Founding Fathers of the United States

Founding Fathers of the United States

Encyclopedia


The Founding Fathers of the United States of America were political leaders and statesmen who participated in the American Revolution
American Revolution
The American Revolution was the political upheaval during the last half of the 18th century in which thirteen colonies in North America joined together to break free from the British Empire, combining to become the United States of America...

 by signing the United States Declaration of Independence
United States Declaration of Independence
The Declaration of Independence was a statement adopted by the Continental Congress on July 4, 1776, which announced that the thirteen American colonies then at war with Great Britain regarded themselves as independent states, and no longer a part of the British Empire. John Adams put forth a...

, taking part in the American Revolutionary War
American Revolutionary War
The American Revolutionary War , the American War of Independence, or simply the Revolutionary War, began as a war between the Kingdom of Great Britain and thirteen British colonies in North America, and ended in a global war between several European great powers.The war was the result of the...

, establishing the United States Constitution
United States Constitution
The Constitution of the United States is the supreme law of the United States of America. It is the framework for the organization of the United States government and for the relationship of the federal government with the states, citizens, and all people within the United States.The first three...

, or by some other key contribution. Within the large group known as the "Founding Fathers", there are two key subsets: the "Signers of the Declaration of Independence" (who signed the United States Declaration of Independence in 1776) and the Framers of the Constitution (who were delegates to the Federal Convention and took part in framing or drafting the proposed Constitution of the United States). A further subset is the group that signed the Articles of Confederation
Articles of Confederation
The Articles of Confederation, formally the Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union, was an agreement among the 13 founding states that legally established the United States of America as a confederation of sovereign states and served as its first constitution...

.

Some historians define the "Founding Fathers" to mean a larger group, including not only the Signers and the Framers but also all those who, whether as politicians, jurists, statesmen, soldiers, diplomats, or ordinary citizens, took part in winning American independence and creating the United States of America. American historian Richard B. Morris
Richard B. Morris
Richard Brandon Morris was an American historian best known for his pioneering work in colonial American legal history and the early history of American labor. In later years, he shifted his research interests to the constitutional, diplomatic, and political history of the American Revolution and...

, in his 1973 book Seven Who Shaped Our Destiny: The Founding Fathers as Revolutionaries, identified the following seven figures as the key Founding Fathers: John Adams
John Adams
John Adams was an American lawyer, statesman, diplomat and political theorist. A leading champion of independence in 1776, he was the second President of the United States...

, Benjamin Franklin
Benjamin Franklin
Dr. Benjamin Franklin was one of the Founding Fathers of the United States. A noted polymath, Franklin was a leading author, printer, political theorist, politician, postmaster, scientist, musician, inventor, satirist, civic activist, statesman, and diplomat...

, Alexander Hamilton
Alexander Hamilton
Alexander Hamilton was a Founding Father, soldier, economist, political philosopher, one of America's first constitutional lawyers and the first United States Secretary of the Treasury...

, John Jay
John Jay
John Jay was an American politician, statesman, revolutionary, diplomat, a Founding Father of the United States, and the first Chief Justice of the United States ....

, Thomas Jefferson
Thomas Jefferson
Thomas Jefferson was the principal author of the United States Declaration of Independence and the Statute of Virginia for Religious Freedom , the third President of the United States and founder of the University of Virginia...

, James Madison
James Madison
James Madison, Jr. was an American statesman and political theorist. He was the fourth President of the United States and is hailed as the “Father of the Constitution” for being the primary author of the United States Constitution and at first an opponent of, and then a key author of the United...

, and George Washington
George Washington
George Washington was the dominant military and political leader of the new United States of America from 1775 to 1799. He led the American victory over Great Britain in the American Revolutionary War as commander-in-chief of the Continental Army from 1775 to 1783, and presided over the writing of...

.

The newspaper publisher Warren G. Harding
Warren G. Harding
Warren Gamaliel Harding was the 29th President of the United States . A Republican from Ohio, Harding was an influential self-made newspaper publisher. He served in the Ohio Senate , as the 28th Lieutenant Governor of Ohio and as a U.S. Senator...

, then a Republican Senator from Ohio, coined the phrase "Founding Fathers" in his keynote address to the 1916 Republican National Convention
1916 Republican National Convention
The 1916 Republican National Convention was held in Chicago, Illinois at the Chicago Coliseum, from June 7 to June 10, 1916. It nominated Supreme Court Justice Charles Evans Hughes of New York for president and former Vice President Charles Fairbanks of Indiana for a return to the vice presidency....

. He used it several times thereafter, most prominently in his 1921 inaugural address as President of the United States.

Collective biography of the Framers of the Constitution


In the winter and spring of 1786-1787, twelve of the thirteen states chose a total of 74 delegates to attend what is now known as the Federal Convention in Philadelphia. Nineteen delegates chose not to accept election or attend the debates; for example, Patrick Henry
Patrick Henry
Patrick Henry was an orator and politician who led the movement for independence in Virginia in the 1770s. A Founding Father, he served as the first and sixth post-colonial Governor of Virginia from 1776 to 1779 and subsequently, from 1784 to 1786...

 of Virginia thought that state politics were far more interesting and important than national politics, though during the ratification controversy of 1787-1788 he claimed, "I smelled a rat." Rhode Island did not send delegates because of its politicians' suspicions of the Convention delegates' motivations. As a sanctuary for Baptists
Roger Williams (theologian)
Roger Williams was an English Protestant theologian who was an early proponent of religious freedom and the separation of church and state. In 1636, he began the colony of Providence Plantation, which provided a refuge for religious minorities. Williams started the first Baptist church in America,...

, Rhode Island's absence at the Convention in part explains the absence of Baptist
Baptist
Baptists comprise a group of Christian denominations and churches that subscribe to a doctrine that baptism should be performed only for professing believers , and that it must be done by immersion...

 affiliation among those who did attend. Of the 55 who did attend at some point, no more than 38 delegates showed up at one time.

These delegates represented a cross-section of 18th century American leadership. Almost all of them were well-educated men of means who were leaders in their communities. Many were also prominent in national affairs. Virtually every one had taken part in the American Revolution
American Revolution
The American Revolution was the political upheaval during the last half of the 18th century in which thirteen colonies in North America joined together to break free from the British Empire, combining to become the United States of America...

; at least 29 had served in the Continental Army
Continental Army
The Continental Army was formed after the outbreak of the American Revolutionary War by the colonies that became the United States of America. Established by a resolution of the Continental Congress on June 14, 1775, it was created to coordinate the military efforts of the Thirteen Colonies in...

