Today's Hours
Museum: 10:00 AM - 7:00 PM
Gardens: 7:00 AM - 5:30 PM
Today's Hours
Museum: 10:00 AM - 7:00 PM
Gardens: 7:00 AM - 5:30 PM
Benjamin Franklin at the Court of Louis XVI of France
Bejamin Franklin at the Court of Louis XVI of France
In December of 1776, Benjamin Franklin arrived in France as the ambassador of the brand new United States of America. Political prospects seemed dim given that American colonists had fought the French alongside the British a mere decade earlier, and France's political system, with its absolute monarchy, made it also seem a poor ally for a young republic. Nonetheless, Franklin's humble appearance, amazing intellect, dazzling wit, and flirtatious charm made him an instant favorite at the French court. In short, Franklin did an amazing job representing Americas interests, becoming what scholar Leo Lemay has called, "the most essential and successful American diplomat of all time." It is beyond question that America would have lost the war without the financial and military aid Franklin convinced the French to provide. So beloved has Franklin remained in France that author Claude-Anne Lopez reports, "Many French think he was president of the United States. They say, he was the best president you ever had!"