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February 05, 2008



I love this!
You're also making a subtle point here: that racism has an economic element.


I don't get it. The Swedes, a swarthy complexion? Don't they have the brightest skin in Europe?
"as are the Germans also, the Saxons only excepted, who with the English"
Does the "who" refer to the Germans or the Saxons? And since when do Saxons have lighter or darker skin then the rest of the Germans?


At least he didn't disparage the "Red" Native Americans.


The redskins were just not worth mentioning, David.

As much as US-Americans hate Benjamin Franklin because of that 'giving up freedom for security" quote,I think this eulogy for the white race should definitely restore some some of his respect from the Anglos..


Southern Germans often have southern European features of dark hair, eyes and perhaps a, well, suntan. In any case, they always look like foreigners to me (I'm not from Germany, but I live here, or there depending how you see it) and I've a few lectures from southern Germans about the myths of blond hair, blue eyes and no suntans.Since a lot of German immigrants came from the south, maybe Ben just simply didn't have blood in his eye about them "forners".


The English started all this nonsense about who is the Whitest among all of Europe. Actually, they go so far as to say they are not European. Actually, they are a mixed people from both north and south europe- the DNA evidence proves this. And yes, all of europe is white you racist jerk!


Yes. It is true actually. The majority of the british are a mix of southern and northern europeans. At least 3/4 of the britons are descendants of the basques. (Google basque people if you dont know who they are).


"and Swedes, are generally of what we call a swarthy Complexion"

Yeah... cant be much more white, blonde and blue eyed than a swede.

Alot of countries between Sweden and the rest he mentions. We take all the southern countries and the one furthest to the north... that makes sense Ben.


You can't judge Ben Franklin based off of our current moral code as a society. He did a lot of good things. He was wrong about what he said, but I'm sure he would have had German mistresses too! Keep in mind he learned a lot of things on his own, we're pretty lucky about all we learned from the civil war and civil rights. We have much more information at our fingertips. Don't judge him for this.

Ike Iszany

Franklin was so right. That's why we have to be careful about Mexicans and Muslims. They'll take over. Just like the Germans did! I mean Pennsylvania is like a German colony. They speak only German there. They're all Lutherans. They're all Nazis.Can't believe they let that happen in America.

Anthony Platt

Strange article... "swarthy Germans"? Anyway, it turns out that the Germans assimilated fairly well, the insults against them were also few and far between, and lesser than virtually any group that immigrated to America. The Germans it turns out are quite easy to get along with, were willing to adopt the local culture, and did just fine, despite Franklin's claims, in intellectual and economic senses.


This complexion thing seemingly all disappears against the backdrop of African Americans!

We Afro s are and will be the socio/economic fulcrum by which other cultures(especially Xenophobe Europeans)compare their cultural self esteem.


Do you realize how rediculous this article is?

First of all I'd like to start by saying I am Scottish. There seem to be many Scottish people including myself who are "swarthy" as you say. Look at Scottish movie stars Gerard Butler and Robert Carlyle. Look at Irish actor Collin Ferrell and whoever the other guys name is. I do not live in Scotland I live in Canada and I find it rediculous how many times people think I am some more southern european.

It just shows how uneducated and unwordly north americans are. So by the proof have I have shown, does this mean that only English people are pure whites?

A lot of Scottish and Irish and pale as anything. But what has to be remembered is that we are people with very diverse features, hair colours, eye colours, skin colours. Exactly as someone stated above we are mixed and likely of basque decent.

All NON English countries in the British Isles are of mixed decent.
While the ENGLISH ARE ANGLO SAXONS. The English people took all of our Gaelic languages away and now we are pretty much considered english. But I guess I just proved that we are truely not the same.


Therefore Ben Franklin was incredibly misinformed.



This guy was a total moron.

The English population are descended from different germanic tribes... In other words he was likely of German/Swedish descent himself.

60 Geburtstag

Sehr interessant und informativen Artikel zu lesen ....


Interesting that after his racist rant, Franklin notes that he's just biased, like anyone would be, toward his own race. It's a huge step in progressive thinking.

To workstop4 and others: uh, yeah, we get that Franklin was misinformed, that's the point of the article.


My Dad's people had originally come from the 19th century Rhine-Neckar region of southwest Germany, like most German immigrants to America did in FRanklin's time. My Dad was blue eyed, but had blackish brown hair, and a deep ruddy complexion. I imagine many of those "swarthy Germans" old Ben wrote about looked a great deal like my Dad.

Tiglath Pileser III

"All NON English countries in the British Isles are of mixed decent."

