Constitutional Convention: Elizabeth Powell?

Franklin’s quote about “a republic, if you can keep it” is cited daily somewhere on the Internet, it seems. This posting is the first I’ve noticed that identified the woman who asked Franklin the question:

At the close of America’s Constitutional Convention in 1787, Benjamin Franklin was reportedly asked by George Washington’s friend, Mrs. Elizabeth Powell of Philadelphia, “Well, doctor, what have we got, a republic or a monarchy?” Franklin responded, “A republic, madam, if you can keep it.”

 

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