Benjamin Franklin: the first American”Ambassador” to France

Happy 316th birthday to Benjamin Franklin, Founding Father and the first American Minister Plenipotentiary!

Franklin began his diplomatic career in 1757, representing the colony of Pennsylvania in a taxation dispute with Great Britain. In 1776, the Continental Congress sent Franklin to France to secure an alliance.

In 1779, he presented his diplomatic credentials to the French court and officially became the United States’ Minister Plenipotentiary to France, a position comparable to the modern day title of “ambassador.”

Franklin was essential to the French signing the Treaty of Alliance with the U.S. This treaty recognized the Colonies as an independent republic and promised assistance in defeating Britain in the war for independence. He was also the principal signatory for the U.S. of the Treaty of Paris of 1783 which formally severed ties between Great Britain and its former American colonies.

🖼 Benjamin Franklin
👨‍🎨 Joseph Duplessis, c 1785
🏛 National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; gift of the Morris and Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation

Published by MyWritings

A Writer, A Diplomat in Waiting, Climate Change Advocate and a Football Administrator

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