Benjamin Franklin

by Jean Leon Gerome Ferris (1863—1930)

Oil on canvas; 30 x 24 in. One of the 78 scenes from American history by Ferris titled The Pageant of a Nation. Virginia Historical S

by Robert Feke (c. 1707—52)

Oil on canvas; 127 x 102 cm (50 x 40 3/16 in.) Harvard University Portrait Collection, Cambridge MA.

by Jean-Antoine Houdon (1741—1828)

 

by John Trumbull (1756—1843)

Oil on wood; 14 x 11.1 cm (5 1/2 x 4 3/8 in.) Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, CT.

by Benjamin West (1738—1820)

Oil on canvas; Height: 28 ½” (72.3 cm); Width: 36 ¼” (92.7 cm). Winterthur Museum, Garden and Library; Winterthur, DE.

by Charles Willson Peale (1741—1827)

Oil on canvas; oval: 23 1/8 x 19 1/16 in. (58.7 x 48.4 cm.) Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, Philadelphia, PA.

by Charles Willson Peale (1741—1827)

Oil on canvas. Historical Society of Pennsylvania Collection, Philadelphia History Museum at the Atwater Kent, Philadelphia, PA.

by William Rush (1756—1833)

North American white pine; 54.6 x 40 x 38.1 cm (21 1/2 x 15 3/4 x 15 in.) Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, CT.

by Benjamin West (1738—1820)

Oil on slate; 13 3/8 x 10 1/16 inches (34 x 25.6 cm). Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, PA.

by Norman Rockwell (1894—1978)

Oil on canvas; 37 x 28 inches. Private collection.

The press was the mass medium of the eighteenth century, the only way to bring both news and commentary to a broad public audience. The popularity of newspapers soared in Revolutionary America: By the late 1780s, the United States had about ninety-five newspapers, over twice the number at the time of independence. Moreover, the newspapers of 1776 were weeklies, but those of 1787 we often published two or three times a week. There were even a few that appeared daily to satisfy the hungry reading public.

Pauline Maier
Ratification: The People Debate the Constitution, 1787—1788 (2010)