News flash: the English are of mixed ancestry, as well. DNA tests show conclusively the aboriginal inhabitants of England came from Iberia. Let's not also forget the Jewish strain in English blood (thanks to Oliver Cromwell). Finally, thanks to centuries of British imperialism there is a decided Indian taint in English blood. If you don't believe that last one, google information on the blood disease Hemoglobin D. Even the late Princess Diana admitted she had Indian ancestry.


I am reading an historical fiction novel about a German immigrant family moving to America which alluded to Franklin "hating" Germans. It was surprising news to me and subsequent follow up led me to this article. My awe of BF has diminished a bit. Also, as a Pennsylvania German, I feel anger about the prejudices of BF and some of the commenters. Hopefully this lesson will make me even more tolerant.


This is an a-historical lambast designed to make the author look good. My memory of this -- I am not the one who published an article -- is that he said things like this in relative youth and gave it up as he matured and became one of the most tolerant people on earth.

I suggest some of you actually learn something before you attack one of our country's and the world's great men -- who served his country brilliantly and faithfully, advanced science, and died universally revered.

This must be the left-wing tea party. If someone says it in a blog we like, it most represent all wisdom.

If I am wrong I apologize but I am only attacking some show-boat with a blog.


Guessing back in the 1700s there wasn't any air conditioning and a lot of the newly arrived immigrants worked outdoors. Swedes and Germans were probably in the mix of the ones taking the low paying wages and out n the sun a lot.... There is a reason we call most of the descendants of the Scot Irish rednecks....truth is white man is more like a chameleon ... Environment dictates his color...


Who said "we hate him for his freedom or security" remarks? They are very profound and true. You do not get more freedom as you tighten security.

Seems a biased commentator that is in the security show biz.


Benjamin Franklin as any person spreading racism said nonsense and fool theories without facts. Just reacting by fear then having weird thoughts.

If the world is so mixed, why exist racism (Especially when is convenient)? European countries who colonized and conquered new territories have mixed at pleasure. Germans owned the actual Venezuela then sold it to Spain but immigrants stay there and mixed. After the independence of American continent more Europeans came to different countries, even today.

There are Germans communities in my country and most of them are blond, blue-eyed. And I knew some have married and had children with people of here. They can speak Spanish some with German accent others without.

The reason of this words is to say seems like USA is the nest of racism not only today even in the past.

Oh, I remember some American in a forum saying "Looks like Europeans have a different definition of white that we have here in US". His comment was at cause of a blond girl with what they could swarthy white and European comments said she's white.

John Smith

"Germans represent the largest group of immigrants to America, outnumbering the English and Irish by a wide margin. Nearly 20% of Americans can trace their ancestors back to Germany."

There are more Americans of English descent than either German or Irish. The total number has been estimated to be at least 80,000,000.


From the US Census Bureau: "Americans of German ancestry comprise about 50 million people,[1] making them the largest ancestry group ahead of Irish Americans, African Americans and English Americans."


For those wondering how a comment like this can make sense, you need to understand that german was ruled by black and mulattos at the time. Hence he isn't talking about any old regular white german of today (who is actually physically indistinguishable from an englishman in all reality in terms of whiteness). The swedes and most of europe save england and the saxons were black ruled. Hence he is referencing these people who were wiped out through a series of race wars in the 1800s that not even franklin could imagine.

People saying white farmers would become swarthy (from the german schwarz or gothic svart meaning black) are deluded. You can go type in greek farmers in google images and see people whiter than any very white person in england.


The word swarthy means black you can look that up in an etymology dictionary. In the 1500s this word was displaced for the word black. Ben Franklins's comments prove that blacks ruled Europe and during Ben's time they were being displace into America.


If only Benjamin Franklin were alive, and see how much increased the purely White people. Some 27 million in the U.S., some 9 million in Canada, some 8 million in Australia, and 1,563,500 in New Zealand. That's the real numbers of WASPs. He would repeat; "I could wish their numbers were increased!!"

Mark Moore

So what are you saying here my dear. Tell It Tell It. Are you saying that swarthy is cool or not cool pilgrim of SOMETHING OR ANOTHER. Well ? are Germans to Swarthy for Sweden? Come On Man Speak Up. Your Saying Germans Are The New BLACK Cadillac arriving perfectly on time with your standard group of three the men in black or MIB. Ok Cool Count Me IN I Will Join Them Today Kiddo. FOE REAL AS IN 4 reel

B. johnson

Ben Franklin was also a slaveholder for part of his life, although he later joined and became president of an abolitionist group originally founded by Quakers many years prior. Franklin's anti-German comments were not necessarily inconsistent with who he was. He also had personal struggles with Christianity as his faith.


