Yes, as a matter of fact, he did. And in an era of increasing consciousness around racial and social justice, it is important to look at people and events from the past with a critical eye on both their accomplishments and their failings.
Although he was an abolitionist later in life, Benjamin Franklin is certain to have owned slaves. As such, he makes a very imperfect figure as the figurehead and symbol for this project.
We encourage everyone to learn more about Benjamin Franklin’s relationship with slavery by referring to reputable sources found here.
In addition to being a slave owner, Benjamin Franklin was also the first Postmaster General of the United States. Much of the concern over possible voter disenfranchisement in the 2020 election revolves around the risk of the United States Postal Service in delivering completed ballots on time to be counted. Because of the unprecedented circumstances related to an election conducted largely by mail during a pandemic, we chose Benjamin Franklin as our figurehead and symbol despite his history as a slave owner.
We respect your right to agree or disagree with this choice and we welcome your feedback here.