, most of them in positions of command. Several of the latter were instrumental in establishing the Society of the Cincinnati
Society of the Cincinnati
The Society of the Cincinnati is a historical organization with branches in the United States and France founded in 1783 to preserve the ideals and fellowship of the American Revolutionary War officers and to pressure the government to honor pledges it had made to officers who fought for American...

 in 1783. Scholars have examined the collective biography of them as well as the signers of the Declaration and the Constitution.

Political experience


The framers of the Constitution had extensive political experience. By 1787, four-fifths (41 individuals), were or had been members of the Continental Congress
Continental Congress
The Continental Congress was a convention of delegates called together from the Thirteen Colonies that became the governing body of the United States during the American Revolution....

. Nearly all of the 55 delegates had experience in colonial and state government, and the majority had held county and local offices.
  • Thomas Mifflin
    Thomas Mifflin
    Thomas Mifflin was an American merchant and politician from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He was a major general in the Continental Army during the American Revolution, a member of the Pennsylvania Provincial Assembly, a Continental Congressman from Pennsylvania, President of the Continental...

     and Nathaniel Gorham
    Nathaniel Gorham
    Nathaniel Gorham was the fourteenth President of the United States in Congress assembled, under the Articles of Confederation...

     had served as President of the Continental Congress
    President of the Continental Congress
    The President of the Continental Congress was the presiding officer of the Continental Congress, the convention of delegates that emerged as the first national government of the United States during the American Revolution...

    .
  • The ones who lacked congressional experience were Bassett, Blair, Brearly, Broom, Davie, Dayton, Alexander Martin, Luther Martin, Mason, McClurg, Paterson, Charles Pinckney
    Charles Pinckney (governor)
    Charles Pinckney was an American politician who was a signer of the United States Constitution, the 37th Governor of South Carolina, a Senator and a member of the House of Representatives...

    , Strong, Washington and Yates.
  • Eight men (Clymer, Franklin, Gerry, Robert Morris, Read, Roger Sherman, Wilson, and Wythe) had signed the Declaration of Independence
    United States Declaration of Independence
    The Declaration of Independence was a statement adopted by the Continental Congress on July 4, 1776, which announced that the thirteen American colonies then at war with Great Britain regarded themselves as independent states, and no longer a part of the British Empire. John Adams put forth a...

    .
  • Six (Carroll, Dickinson, Gerry, Gouverneur Morris, Robert Morris, and Sherman) had affixed their signatures to the Articles of Confederation
    Articles of Confederation
    The Articles of Confederation, formally the Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union, was an agreement among the 13 founding states that legally established the United States of America as a confederation of sovereign states and served as its first constitution...

    .
  • Two, Sherman and Robert Morris, signed all three of the nation's basic documents.
  • Dickinson, Franklin, Langdon, and Rutledge had been governors.

Occupations and finances


The 1787 delegates practiced a wide range of high and middle-status
Social status
In sociology or anthropology, social status is the honor or prestige attached to one's position in society . It may also refer to a rank or position that one holds in a group, for example son or daughter, playmate, pupil, etc....

 occupations, and many pursued more than one career simultaneously. They did not differ dramatically from the Loyalists
Loyalist (American Revolution)
Loyalists were American colonists who remained loyal to the Kingdom of Great Britain during the American Revolutionary War. At the time they were often called Tories, Royalists, or King's Men. They were opposed by the Patriots, those who supported the revolution...

, except they were generally younger and less senior in their professions. Thirty-five had legal training, though not all of them practiced law. Some had also been local judges.
  • At the time of the convention, 13 men were merchant
    Merchant
    A merchant is a businessperson who trades in commodities that were produced by others, in order to earn a profit.Merchants can be one of two types:# A wholesale merchant operates in the chain between producer and retail merchant...

    s: Blount, Broom, Clymer, Dayton, Fitzsimons, Shields, Gilman, Gorham, Langdon, Robert Morris, Pierce, Sherman, and Wilson.
  • Seven were major land speculators
    Speculation
    In finance, speculation is a financial action that does not promise safety of the initial investment along with the return on the principal sum...

    : Blount, Dayton, Fitzsimons, Gorham, Robert Morris, Washington and Wilson.
  • Eleven speculated in securities
    Security (finance)
    A security is generally a fungible, negotiable financial instrument representing financial value. Securities are broadly categorized into:* debt securities ,* equity securities, e.g., common stocks; and,...

     on a large scale: Bedford, Blair, Clymer, Dayton, Fitzsimons, Franklin, King, Langdon, Robert Morris, Charles Cotesworth Pinckney, and Sherman.
  • Twelve owned or managed slave-operated plantation
    Plantation
    A plantation is a long artificially established forest, farm or estate, where crops are grown for sale, often in distant markets rather than for local on-site consumption...

    s or large farm
    Farm
    A farm is an area of land, or, for aquaculture, lake, river or sea, including various structures, devoted primarily to the practice of producing and managing food , fibres and, increasingly, fuel. It is the basic production facility in food production. Farms may be owned and operated by a single...

    s: Bassett, Blair, Blount, Butler, Carroll, Jenifer, Jefferson, Mason, Charles Pinckney, Charles Cotesworth Pinckney, Rutledge, Spaight, and Washington. Madison also owned slaves, as did Franklin, who later freed his slaves
    Manumission
    Manumission is the act of a slave owner freeing his or her slaves. In the United States before the passage of the Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, which abolished most slavery, this often happened upon the death of the owner, under conditions in his will.-Motivations:The...

     and was a key founder of the Pennsylvania Anti-Slavery Society
    Pennsylvania Anti-Slavery Society
    The Pennsylvania Anti-Slavery Society was established in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania by James and Lucretia Mott in 1833.At the time, Pennsylvania was an openly racist state, withdrawing blacks' voting rights in 1838....