Not so sure about him being Christian. He had great respect for "the creator", but I don't recall him describing Jesus as the Christ or as his savior. Also, I agree with the point about youthful ignorance. Who hasn't said things that a decade later (or less) are regretted?

Jason Brooks

These are Franklin's personal ideas, they don't even remotely represent the founding fathers/revolutionaries ideas. Half of the continental army was Irish, some commanders German, and some founding fathers being Scottish as well. I even doubt that pure Englishmen were majority of 1776's America. 1676 more likely.


Had he lived 100 years later he would have seen the Irish have the whitest skin of anyone.


HallaluYahuah Barak Yahusha Anu Shar Shalom Amath!!!

Donald Harrison

One clue Holy Roman Empire I am "African" American but all official Records of my Ancestry go to Spain, England and Germany there is no Slavery in my family history and as far as we know my Ancestry has ALWAYS HAD DARK BROWN SKIN. Which raised the question what were they doing there and how did they get there my last name translates to Head of the Army didn't really think it meant much until I found out that it had always been MY FAMILY'S name as in NOT FROM SLAVERY it wasn't until I actually saw one of my paternal grandfathers names spelled Levantdeur which was being pronounced Lavender that things began to click I realized from studying European art and the entymology of the names that even before the Moorish invasions from Africa during the time of the Holy Roman Empire there were a lot of "US" over there which may explain Franklin's early prejudice against the Swarthy German People https://youtu.be/_c7NqRz2NgI


I’ve met a lot of swarthy German people. I’ve always wondered how it could be that they survived Hitler! Then, I began to ponder whether they are not just the result, the outcome of all the mass rape that the German women endured during and after the 2nd World War at the hands of the French Foreign Legion (lots of black folk in the FFL) and Asian/Turkic soldiers from Russia.

Anyway, I’ve also met swarthy Welshmen, Englishmen and Irishmen, but never a swarthy Swede.

Henry P

Wow! It's been going on since the birth of our nation. Born in CA. We have seen our population chage dramatically. The "Superior race is those who have compassion for the other 5 races...The inferior race is those who only have copmpassion for their own" so we are by far "The Superior race comprised of all races represent the largest group of immigrants to America, outnumbering the inferior by a wide margin.

DR Eugen Fischer

I want to make this very clear that the authentic pictures of black European Kings. Most of these are being warehoused in the Vatican Library. You can Validate these images from the reference section of the book. “The Negro Question” Part2:, The African Slave Ships That Came From Judah by LEE B. CUMMINGS.

-Holy Roman Emperor Fredrick I Barbarossa (1122-1190). Creditials from ambassadors of Venice, Miniature, early fifteen century, Museo Correr Venice., late 12th century the Kings of Europe are being depicted as black by the Europeans themselves, these are not forgeries.

Saint Catherine of Siena before the Pope at Avignon (Pope Gregory XI), by Giovanni di Paolo(1460). (pg.,90)

Figure 41, Image found at Saint Seraphim Church in Walsingham, Norfolk England. (pg. 91)

-Figure 40, Image of King Charles the 5th taken from painting in Lima Peru Museum being depicted as a black King. This is grandfather of King Leopold the 1st and the father of Queen Maria Habsburg of Austria. (pg. 86,,)

-pg., 87 KING CHARLEMAGNE BLACK HOLY ROMAN EMPOREROR, -Karlstejn Castle, Czech Republic. Charlemagne: Carolus Magnus, meaning Charles the Great. (742-814) was king of the Franks from 768 and Emperor of the Romans from 800 to his death in 814.

-Black Knights of Europe: Holy Roman Empire, circa 1447. From Wiener Neustadt Abbey, Stefansdom, Vienna. (In typical Albino fashion, he is claimed to be Saint Maurice)., (pg., 93)


He is referring to the blacks that ruled Europe during that time not the people today

Diane Lane

Wow...I guess the dark skinned original Native Americans (not today) could have said, or should have said the opposite of this imbecile!

Normandie Kent

Benjamin DID mention the Native Americans. He said Black Africans and Swarthy Germans were already transplanting the " whites and Reds" of the land. But he was too dumb to realize that the 'Whites" were also the ones breeding like rabbits, and at the same time genociding the Native Americans, and transplanting them in their own homelands!! Why wouldntnt he mention the Native Americans when in the early history of the British colonies in the Americas, they played the huge part in the story of the early colonial days. It has just been in recent times that Europeans have conveniently left out Native Americans in the modern story of the USA, because now white and black Americans want to be recognized as the American " natives". They want to pretend that there are no more Native Americans.

