist Mike Church’s modern take “America Secede or Die” of the Ben Franklin “Join or Die” cartoon featured in the Founders Tradin’ Post at what is most certainly a Revolutionary time.
History Behind the Snake:
The segmented snake drawn by Ben Franklin has become the symbol of resistance to the corrupt government or Leviathan as we call it on the show. It was first published in his Pennsylvania Gazette on May 9, 1754 and was part of Franklin’s promotion of his “Albany Plan”.
Franklin reasoned that the colonists ought to be at least as smart as the Indian tribes in oirganizing their political affairs against the French. “It would be a very strange Thing if six Nations of ignorant Savages should be capable of forming a Scheme for such an Union, and be able to execute it in such a Manner as that it has subsisted for Ages, and appears indissoluble; and yet a like Union should be impracticable for ten or a Dozen English Colonies, to whom it is more necessary, and must be more advantageous; and who cannot be supposed to want an equal Understanding of their Interests.”
The original publication by the Gazette is the earliest known pictorial representation of colonial union produced by a British colonist in America. It is a snake severed into eighths, with each segment labeled with the initials of a British American Colony or region. New England was represented as one segment, rather than the four colonies it was at that time. In addition, Delaware and Georgia were omitted completely. When the cartoon appeared during the American Revolution a point was added to the tail of the snake and was labeled “G.”, thereby adding Georgia to the “union”.