Silence Dogood wasthe pen name for 16-year-old Benjamin Franklin in the  newspaper the  New England Courant. Mrs. Dogood was a “middle-aged widow” Franklin created in order to be published in the Courant, a paper printed at his Brother’s Print Shop in Boston.

There are many facinating aspects to the Silence Dogood character and Franklin’s use of her. I love how he created the entire background of the character, making her sound convincing and like a credible source, which many would not think of 16-year-old Franklin himself. It’s easy to see how his early views in life influenced his later more widely known and important (?) role in the framing of the United States and help with the Constitution. He used this character to convey the ideals that he had and by using a “credible” source was able to share them with the public through these letters to the editor.

 “Know then, That I am an Enemy to Vice, and a Friend to Vertue. I am one of an extensive Charity, and a great Forgiver of private Injuries: A hearty Lover of the Clergy and all good Men, and a mortal Enemy to arbitrary Government & unlimited Power. I am naturally very jealous for the Rights and Liberties of my Country; & the least appearance of an Incroachment on those invaluable Priviledges, is apt to make my Blood boil exceedingly.”

As a fan of pen names for various reasons, including but not limited to free-speech that is often restricted to many despite what the constitution says and the ability to speak one’s mind on possibly sensitive matters without the threat of backlash, I find it completely understandable and even encourageable to use a pen name.

Pen name of 16-year-old Benjamin Franklin in the New England Courant

Pen name of 16-year-old Benjamin Franklin in the New England Courant

This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to SILENCE DOGOOD

  1. billeestanton says:

    I agree with you with the pen names, I never really thought of doing that before but you bring up a good point that if you make up a “credible” source your able to share your views and people will listen to your opinions without having to worry what kind of response your going to recieve. This would be very useful when talking about a subject like politics because not everyone wants to be judged because of their political views.

  2. trysarahtops says:

    Yes, good point with the ‘pen name’ comment.

    Too bad we don’t live in a time where people actually took pride in their writing. Benjamin Franklin used the name Silence Dogood to put original ideas out into the community. Today, pen names are abused a lot of the time and used only to give people a cloak of anonymity allowing them to invade a persons privacy on the internet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s