William Temple Franklin (1760–1823) Artist: John Trumbull (American, 1756–1843)


American Paintings and Sculpture

On view, 2nd floor, American Art before 1900

This portrait of William Temple Franklin is one of five miniatures painted by John Trumbull in preparation for The Treaty of Peace, an unexecuted painting commemorating the 1783 accord signed in Paris that ended the Revolutionary War. Shortly after publicly announcing his plans for the subject in 1790, Trumbull began to take portraits of the prominent figures involved in the negotiations: Henry Laurens, John Jay, and John Adams, the three American peace commissioners deputized by Congress, as well as George Hammond, who served as the secretary to the British delegation, and William Temple Franklin, grandson of Benjamin Franklin. The nonmarital child of Benjamin Franklin's son William, William Temple Franklin was adopted by his grandfather and later appointed secretary to the American delegation at the treaty talks.


Oil on wood


3 5/8 × 3 1/8 in. (9.2 × 7.9 cm)

Credit Line

Trumbull Collection

Accession Number



18th century


Note: This electronic record was created from historic documentation that does not necessarily reflect the Yale University Art Gallery’s complete or current knowledge about the object. Review and updating of records is ongoing.

  • Helen A. Cooper et al., Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness: American Art from the Yale University Art Gallery, exh. cat. (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Art Gallery, 2008), 96–97, no. 39, ill.
  • Helen A. Cooper et al., John Trumbull: The Hand and Spirit of a Painter (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Art Gallery, 1982), 135, pl. 66-70.
Object copyright
Additional information

Object/Work type

miniatures (paintings), portraits


signed verso: "Wm. Temple Franklin [sic],/Grandson of Doctr. Franklin/& Se[cy] of the American/commissioners at the treaty/w G Britain 1783/Painted in Phila./1790 by J. Trumbull.

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