In December 1776, he was dispatched to France as commissioner for the United States. He lived in a home in the Parisian suburb of Passy, donated by Jacques-Donatien Le Ray de Chaumont who helped the United States. Franklin remained in France until 1785, and was such a favorite of French society that it became fashionable for wealthy French families to decorate their parlors with a painting of him. He was highly flirtatious in the French manner (but did not have any actual affairs.) He conducted the affairs of his country towards the French nation with great success, which included securing a critical military alliance and negotiating the Treaty of Paris (1783). When he finally returned home in 1785, he received a place only second to that of George Washington as the champion of American independence. Le Ray honored him with a commissioned portrait painted by Joseph Duplessis that now hangs in the National Portrait Gallery of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC.

4 Responses to “Benjamin Franklin at the French Court”


  1. 1 gena stonehill-penney November 18, 2007 at 5:13 pm

    we have an origianl painting of franklin at the court? by a painter by the name of charles francis I think and I was trying tofind more info on the painting and painter, If I send you a photo of the painting do you think you might be able to help me?
    gena penney

  2. 2 anthony November 18, 2007 at 7:49 pm

    No, Gena, but Professor J. A. Leo Lemay [lemay@english.udel.edu ] English Dept., University of Delaware, Newark, DE 19716, who is writing the definitive “Life of Franklin” may be able to.

  3. 3 Michael Tim February 28, 2009 at 4:51 pm

    I love your site!

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  1. 1 Pages « Friends of the American Revolution Trackback on July 22, 2008 at 10:31 am

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“What do we mean by the American Revolution? Do we mean the American war? The Revolution was effected before the war commenced. The Revolution was in the minds and hearts of the people; a change in their religious sentiments, of their duties and obligations…This radical change in the principles, opinions, sentiments, and affections of the people was the real American Revolution.” John Adams

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