|Hôtel de Valentinois|
Photo: WC News Service
'I WAS THE ONLY ONE LOOKING UP'
By Richard Carreño
[WC News Service]
DURING HIS LONG life of eighty-four years, Benjamin Franklin was an inventor, postmaster, printer, librarian, scientist, politician, journalist. Here in Paris, though, the polymath Franklin reached his apogée, as an American freedom fighter, Society maven, intellectual superstar, statesmen, and, despite his age and age-related ailments, even as an envied roué and lady's man.
Franklin (1706-1790) was always peripatetic. This was all the more remarkable in that 18th century travel, both overland and overseas, was time-consuming and involved incredible hardship, planning, and danger. Franklin mastered it all, becoming arguably the most well-travelled American of his time.
Born in Boston, he wound up, via New York, in Philadelphia in 1723, where he married, raised a family, and blossomed as the Anglo-American luminary of legend.