Ben Franklin was appointed by the Second Continental Congress to the “Committee of Five,” which was given the task of drafting the Declaration of Independence. Thomas Jefferson wrote the original draft, but with strong input from the other members who also revised Jefferson’s original draft when it was complete. The other three members of the committee were John Adams, Robert Livingston and Roger Sherman.
Franklin voted to accept the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776, famously saying that “We must all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately.” He signed the document along with the other members of Congress in August.
Ben Franklin served Congress in various important positions, including as Commissioner to Canada, Ambassador to France and as a member of the Committee of Secret Correspondence dealing with spying and foreign intelligence, while serving as Ambassador to France, Franklin was responsible for persuading the French to give large amounts of money, supplies and manpower, including ships, soldiers and experienced military leaders to the American war effort, this was probably Franklin’s most significant contribution to the war effort.
Franklin was one of three commissioners appointed by Congress to negotiate the terms of peace with Britain at the end of the war. The Treaty of Paris, as the peace treaty was known, was signed on September 3, 1783. The other commissioners were John Jay and John Adams.
Though not during the period of the Revolutionary War, but still a significant moment in the founding of the United States, Ben Franklin was a delegate to the Constitutional Convention and a signer of the United States Constitution in 1787.
Benjamin Franklin Quotes:
“They that can give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.” – Historical Review of Pennsylvania, 1759
“We must all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately.” – At the signing of the Declaration of Independence, July 4, 1776
“Rebellion to tyrants is obedience to God.” – Ben Franklin’s proposed Seal of the United States, July, 1776