    . Alexander Hamilton
    Alexander Hamilton
    Alexander Hamilton was a Founding Father, soldier, economist, political philosopher, one of America's first constitutional lawyers and the first United States Secretary of the Treasury...

     was opposed to slavery and, with John Jay and other anti-slavery advocates, helped to found the first African free school in New York City. Jay helped to found the New York Manumission Society, Hamilton was an officer, and when Jay was governor of New York in 1798 he signed into law the state statute ending slavery as of 1821.
  • Broom and Few were small farmers.
  • Eight of the men received a substantial part of their income from public office: Baldwin, Blair, Brearly, Gilman, Livingston, Madison, and Rutledge.
  • Three had retired
    Retirement
    Retirement is the point where a person stops employment completely. A person may also semi-retire by reducing work hours.Many people choose to retire when they are eligible for private or public pension benefits, although some are forced to retire when physical conditions don't allow the person to...

     from active economic endeavors: Franklin, McHenry, and Mifflin.
  • Franklin and Williamson were scientist
    Scientist
    A scientist in a broad sense is one engaging in a systematic activity to acquire knowledge. In a more restricted sense, a scientist is an individual who uses the scientific method. The person may be an expert in one or more areas of science. This article focuses on the more restricted use of the word...

    s, in addition to their other activities.
  • McClurg, McHenry, and Williamson were physician
    Physician
    A physician is a health care provider who practices the profession of medicine, which is concerned with promoting, maintaining or restoring human health through the study, diagnosis, and treatment of disease, injury and other physical and mental impairments...

    s, and Johnson was a college president
    Academic administration
    An academic administration is a branch of university or college employees responsible for the maintenance and supervision of the institution and separate from the faculty or academics, although some personnel may have joint responsibilities...

    .

Family and finances


A few of the 1787 delegates were wealthy, but many of the country's top wealth-holders were Loyalists who went to Britain. Most of the others had financial resources that ranged from good to excellent, but there are other founders who were less than wealthy. On the whole they were less wealthy than the Loyalists.

Demographics


Brown (1976) and Harris (1969) provide detailed demographic information on each man.
  • Most of the 1787 delegates were natives of the Thirteen Colonies
    Thirteen Colonies
    The Thirteen Colonies were English and later British colonies established on the Atlantic coast of North America between 1607 and 1733. They declared their independence in the American Revolution and formed the United States of America...

    . Only 9 were born elsewhere: four (Butler, Fitzsimons, McHenry, and Paterson) in Ireland
    Kingdom of Ireland
    The Kingdom of Ireland refers to the country of Ireland in the period between the proclamation of Henry VIII as King of Ireland by the Crown of Ireland Act 1542 and the Act of Union in 1800. It replaced the Lordship of Ireland, which had been created in 1171...

    , two (Davie and Robert Morris) in England
    England
    England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...

    , two (Wilson and Witherspoon) in Scotland
    Scotland
    Scotland is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. Occupying the northern third of the island of Great Britain, it shares a border with England to the south and is bounded by the North Sea to the east, the Atlantic Ocean to the north and west, and the North Channel and Irish Sea to the...

    , and one (Hamilton) in the West Indies
    Nevis
    Nevis is an island in the Caribbean Sea, located near the northern end of the Lesser Antilles archipelago, about 350 km east-southeast of Puerto Rico and 80 km west of Antigua. The 93 km² island is part of the inner arc of the Leeward Islands chain of the West Indies...

    .
  • Many of them had moved from one state to another. Seventeen individuals had already lived or worked in more than one state or colony: Baldwin, Bassett, Bedford, Dickinson, Few, Franklin, Ingersoll, HamiltonFirst lived and studied in New Jersey, then moved to New York to attend college, Livingston, Alexander Martieno, Luther Martin, Mercer, Gouverneur Morris, Robert Morris, Read, Sherman, and Williamson.
  • Several others had studied or traveled abroad.


The Founding Fathers had strong educational backgrounds at some of the colonial colleges
Colonial colleges
The Colonial Colleges are nine institutions of higher education chartered in the American Colonies before the United States of America became a sovereign nation after the American Revolution. These nine have long been considered together, notably in the survey of their origins in the 1907 The...

 or abroad. Some, like Franklin and Washington, were largely self-taught
Autodidacticism
Autodidacticism is self-education or self-directed learning. In a sense, autodidacticism is "learning on your own" or "by yourself", and an autodidact is a person who teaches him or herself something. The term has its roots in the Ancient Greek words αὐτός and διδακτικός...

 or learned through apprenticeship
Apprenticeship
Apprenticeship is a system of training a new generation of practitioners of a skill. Apprentices or protégés build their careers from apprenticeships...

. Others had obtained instruction from private tutors or at academies. About half of the men had attended or graduated from college. Some men held medical degrees
Doctor of Medicine
Doctor of Medicine is a doctoral degree for physicians. The degree is granted by medical schools...

 or advanced training in theology. Most of the education was in the colonies, but several were lawyers who had been trained at the Inns of Court
Inns of Court
The Inns of Court in London are the professional associations for barristers in England and Wales. All such barristers must belong to one such association. They have supervisory and disciplinary functions over their members. The Inns also provide libraries, dining facilities and professional...

 in London.

Longevity and family life



For their era, the 1787 delegates (like the 1776 signers) were average in terms of life spans. Their average age at death was about 67. The first to die was Houston in 1788; the last was Madison in 1836.

Secretary Charles Thomson
Charles Thomson
Charles Thomson was a Patriot leader in Philadelphia during the American Revolution and the secretary of the Continental Congress throughout its existence.-Biography:...

 lived to the age of 94. Johnson died at 92. John Adams lived to the age of 90. A few—Franklin, Jefferson, Madison, Williamson, and Wythe—lived into their eighties. Either 15 or 16 (depending on Fitzsimons's exact age) died in their seventies, 20 or 21 in their sixties, eight in their fifties, and five only in their forties. Three (Alexander Hamilton
Alexander Hamilton
Alexander Hamilton was a Founding Father, soldier, economist, political philosopher, one of America's first constitutional lawyers and the first United States Secretary of the Treasury...

, Richard Dobbs Spaight
Richard Dobbs Spaight
Richard Dobbs Spaight was the eighth Governor of the American State of North Carolina from 1792 to 1795.-Early life:Spaight was born in New Bern, North Carolina, the son of the Secretary of the Crown in the colony...

 and Button Gwinnett
Button Gwinnett
Button Gwinnett was an English-born American political leader who, as a representative of Georgia to the Continental Congress, was the second of the signatories on the United States Declaration of Independence...

) were killed in duel
Duel
A duel is an arranged engagement in combat between two individuals, with matched weapons in accordance with agreed-upon rules.Duels in this form were chiefly practised in Early Modern Europe, with precedents in the medieval code of chivalry, and continued into the modern period especially among...

s.

