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The Parisian Life of Benjamin Franklin: An American Revolution Story

Paris has a rich history filled with fascinating stories, one of which includes Benjamin Franklin’s time in Paris. The popular TV show “Franklin” has brought renewed interest in this Founding Father, highlighting his adventures and contributions during his stay in the French capital. Let’s dive into the reasons why Benjamin Franklin lived in Paris and explore the historical sites that made his stay so significant!

Sketch of Benjamin Franklin
Photo: Sketch of Benjamin Franklin

Franklin’s Diplomatic Mission

In 1776, Benjamin Franklin arrived in Paris on a crucial mission: to secure French support for the American Revolution. France’s aid was essential for the colonies to gain independence from Britain. Franklin’s charm, wit and intelligence quickly made him a beloved figure in Parisian society. He lived at the Hôtel de Valentinois in Passy, a suburban area of Paris. This mansion became the hub of diplomatic activity, where Franklin worked tirelessly to gain French support.

The Charm of Parisian Society

Franklin’s charisma made him a favorite among the French aristocracy. He attended many salons and social gatherings, where his fascinating conversations and scientific experiments won him many friends. The TV show “Franklin” portrays these moments beautifully, showing how Benjamin Franklin in Paris used his personality and intellect to influence key figures like the Comte de Vergennes, the French Foreign Minister. Visiting the salons of Paris today gives you a glimpse into the lively discussions and important decisions that shaped history. Discover how you can walk in his footsteps with our private French Revolution tour package, perfect for history lovers.

Contributions to Science and Invention

While in Paris, Franklin didn’t just focus on diplomacy. He continued his scientific work, conducting experiments with electricity and even with balloons, inspired by the Montgolfier brothers. The Musée des Arts et Métiers in Paris showcases many scientific artefacts from this era. This museum is a must-visit for those interested in the innovative spirit of the 18th century.

The Signing of the Treaty of Paris

One of Franklin’s most significant achievements during his time in Paris was the signing of the Treaty of Paris in 1783. This treaty officially ended the American Revolutionary War. The signing took place at the Hôtel d’York, located at 56 Rue Jacob. Today, this site is an important landmark for those interested in diplomatic history. Our private French Revolution Private Tour package includes a visit to this historic site, perfect for history lovers wanting to explore Benjamin Franklin in Paris.

Franklin’s Enduring Legacy

Benjamin Franklin left a lasting impact on Paris. He introduced American foods like cranberries and corn to the French and even influenced fashion with his simple, rustic attire. Exploring Paris with these historical insights adds a new layer of appreciation for this beautiful city. Our private tours offer a deep dive into the lives of historical figures like Franklin, making history come alive, particularly focusing on Benjamin Franklin in Paris.

Franklin TV Show, Apple TV
Photo: Franklin TV Show, Apple TV

The “Franklin” TV show

If you can’t wait to get to Paris to hear about Franklin’s time in the city of lights, we highly recommend the TV show “Franklin”. Not only is the whole show shot on location, especially the scenes in Versailles, it offers a rare insight on the popularity of the American Revolution in France, and features major French role-players of the American Revolution, such as Lafayette and Beaumarchais. An excellent introduction for your upcoming trip to Paris!

Benjamin Franklin’s time in Paris was marked by significant diplomatic achievements, scientific discoveries, and cultural exchanges. Join us on our exclusive French Revolution Private Tour to walk in the footsteps of Benjamin Franklin and experience the city through the eyes of one of history’s greatest minds!

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