National Museum of American History
14th Street and Constitution Avenue, NW
2nd Floor, West Corridor Floor Plan
In commemoration of Benjamin Franklin's 300th birthday, the items in the exhibit case are used to examine his role as a statesman. He wore the 3-piece, silk suit during his diplomatic trip to Paris that resulted in the signing of the Treaty of Alliance in 1778; the walking cane was presented to him during this trip; and the famous portrait by Joseph Siffred Duplessis was commissioned during his stay in Paris. The simplicity of the suit's cut projected an American identity of industry and virtue deserving of political and social respect that helped Franklin garner French support for the American Revolution. The suit will be displayed on a special form modeled after both Franklin's figure and posture.