Most of the delegates married and raised children. Sherman fathered the largest family: 15 children by two wives. At least nine (Bassett, Brearly, Johnson, Mason, Paterson, Charles Cotesworth Pinckney, Sherman, Wilson, and Wythe) married more than once. Four (Baldwin, Gilman, Jenifer, and Alexander Martin) were lifelong bachelor
Bachelor
A bachelor is a man above the age of majority who has never been married . Unlike his female counterpart, the spinster, a bachelor may have had children...

s.

Religion


Lambert (2003) has examined the religious affiliations and beliefs of the Founders. Of the 55 delegates to the 1787 Constitutional Convention, 49 were Protestants
Protestantism
Protestantism is one of the three major groupings within Christianity. It is a movement that began in Germany in the early 16th century as a reaction against medieval Roman Catholic doctrines and practices, especially in regards to salvation, justification, and ecclesiology.The doctrines of the...

, and three were Roman Catholics
Roman Catholic Church
The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the world's largest Christian church, with over a billion members. Led by the Pope, it defines its mission as spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ, administering the sacraments and exercising charity...

 (C. Carroll, D. Carroll, and Fitzsimons). Among the Protestant delegates to the Constitutional Convention, 28 were Church of England
Church of England
The Church of England is the officially established Christian church in England and the Mother Church of the worldwide Anglican Communion. The church considers itself within the tradition of Western Christianity and dates its formal establishment principally to the mission to England by St...

 (or Episcopalian, after the American Revolutionary War
American Revolutionary War
The American Revolutionary War , the American War of Independence, or simply the Revolutionary War, began as a war between the Kingdom of Great Britain and thirteen British colonies in North America, and ended in a global war between several European great powers.The war was the result of the...

 was won), eight were Presbyterians
Presbyterianism
Presbyterianism refers to a number of Christian churches adhering to the Calvinist theological tradition within Protestantism, which are organized according to a characteristic Presbyterian polity. Presbyterian theology typically emphasizes the sovereignty of God, the authority of the Scriptures,...

, seven were Congregationalists
Congregational church
Congregational churches are Protestant Christian churches practicing Congregationalist church governance, in which each congregation independently and autonomously runs its own affairs....

, two were Lutherans
Lutheranism
Lutheranism is a major branch of Western Christianity that identifies with the theology of Martin Luther, a German reformer. Luther's efforts to reform the theology and practice of the church launched the Protestant Reformation...

, two were Dutch Reformed
Dutch Reformed Church
The Dutch Reformed Church was a Reformed Christian denomination in the Netherlands. It existed from the 1570s to 2004, the year it merged with the Reformed Churches in the Netherlands and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in the Kingdom of the Netherlands to form the Protestant Church in the...

, and two were Methodists
Methodism
Methodism is a movement of Protestant Christianity represented by a number of denominations and organizations, claiming a total of approximately seventy million adherents worldwide. The movement traces its roots to John Wesley's evangelistic revival movement within Anglicanism. His younger brother...

.

A few prominent Founding Fathers were anti-clerical
Anti-clericalism
Anti-clericalism is a historical movement that opposes religious institutional power and influence, real or alleged, in all aspects of public and political life, and the involvement of religion in the everyday life of the citizen...

 Christians, such as Thomas Jefferson (who created the so-called "Jefferson Bible
Jefferson Bible
The Jefferson Bible, or The Life and Morals of Jesus of Nazareth as it is formally titled, was Thomas Jefferson's effort to extract the doctrine of Jesus by removing sections of the New Testament containing supernatural aspects as well as perceived misinterpretations he believed had been added by...

") and Benjamin Franklin. A few others (most notably Thomas Paine) were deists
Deism
Deism in religious philosophy is the belief that reason and observation of the natural world, without the need for organized religion, can determine that the universe is the product of an all-powerful creator. According to deists, the creator does not intervene in human affairs or suspend the...

, or at least held beliefs very similar to those of deists.

Post-convention careers


The 1787 delegates' subsequent careers reflected their abilities as well as the vagaries of fate. Most were successful, although seven (Fitzsimons, Gorham, Luther Martin, Mifflin, Robert Morris, Pierce, and Wilson) suffered serious financial reverses that left them in or near bankruptcy
Bankruptcy
Bankruptcy is a legal status of an insolvent person or an organisation, that is, one that cannot repay the debts owed to creditors. In most jurisdictions bankruptcy is imposed by a court order, often initiated by the debtor....

. Two, Blount and Dayton, were involved in possibly treason
Treason
In law, treason is the crime that covers some of the more extreme acts against one's sovereign or nation. Historically, treason also covered the murder of specific social superiors, such as the murder of a husband by his wife. Treason against the king was known as high treason and treason against a...

ous activities. Yet, as they had done before the convention, most of the group continued to render public service, particularly to the new government they had helped to create.

Legacy


According to Joseph J. Ellis, the concept of the Founding Fathers of the U.S. emerged in the 1820s as the last survivors died out. Ellis says "the founders," or "the fathers," comprised an aggregate of semi-sacred figures whose particular accomplishments and singular achievements were decidedly less important than their sheer presence as a powerful but faceless symbol of past greatness. For the generation of national leaders coming of age in the 1820s and 1830s – men like Andrew Jackson
Andrew Jackson
Andrew Jackson was the seventh President of the United States . Based in frontier Tennessee, Jackson was a politician and army general who defeated the Creek Indians at the Battle of Horseshoe Bend , and the British at the Battle of New Orleans...

, Henry Clay
Henry Clay
Henry Clay, Sr. , was a lawyer, politician and skilled orator who represented Kentucky separately in both the Senate and in the House of Representatives...

, Daniel Webster
Daniel Webster
Daniel Webster was a leading American statesman and senator from Massachusetts during the period leading up to the Civil War. He first rose to regional prominence through his defense of New England shipping interests...

, and John C. Calhoun
John C. Calhoun
John Caldwell Calhoun was a leading politician and political theorist from South Carolina during the first half of the 19th century. Calhoun eloquently spoke out on every issue of his day, but often changed positions. Calhoun began his political career as a nationalist, modernizer, and proponent...

 – "the founders" represented a heroic but anonymous abstraction whose long shadow fell across all followers and whose legendary accomplishments defied comparison. "We can win no laurels in a war for independence," Webster acknowledged in 1825. "Earlier and worthier hands have gathered them all. Nor are there places for us ... [as] the founders of states. Our fathers have filled them. But there remains to us a great duty of defence and preservation." The last remaining founders, also called the "Last of the Romans
Last of the Romans
The description Last of the Romans has historically been given to any man thought to embody the values of Ancient Roman civilization - values which, by implication, became extinct on his death....

