Somersett Audio Book Cover

The Woke Surgeon: Big News!

For those of you wondering where the new blogs were for my author page, I have to apologize first for the simple fact that I have been working in the surgery gig again for the past 10 months, and it is pretty much back to business as usual.  But at the same time, I had…

Johnson-Civil Rights Act

The Woke Surgeon: Benjamin Franklin and Lyndon Baines Johnson on the True Meaning of Civil Rights

With great thanks to Ruth and Alfred Blumrosen (the authors of Slave Nation, Naperville, IL: Sourcebooks, 2005) for this juxtaposition of quotes 176 years apart, from the unlikely sources of Franklin and Johnson, pursuing the same dream for America, that of colorblind freedom and equality for every American under the rule of law. We recall that Franklin during his long life ran the gamut from slave owner and occasional slave trader (through his printshop in Philadelphia) to ardent abolitionist (fulfilling the promise he made before the Revolution to John Fothergill, his personal physician, and David Barclay, one of the most heavily invested private sources for funding the Revolution) in the five final years of his life.

Independence Hall

The Woke Surgeon: Benjamin Franklin’s Speech to Closing the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia, September 17, 1787

Rather than verbiage from a mortal blogger, it is worthwhile to hear the entire closing speech of Franklin to the Constitutional Convention, calling for a unanimous signing of the document by all the delegates in attendance that morning (he wouldn’t get it, but he would get unanimous states’ approval, with various individual delegates deferring their imprimaturs on the document). The words were all Franklin, but James Wilson would read it in Franklin’s stead, Franklin claiming generalized exhaustion and hesitancy of speech. During the Convention, Franklin had been present non-stop for the four summer months, serving as the voice of gravitas, enlightenment (courtesy of Hume, Smith, and Lord Kames of Scotland), and compromise, and at least twice saving us from having two United States, north and south.