- from Ben Franklin
After his return from England, Franklin was appointed a Pennsylvania delegate to the Second Continental Congress. This group had a huge job. They had to hold the colonies together. They also had to challenge the military power of Britain.
Ben knew the only way the colonists could win freedom from Britain was if they got some help, and the only nation likely to help them was France, Britain’s enemy. Congress urged Franklin to represent them in Paris. Although he was past 70 and a widower, Ben sailed to France.
The American cause was popular in Paris. Volunteers crossed the Atlantic to fight for the colonists. The French government also gave the colonists secret loans to buy guns. That was even before Franklin was able to work out a formal agreement with the French, which was signed in 1778.