", lived well into the nineteenth century; for example, Andrew Jackson served in the Revolutionary War, eventually became President, died in 1845, and is now sometimes considered a founding father.

Signers of the Declaration of Independence

  • John Adams
    John Adams
    John Adams was an American lawyer, statesman, diplomat and political theorist. A leading champion of independence in 1776, he was the second President of the United States...

  • Samuel Adams
    Samuel Adams
    Samuel Adams was an American statesman, political philosopher, and one of the Founding Fathers of the United States. As a politician in colonial Massachusetts, Adams was a leader of the movement that became the American Revolution, and was one of the architects of the principles of American...

  • Josiah Bartlett
    Josiah Bartlett
    Josiah Bartlett was an American physician and statesman, delegate to the Continental Congress for New Hampshire and signatory of the Declaration of Independence...

  • Carter Braxton
    Carter Braxton
    Carter Braxton was a signer of the United States Declaration of Independence, a planter, and a representative of Virginia....

  • Charles Carroll
    Charles Carroll of Carrollton
    Charles Carroll of Carrollton was a wealthy Maryland planter and an early advocate of independence from Great Britain. He served as a delegate to the Continental Congress and later as United States Senator for Maryland...

  • Samuel Chase
    Samuel Chase
    Samuel Chase was an Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court and earlier was a signatory to the United States Declaration of Independence as a representative of Maryland. Early in life, Chase was a "firebrand" states-righter and revolutionary...

  • Abraham Clark
    Abraham Clark
    Abraham Clark was an American politician and Revolutionary War figure. He was delegate for New Jersey to the Continental Congress where he signed the Declaration of Independence and later served in the United States House of Representatives in both the Second and Third United States Congress, from...

  • George Clymer
    George Clymer
    George Clymer was an American politician and founding father. He was one of the first Patriots to advocate complete independence from Britain. As a Pennsylvania representative, Clymer was, along with five others, a signatory of both the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution...

  • William Ellery
  • William Floyd
    William Floyd
    William Floyd was a signer of the United States Declaration of Independence as a U.S. Representative from New York.-Biography:...

  • Benjamin Franklin
    Benjamin Franklin
    Dr. Benjamin Franklin was one of the Founding Fathers of the United States. A noted polymath, Franklin was a leading author, printer, political theorist, politician, postmaster, scientist, musician, inventor, satirist, civic activist, statesman, and diplomat...

  • Elbridge Gerry
    Elbridge Gerry
    Elbridge Thomas Gerry was an American statesman and diplomat. As a Democratic-Republican he was selected as the fifth Vice President of the United States , serving under James Madison, until his death a year and a half into his term...

  • Button Gwinnett
    Button Gwinnett
    Button Gwinnett was an English-born American political leader who, as a representative of Georgia to the Continental Congress, was the second of the signatories on the United States Declaration of Independence...

  • Lyman Hall
    Lyman Hall
    Lyman Hall , physician, clergyman, and statesman, was a signer of the United States Declaration of Independence as a representative of Georgia. Hall County is named after him.-Early life and family:...

  • John Hancock
    John Hancock
    John Hancock was a merchant, statesman, and prominent Patriot of the American Revolution. He served as president of the Second Continental Congress and was the first and third Governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts...

     (presiding)
  • Benjamin Harrison
    Benjamin Harrison V
    Benjamin Harrison V was an American planter and revolutionary leader from Charles City County, Virginia. He earned his higher education at the College of William and Mary, and he was perhaps the first figure in the Harrison family to gain national attention...

  • John Hart
  • Joseph Hewes
    Joseph Hewes
    Joseph Hewes was a native of Princeton, New Jersey, where he was born in 1730. Hewes’s parents were part of the Quaker Society of Friends. Immediately after their marriage they moved to New Jersey, which became Joseph Hewes’s home state. Hewes was formally educated at Princeton and after...

  • Thomas Heyward, Jr.
  • William Hooper
    William Hooper
    William Hooper was an American lawyer, politician, and a member of the Continental Congress representing North Carolina from 1774 through 1777...

  • Stephen Hopkins
    Stephen Hopkins (politician)
    Stephen Hopkins was an American political leader from Rhode Island who signed the Declaration of Independence. He served as the Chief Justice and Governor of the English Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations and was a Delegate to the Colonial Congress in Albany in 1754 and to the...

  • Francis Hopkinson
    Francis Hopkinson
    Francis Hopkinson , an American author, was one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence as a delegate from New Jersey. He later served as a federal judge in Pennsylvania...

  • Samuel Huntington
    Samuel Huntington (statesman)
    Samuel Huntington was a jurist, statesman, and Patriot in the American Revolution from Connecticut. As a delegate to the Continental Congress, he signed the Declaration of Independence and the Articles of Confederation...

  • Thomas Jefferson
    Thomas Jefferson
    Thomas Jefferson was the principal author of the United States Declaration of Independence and the Statute of Virginia for Religious Freedom , the third President of the United States and founder of the University of Virginia...

  • Francis Lightfoot Lee
    Francis Lightfoot Lee
    Francis Lightfoot Lee was a member of the House of Burgesses in the Colony of Virginia. As an active protester of issues such as the Stamp Act, Lee helped move the colony in the direction of independence from Britain. Lee was a delegate to the Virginia Conventions and the Continental Congress...

  • Richard Henry Lee
    Richard Henry Lee
    Richard Henry Lee was an American statesman from Virginia best known for the motion in the Second Continental Congress calling for the colonies' independence from Great Britain. He was a signatory to the Articles of Confederation and his famous resolution of June 1776 led to the United States...

  • Francis Lewis
    Francis Lewis
    Francis Lewis was a signer of the United States Declaration of Independence as a representative of New York....

  • Philip Livingston
    Philip Livingston
    Philip Livingston was an American merchant and statesman from New York City. He was a delegate for New York to the Continental Congress from 1775 to 1778, and signed the Declaration of Independence.-Family history:...

  • Thomas Lynch, Jr.
    Thomas Lynch, Jr.
    Thomas Lynch, Jr. was a signer of the United States Declaration of Independence as a representative of South Carolina; his father was unable to sign the Declaration of Independence because of illness.-Biography:...

  • Thomas McKean
    Thomas McKean
    Thomas McKean was an American lawyer and politician from New Castle, in New Castle County, Delaware and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. During the American Revolution he was a delegate to the Continental Congress where he signed the United States Declaration of Independence and the Articles of...

