This statue of Benjamin Franklin was donated by Stilson Hutchins, founder of the Washington Post, who gave it to the city in the name of America's newspaper publishers. As such, not only did the statue previously stand near the former location of the Post building, it also emphasizes Franklin's activities as a printer (in addition to his roles as a patriot, philosopher, and philanthropist).
Created by sculptor Jacques Jouvenal and architect J.F. Manning after the design of Ernst Plassman, this eight-foot-high marble statue depicts Franklin in the diplomatic dress appropriate to his role as the American minister to the court in Versailles. He holds a document in his left hand and raises his right in a gesture of greeting; a stack of books rests at his feet.
Following Hutchins' gift, an Act approved on July 19, 1888 authorized the Commissioners of the District of Columbia to erect the statue at 10th and Pennsylvania Avenues, NW. It was moved to its current location outside the Old Post Office in 1980. The statue is currently owned by the National Park Service.
Part of American Revolution Statuary
DC Inventory: March 3, 1979
National Register: July 14, 1978