Wendy Yoghurt

Reds can't be Native Americans (Indians), because he says that America, apart from 'new Comers' is tawny as whole.Reds are white skinned people, who express more red complexion. It is legitimate category on some racial classification pages.



One of the Original peoples of northern Norwey, Sweden, Finland...the Sami


Sorry wrong link https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sami_history

Ray Eston Smith Jr

My sister has traced our family tree back to the 1600's. They're almost all from England, with just a few from Germany. But my DNA indicates a lot more diversity, including both Ashkenazi Jews and Palestinians. And of course, all Europeans are partly descended from Neanderthals.

Ruger Vale

You are all decedents of Africans according to new DNA findings. Well well what a surprise!


Reading the comments you people are so damn ignorant Benjamin was saying the Germans and Swedes were black dumbasses when have you ever seen Caucasians be in the sun until they were swarthy swarthy means dark skinned like Wesly Sniper a Caucasian would sooner die of skin cancer then take on that complexion


Benjamin Franklin was swarthy himself, he didnt look like a nordic man from denmark, holland, sweden or north germany, but like a amerimutt. The funny thing is that british islanders (english included) are much more likely to have darker hair and features, and a lot look no much different than french people from the atlantic departments, due to long shared genetics back in time. The anglo-saxon replacement is purely misinformation and was enhanced in order to support the differenciation between the English and their "celtic" neighbours, then in reality they all are highly related, you wont be able to tell a group of 10 english from 10 irish or 10 scots, however all of them are easily recognizable from continental europeans. A lot of English people look mediterranean or some sort of ancient/neolithic european with very dark hair,
like Mr bean, catherine zeta jones, tom jones, colin farrell, orlando bloom, rusell brand, cheryl cole,kit harington, ritchie blackmore, brian may, frank lampard, joe cole. The average englishman looks more like robbie williams, who doesnt look nordic at all.

only like 5% of englishman look germanic like paul bettany or alan shearer , the vast majority of englishmen look more like their "celtic" brothers, with usually blue or hazel eyes , dark hair, and non-germanic features.

Germans, Dutch and Scandinavians on average are much taller, have larger build and are much blonder, rosier skinned than the average briton (english included). Most english birds are short, round faced and have darker hair or dyed blonde, its uncommon to see tall (175 cm +) blonde women who looks fully germanic in england, unlike in denmark, netherlands, norway, iceland, sweden, germany,etc where they are the average.


The majority of americans self-identify as "german-american" but they are mostly people of mixed ancestry, who more often than not have more british Islander/Irish dna than German dna, that proved by Dna testing. In fact the vast majority of White americans, and also black americans have British/Irish as dominant european ancestry in their Dna. Also a lot of the people who was recorded as german, werent actual germans from germany, but german speakers from switzerland (such as the amish) , allemanic french people, and even german speakers of jewish origins. If you visit german small towns, specially in the northern half of the country, you will realize that germans , specially northern germans are among the tallest and blondest people in Europe, only comparable to Scandinavia, Netherlands and some areas in the Baltics.

Americans comment on "swarthyness" of Germans basing their contact with german americans, who are in reality anything but german... White americans are very mixed but almost always they are of predominant British Isles/Irish ancestry, except some italians in the east coast... English americans are the forgotten majority , who did lead the census (and even back then still undercounted) and fell in the new added category as "American Ancestry" , its simple to compare the numbers of the census of 1980, 1990 and 2000 and see how magically 20 million of english-americans vanished , which proves census in america is pure nonsense.


tawny (adj.)
"tan-colored," late 14c., from Anglo-French tauné "of or like the brownish-yellow of tanned leather," from Old French tanét "dark brown, tan" (12c., Modern French tanné), past participle of taner "to tan hides," from Medieval Latin tannare (see tan (v.)).Related: Tawniness.>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
swarthy (adj.)
"dark-colored," especially of skin, 1580s, unexplained alteration of swarty (1570s), from swart + -y (2). Related: Swarthiness.
schvartze (n.)
also schvartzer, "black person" (somewhat derogatory), 1961, Yiddish, from schvarts "black" (see swarthy). Perhaps originally a code word to refer to black servants when they were within earshot, as German cognate Schwarze appears to have been used mid-19c.:

In Baltimore in the 80s of the last century, the German-speaking householders, when they had occasion to speak of Negro servants in their presence, called them die Blaue (blues). In the 70s die Schwartze (blacks) had been used, but it was believed that the Negroes had fathomed it. [H.L. Mencken, "The American Language," Supplement I, 1945]

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