  • Arthur Middleton
    Arthur Middleton
    Arthur Middleton , of Charleston, South Carolina, was a signer of the United States Declaration of Independence....

  • Lewis Morris
    Lewis Morris
    Lewis Morris was an American landowner and developer from Morrisania, New York. He signed the U.S. Declaration of Independence as a delegate to the Continental Congress for New York....

  • Robert Morris
    Robert Morris (merchant)
    Robert Morris, Jr. was a British-born American merchant, and signer of the Declaration of Independence, the Articles of Confederation, and the United States Constitution...

  • John Morton
  • Thomas Nelson, Jr.
    Thomas Nelson, Jr.
    Thomas Nelson, Jr. was an American planter, soldier, and statesman from Yorktown, Virginia. He represented Virginia in the Continental Congress and was its Governor in 1781. He is regarded as one of the U.S. Founding Fathers since he signed the Declaration of Independence as a member of the...

  • William Paca
    William Paca
    William Paca was a signatory to the United States Declaration of Independence as a representative of Maryland, and later Governor of Maryland and a United States federal judge.-Early life:...

  • Robert Treat Paine
    Robert Treat Paine
    Robert Treat Paine was a signer of the Declaration of Independence as a representative of Massachusetts.-Early life and ancestors:...

  • John Penn
    John Penn (delegate)
    John Penn was a signer of both the United States Declaration of Independence and the Articles of Confederation as a representative of North Carolina. Penn was distantly related to William Penn, founder of Pennsylvania....

  • George Read
    George Read (signer)
    George Read was an American lawyer and politician from New Castle in New Castle County, Delaware. He was a signer of the Declaration of Independence, a Continental Congressman from Delaware, a delegate to the U.S. Constitutional Convention of 1787, President of Delaware, and a member of the...

  • Caesar Rodney
    Caesar Rodney
    Caesar Rodney was an American lawyer and politician from St. Jones Neck in Dover Hundred, Kent County, Delaware, east of Dover...

  • George Ross
    George Ross (delegate)
    George Ross was a signer of the United States Declaration of Independence as a representative of Pennsylvania.He was born in New Castle, Delaware, and educated at home. He studied law at his brother John's law office, the common practice in those days, and was admitted to the bar in Philadelphia...

  • Benjamin Rush
    Benjamin Rush
    Benjamin Rush was a Founding Father of the United States. Rush lived in the state of Pennsylvania and was a physician, writer, educator, humanitarian and a Christian Universalist, as well as the founder of Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania....

  • Edward Rutledge
    Edward Rutledge
    Edward Rutledge was an American politician and youngest signer of the United States Declaration of Independence. He later served as the 39th Governor of South Carolina.-Early years and career:...

  • Roger Sherman
    Roger Sherman
    Roger Sherman was an early American lawyer and politician, as well as a founding father. He served as the first mayor of New Haven, Connecticut, and served on the Committee of Five that drafted the Declaration of Independence, and was also a representative and senator in the new republic...

  • James Smith
    James Smith (political figure)
    James Smith , was a signer to the United States Declaration of Independence as a representative of Pennsylvania....

  • Richard Stockton
    Richard Stockton (1730-1781)
    Richard Stockton was an American lawyer, jurist, legislator, and a signer of the Declaration of Independence.-Early life:...

  • Thomas Stone
    Thomas Stone
    Thomas Stone was an American planter who signed the United States Declaration of Independence as a delegate for Maryland. He later worked on the committee that formed the Articles of Confederation in 1777...

  • George Taylor
    George Taylor (delegate)
    George Taylor was a Colonial ironmaster and a signer of the United States Declaration of Independence as a representative of Pennsylvania...

  • Charles Thomson
    Charles Thomson
    Charles Thomson was a Patriot leader in Philadelphia during the American Revolution and the secretary of the Continental Congress throughout its existence.-Biography:...

    , Secretary (attesting)
  • Matthew Thornton
    Matthew Thornton
    Matthew Thornton , was a signer of the United States Declaration of Independence as a representative of New Hampshire.- Background and Early Life :He was born in Ireland, the son of James Thornton and Elizabeth Malone...

  • George Walton
    George Walton
    George Walton signed the United States Declaration of Independence as a representative of Georgia and also served as the second Chief Executive of that state.-Life and work:...

  • William Whipple
    William Whipple
    William Whipple, Jr. was a signer of the United States Declaration of Independence as a representative of New Hampshire....

  • William Williams
    William Williams (signer)
    William Williams was a merchant, and a delegate for Connecticut to the Continental Congress in 1776, and a signatory of the Declaration of Independence. Williams was born in Lebanon, Connecticut, the son of a minister, Tim Solomon Williams, and Mary Porter. He studied theology and graduated from...

  • James Wilson
    James Wilson
    James Wilson was one of the Founding Fathers of the United States and a signer of the United States Declaration of Independence. Wilson was elected twice to the Continental Congress, and was a major force in drafting the United States Constitution...

  • John Witherspoon
    John Witherspoon
    John Witherspoon was a signatory of the United States Declaration of Independence as a representative of New Jersey. As president of the College of New Jersey , he trained many leaders of the early nation and was the only active clergyman and the only college president to sign the Declaration...

  • Oliver Wolcott
  • George Wythe
    George Wythe
    George Wythe was an American lawyer, a judge, a prominent law professor and "Virginia's foremost classical scholar." He was a teacher and mentor of Thomas Jefferson. Wythe's signature is positioned at the head of the list of seven Virginia signatories on the United States Declaration of Independence...


Signers of the Constitution

  • Abraham Baldwin
    Abraham Baldwin
    Abraham Baldwin was an American politician, Patriot, and Founding Father from the U.S. state of Georgia. Baldwin was a Georgia representative in the Continental Congress and served in the United States House of Representatives and Senate after the adoption of the Constitution.-Minister:After...

  • Richard Bassett
    Richard Bassett
    Richard Bassett was an American lawyer and politician from Dover, in Kent County, Delaware. He was a veteran of the American Revolution, a delegate to the Constitutional Convention of 1787, and a member of the Federalist Party, who served in the Delaware General Assembly, as Governor of Delaware,...

  • Gunning Bedford, Jr.
    Gunning Bedford, Jr.
    Gunning Bedford, Jr. was an American lawyer and politician from Wilmington, in New Castle County, Delaware. He served in the Delaware General Assembly, as a Continental Congressman from Delaware and as a delegate to the U.S. Constitutional Convention of 1787. He is often confused with his cousin,...

