FACT CHECK: Facebook Post Credits Ben Franklin With This Quote On Justice
A post by the Facebook page Coffee Party USA claimed that founding father Benjamin Franklin said, “Justice will not be served until those who are unaffected are as outraged as those who are.”
The Daily Caller found no evidence of this quote in any of Franklin’s writings. A similar expression appears in the works of the Greek biographer Plutarch.
There is no shortage of Facebook posts quoting the founding fathers. Yet while Franklin was highly quotable, there’s no evidence the postmaster general ever said the quote in question.
No record of it or any variation appears in the collected writings of Franklin.
“Nothing like the quotation appears to be in Founders Online,” David Sewell of the University of Virginia Press told the Caller. “My sense is that it doesn’t sound like Franklin, but he may have said something similar.”
George Goodwin, author of the book “Ben Franklin in London,” could not find any evidence of the quote either. “It is believable, because it is in the Franklin style; but quotes, like works of art, have to [have] proven provenance,” he told the Caller in an email.
Plutarch attributed a similar expression to the Athenian poet and statesman Solon. “Being asked, namely, what city was best to live in, ‘That city,’ he replied, ‘in which those who are not wronged, no less than those who are wronged, exert themselves to punish the wrongdoers,'” he wrote in “Parallel Lives.”