The Hatmaker’s Sign: A Story by Benjamin Franklin

The Hatmaker’s Sign is a picture book tells the tale of Ben Franklin consoling Thomas Jefferson during an editing debate that came about after he submitted his draft of the Declaration of Independence. Jefferson wrote this great document he was proud of and the Continental Congress offered many suggestions for improvement. He took this to heart, and Franklin tried to reassure Jefferson, which resulted in him telling a story of a hat maker getting a sign made for his new shop.

On his way to the sign maker the hat maker is stopped several times and offered advice on changing the sign. The moral of the story is that "No matter what you write, or how well you write it, if the public is going to read it, you can be sure they will want to change it." Ben Franklin, being the master story teller that he was, used the tale to console Jefferson during an important historical event.

For more Franklin facts, fun and events, see here.


The message is still completely true today. In fact, event if your writing is wonderful, and then it is critiqued, if you show it to another person, they will surly make other alterations to your work. Never be discouraged by others' suggestions to your work. They are only trying to help improve the quality, even if they do no such thing.

My favorite Ben Franklin book for kids is Ben and Me by Robert Lawson, a biography told from the perspective of his mouse. (I suspect it has some flaws as a history, but the pictures are great.)

Ben and me is one of the best books ever. It teaches you about Ben Franklin in a fun and creative way. Don't be mislead, Bed was not actually directed by a mouse.

I wonder if this is like a children's picture book, or a short story?

racoonacon1236, It is a picture book.

What a great moral in a picture book... :) That's quite amazing.


cool! I should take a look at it!