  • John Blair
    John Blair
    John Blair, Jr. was an American politician, Founding Father and jurist.Blair was one of the best-trained jurists of his day. A famous legal scholar, he avoided the tumult of state politics, preferring to work behind the scenes...

  • William Blount
    William Blount
    William Blount, was a United States statesman. He was a delegate to the Constitutional Convention for North Carolina, the first and only governor of the Southwest Territory, and Democratic-Republican Senator from Tennessee . He played a major role in establishing the state of Tennessee. He was the...

  • David Brearly
  • Jacob Broom
    Jacob Broom
    Jacob Broom was an American businessman and politician from Wilmington, in New Castle County, Delaware. As a delegate to the U.S. Constitutional Convention of 1787, he was a signer of the U.S. Constitution. He was also appointed as a delegate to the Annapolis Convention but did not attend, and...

  • Pierce Butler
    Pierce Butler
    Pierce Butler was a soldier, planter, and statesman, recognized as one of United States' Founding Fathers. He represented South Carolina in the Continental Congress, the 1787 Constitutional Convention, and the U.S. Senate...

  • Daniel Carroll
    Daniel Carroll
    Daniel Carroll was a politician and one of the Founding Fathers of the United States. He was a prominent member of one of the United States' great colonial Catholic families, whose members included his younger brother Archbishop John Carroll, the first Catholic bishop in the United States and...

  • George Clymer
    George Clymer
    George Clymer was an American politician and founding father. He was one of the first Patriots to advocate complete independence from Britain. As a Pennsylvania representative, Clymer was, along with five others, a signatory of both the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution...

  • John Dickinson
    John Dickinson
    John Dickinson may refer to:* John Dickinson , lawyer, Governor of Delaware and Pennsylvania, signer of U.S. Constitution, and namesake of Dickinson College* John D. Dickinson , lawyer and U.S...

  • Jonathan Dayton
    Jonathan Dayton
    Jonathan Dayton was an American politician from the U.S. state of New Jersey. He was the youngest person to sign the United States Constitution and a member of the U.S. House of Representatives, serving as the fourth Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, and later the U.S. Senate...

  • William Few
    William Few
    William Few, Jr. was an American politician and a farmer, and a businessman and a Founding Father of the United States. William represented the U.S. state of Georgia at the Constitutional Convention....

  • Thomas Fitzsimons
    Thomas Fitzsimons
    Thomas FitzSimons was an American merchant and statesman of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He represented Pennsylvania in the Continental Congress, the Constitutional Convention, and the U.S. Congress.-Biography:...

  • Benjamin Franklin
    Benjamin Franklin
    Dr. Benjamin Franklin was one of the Founding Fathers of the United States. A noted polymath, Franklin was a leading author, printer, political theorist, politician, postmaster, scientist, musician, inventor, satirist, civic activist, statesman, and diplomat...

  • Nicholas Gilman
    Nicholas Gilman
    Nicholas Gilman, Jr. was a soldier in the Continental Army during the American Revolutionary War, a delegate to the Continental Congress, and a signer of the U.S. Constitution, representing New Hampshire. He was a member of the United States House of Representatives during the first four...

  • Nathaniel Gorham
    Nathaniel Gorham
    Nathaniel Gorham was the fourteenth President of the United States in Congress assembled, under the Articles of Confederation...

  • Alexander Hamilton
    Alexander Hamilton
    Alexander Hamilton was a Founding Father, soldier, economist, political philosopher, one of America's first constitutional lawyers and the first United States Secretary of the Treasury...

  • Jared Ingersoll
    Jared Ingersoll
    Jared Ingersoll was an early American lawyer and statesman from Philadelphia.He was a delegate to the Continental Congress and signed the U.S. Constitution for Pennsylvania...

  • William Jackson
    William Jackson (secretary)
    William Jackson was a figure in the American Revolution, most noteworthy as the secretary to the United States Constitutional Convention. He also served with distinction in the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War...

    , Secretary (attesting)
  • Daniel of St. Thomas Jenifer
    Daniel of St. Thomas Jenifer
    Daniel of St. Thomas Jenifer was a politician and a Founding Father of the United States. Born long before conflicts with Great Britain emerged, he was a leader for many years in Maryland's colonial government...

  • William Samuel Johnson
    William Samuel Johnson
    William Samuel Johnson was an early American statesman who was notable for signing the United States Constitution, for representing Connecticut in the United States Senate, and for serving as president of Columbia University.-Early career:...

  • Rufus King
    Rufus King
    Rufus King was an American lawyer, politician, and diplomat. He was a delegate for Massachusetts to the Continental Congress. He also attended the Constitutional Convention and was one of the signers of the United States Constitution on September 17, 1787, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania...

  • John Langdon
    John Langdon
    John Langdon was a politician from Portsmouth, New Hampshire, and one of the first two United States senators from that state. Langdon was an early supporter of the Revolutionary War and later served in the Continental Congress...

  • William Livingston
    William Livingston
    William Livingston served as the Governor of New Jersey during the American Revolutionary War and was a signer of the United States Constitution.-Early life:...

  • James Madison
    James Madison
    James Madison, Jr. was an American statesman and political theorist. He was the fourth President of the United States and is hailed as the “Father of the Constitution” for being the primary author of the United States Constitution and at first an opponent of, and then a key author of the United...

  • James McHenry
    James McHenry
    James McHenry was an early American statesman. McHenry was a signer of the United States Constitution from Maryland and the namesake of Fort McHenry...

  • Thomas Mifflin
    Thomas Mifflin
    Thomas Mifflin was an American merchant and politician from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He was a major general in the Continental Army during the American Revolution, a member of the Pennsylvania Provincial Assembly, a Continental Congressman from Pennsylvania, President of the Continental...

  • Gouverneur Morris
    Gouverneur Morris
    Gouverneur Morris , was an American statesman, a Founding Father of the United States, and a native of New York City who represented Pennsylvania in the Constitutional Convention of 1787. He was a signatory to the Articles of Confederation. Morris was also an author of large sections of the...

  • Robert Morris
    Robert Morris (merchant)
    Robert Morris, Jr. was a British-born American merchant, and signer of the Declaration of Independence, the Articles of Confederation, and the United States Constitution...

  • William Paterson
  • Charles Cotesworth Pinckney
    Charles Cotesworth Pinckney
    Charles Cotesworth “C. C.” Pinckney , was an early American statesman of South Carolina, Revolutionary War veteran, and delegate to the Constitutional Convention. He was twice nominated by the Federalist Party as their presidential candidate, but he did not win either election.-Early life and...

