Portrait of Benjamin Franklin

In June 1776, the Continental Congress appointed Franklin to the Committee of Five along with John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, Robert Livingston and Roger Sherman to draft a declaration to send to King George.

In July 1776, Franklin was one of the 56 signers of the Declaration of Independence in Philadelphia. From 1776–1785, Franklin negotiated on behalf of America in France. He served as an agent of a diplomatic commission by the Continental Congress in 1776, in 1778 as minister to France, and in 1779 as ambassador. After the Battle of Saratoga in 1777, the French openly supported the American cause. In 1778, he signed the Treaty of Alliance with France. Franklin’s popularity and negotiation ability encouraged the continual support of France. He signed the Treaty of Paris in 1783 establishing peace with Great Britain.

While Franklin was negotiating in France, the Second Continental Congress passed the Articles of Confederation in 1777. This document did not govern the new nation well. In May 1787, representatives met in Philadelphia for a Constitutional Convention. On September 17, 1987, 39 of the 55 delegates signed the Constitution of the United States of America. Benjamin Franklin was one of them.

Franklin was not only a Founding Father but also a scientist and inventor. He established the first American library, university, hospital and fire department.

Benjamin Franklin died on April 17, 1790.