Franklin: The Jews Must Be Excluded from the United States
“In whatever country Jews have settled in any great numbers,” said Franklin, “they have lowered its moral tone; depreciated its commercial integrity; have segregated themselves and have not been assimilated; have sneered at and tried to undermine the Christian religion upon which that nation is founded by objecting to its restrictions; have built up a state within a state; and when opposed have tried to strangle that country to death financially, as in the case of Spain and Portugal.
“For over 1,700 years the Jews have been bewailing their sad fate in that they have been exiled from their homeland, as they call Palestine. But, Gentlemen, did the world today give it to them in fee simple, they would at once find some cogent reason for not returning. Why? Because they are vampires, and vampires do not live on vampires. They cannot live on themselves. They must subsist on Christians and other peoples not of their race.
“If you do not exclude them from these United States, in this Constitution, in less than 200 years they will have swarmed in such great numbers that they will dominate and devour the land, and change our form of government, for which we Americans have shed our blood, given our lives, our substance and jeopardized our liberty. “If you do not exclude them, in less than 200 years our descendants will be working in the fields to furnish them substance, while they will be in the counting houses rubbing their hands. I warn you, Gentlemen, if you do not exclude the Jews for all time, your children will curse you in your graves.
“Jews, Gentlemen, are Asiatics, let them be born where they will, or how many generations they are away from Asia, they never will be otherwise. Their ideas do not conform to an American’s, and will not even though they live among us ten generations. A leopard cannot change its spots. Jews are Asiatics, are a menace to this country if permitted entrance, and should be excluded by this Constitution.”
— Benjamin Franklin as quoted in the diary of Charles C. Pinckney (1746-1825), a delegate to the U.S. Constitutional Convention of 1787