Smithsonian

Benjamin Franklin on the Iroquois League, in a letter to James Parker, 1751

In this letter, Benjamin Franklin, whose famous statement “Join or Die” later galvanized colonial union and the fight for independence from the British, states that his inspiration for this came from the six tribes of the Iroquois Nation, for whom union was also advantageous.

It would be a 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 ages and appears indissoluble; and yet that 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.

Credit: Benjamin Franklin on the Iroquois League, in a letter to James Parker, 1751.