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In this case Creator/Artist Name: Joseph Siffred Duplessis. Date of birth/death 1725 1802. High Resolution Image (2,134 × 2,868 pixels, file size: 2.36 MB, MIME type: image/jpeg)
His likeness appeared on medallions, rings, watches, and snuffboxes, while fashionable ladies adopted the coiffure a la Franklin in imitation of the fur cap he wore instead of a wig. His popularity and diplomatic skill--along with the first American battlefield success at Saratoga--convinced France to recognize American independence and conclude an alliance with the thirteen states in 1778. Franklin presented his credentials to the French court in 1779, becoming the first American Minister (the 18th American century equivalent of ambassador) to be received by a foreign government.
Franklin’s home in Passy, just outside Paris, became the center of American diplomacy in Europe. When Thomas Jefferson succeeded Franklin in 1785, the French Foreign Minister, Vergennes asked: "It is you who replace Dr. Franklin?" Jefferson replied, "No one can replace him, Sir; I am only his successor." Benjamin Franklin: First American Diplomat, 1776-1785
Benjamin Franklin From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Benjamin Franklin (January 17 [O.S. January 6] 1706 – April 17, 1790) was one of the most important and influental Founding Fathers of the United States. He was a leading author, political theorist, politician, printer, scientist, inventor, civic activist, and diplomat. As a scientist he was a major figure in the history of physics for his discoveries and theories regarding electricity. As a political writer and activist he, more than anyone, invented the idea of an American nation, and as a diplomat during the American Revolution, he secured the French alliance that helped to make independence possible.
Franklin was famous for his curiosity, his writings (popular, political and scientific), his inventions, and his diversity of interests. As a leader of the Enlightenment, he gained the recognition of scientists and intellectuals across Europe. An agent in London before the Revolution, and Minister to France during the war, he, more than anyone else, defined the new nation in the minds of Europe.
His success in securing French military and financial aid was a great contributor to the American victory over Britain. He invented the lightning rod, bifocals, the iron furnace stove (also known as the Franklin stove), a carriage odometer and a musical instrument known as the armonica. He was an early proponent of colonial unity. Many historians hail him as the "First American."
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