Franklin's last years were a whirlwind of activity. He got busier and busier–negotiating with France, negotiating with Britain, helping to write the Constitution, running Pennsylvania, fighting against slavery. Through it all he kept up his essays, letters, experiments and observations. He was well into his seventies, then eighties, suffering from boils, gout, and bladder stones. Still, he kept working. Franklin's role in bringing the French into the war was crucial. The French had wondered about how seriously Americans wanted independence, but in Franklin they had confidence. Franklin's skill also helped America negotiate a peace treaty with Britain that was more generous than most people had expected or hoped for. His role in the Constitutional Convention, though limited, was also critical. The delegates might never have reached an agreement on the question of representation without his help. In all of
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