  • Charles Pinckney
  • George Read
    George Read (signer)
    George Read was an American lawyer and politician from New Castle in New Castle County, Delaware. He was a signer of the Declaration of Independence, a Continental Congressman from Delaware, a delegate to the U.S. Constitutional Convention of 1787, President of Delaware, and a member of the...

  • John Rutledge
    John Rutledge
    John Rutledge was an American statesman and judge. He was the first Governor of South Carolina following the signing of the Declaration of Independence, the 31st overall...

  • Roger Sherman
    Roger Sherman
    Roger Sherman was an early American lawyer and politician, as well as a founding father. He served as the first mayor of New Haven, Connecticut, and served on the Committee of Five that drafted the Declaration of Independence, and was also a representative and senator in the new republic...

  • Richard Dobbs Spaight
    Richard Dobbs Spaight
    Richard Dobbs Spaight was the eighth Governor of the American State of North Carolina from 1792 to 1795.-Early life:Spaight was born in New Bern, North Carolina, the son of the Secretary of the Crown in the colony...

  • George Washington
    George Washington
    George Washington was the dominant military and political leader of the new United States of America from 1775 to 1799. He led the American victory over Great Britain in the American Revolutionary War as commander-in-chief of the Continental Army from 1775 to 1783, and presided over the writing of...

     (president of the Convention)
  • Hugh Williamson
    Hugh Williamson
    Hugh Williamson was an American politician. He is best known for representing North Carolina at the Constitutional Convention.Williamson was a scholar of international renown...

  • James Wilson
    James Wilson
    James Wilson was one of the Founding Fathers of the United States and a signer of the United States Declaration of Independence. Wilson was elected twice to the Continental Congress, and was a major force in drafting the United States Constitution...


Delegates who left the Convention without signing

  • William Richardson Davie
    William Richardson Davie
    William Richardson Davie was a military officer and the tenth Governor of North Carolina from 1798 to 1799, as well as one of the most important men involved in the founding of the University of North Carolina...

  • Oliver Ellsworth
    Oliver Ellsworth
    Oliver Ellsworth was an American lawyer and politician, a revolutionary against British rule, a drafter of the United States Constitution, and the third Chief Justice of the United States. While at the Federal Convention, Ellsworth moved to strike the word National from the motion made by Edmund...

  • William Houston
    William Houston
    William Churchill Houston was an American teacher, lawyer, and statesman. He was a delegate to both the Continental Congress and the Constitutional Convention for New Jersey. Houston was elected in 1785 to the American Philosophical Society.-Early life and career:Houston was born in the Sumter...

  • William Houstoun
  • John Lansing, Jr.
    John Lansing, Jr.
    John Ten Eyck Lansing, Jr. , was an American lawyer and politician. He was the uncle of Gerrit Y. Lansing.-Career:...

  • Alexander Martin
    Alexander Martin
    Alexander Martin was the fourth and seventh Governor of the U.S. state of North Carolina from 1782 to 1784 and from 1789 to 1792.-Biography:...

  • Luther Martin
    Luther Martin
    Luther Martin was a politician and one of United States' Founding Fathers, who refused to sign the Constitution because he felt it violated states' rights...

  • James McClurg
    James McClurg
    James McClurg was a delegate to the Philadelphia Convention. McClurg was an established physician in Virginia who was educated at the College of William and Mary and took his medical degree from the University of Edinburgh. He was a fellow student with Thomas Jefferson. He practiced first in...

  • John Francis Mercer
    John Francis Mercer
    John Francis Mercer was an American lawyer, planter, and politician from Virginia and Maryland. Born in 1759 in Marlborough, Stafford County, Virginia, to John Mercer and Ann Roy Mercer, he graduated from the College of William and Mary in 1775 and was a delegate for Virginia to the Continental...

  • William Pierce
    William Pierce (politician)
    William Pierce was an army officer during the American Revolutionary War and a member of the United States Constitutional Convention of 1787....

  • Caleb Strong
    Caleb Strong
    Caleb Strong was Massachusetts lawyer and politician who served as the sixth and tenth Governor of Massachusetts between 1800 and 1807, and again from 1812 until 1816.-Biography:...

  • George Wythe
    George Wythe
    George Wythe was an American lawyer, a judge, a prominent law professor and "Virginia's foremost classical scholar." He was a teacher and mentor of Thomas Jefferson. Wythe's signature is positioned at the head of the list of seven Virginia signatories on the United States Declaration of Independence...

  • Robert Yates
    Robert Yates (politician)
    Robert Yates was a politician and judge well known for his Anti-Federalist stances. He is also well known as the presumed author of political essays published in 1787 and 1788 under the pseudonyms "Brutus" and "Sydney"...


Convention delegates who refused to sign

  • Elbridge Gerry
    Elbridge Gerry
    Elbridge Thomas Gerry was an American statesman and diplomat. As a Democratic-Republican he was selected as the fifth Vice President of the United States , serving under James Madison, until his death a year and a half into his term...

  • George Mason
    George Mason
    George Mason IV was an American Patriot, statesman and a delegate from Virginia to the U.S. Constitutional Convention...

  • Edmund Randolph
    Edmund Randolph
    Edmund Jennings Randolph was an American attorney, the seventh Governor of Virginia, the second Secretary of State, and the first United States Attorney General.-Biography:...


Signers of the Articles of Confederation



The following people signed the Articles of Confederation
Articles of Confederation
The Articles of Confederation, formally the Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union, was an agreement among the 13 founding states that legally established the United States of America as a confederation of sovereign states and served as its first constitution...

:
  • Andrew Adams
    Andrew Adams (congressman)
    Andrew Adams was an American lawyer, jurist, and political leader in Litchfield, Connecticut, during the American Revolutionary War. He was a delegate for Connecticut to the Continental Congress and later Chief Justice of the Connecticut Supreme Court.Adams was born in Stratford, the son of Samuel...

  • Samuel Adams
    Samuel Adams
    Samuel Adams was an American statesman, political philosopher, and one of the Founding Fathers of the United States. As a politician in colonial Massachusetts, Adams was a leader of the movement that became the American Revolution, and was one of the architects of the principles of American...

  • Thomas Adams
    Thomas Adams (politician)
    Thomas Adams was a politician and businessman from Virginia.Adams was born in New Kent County in 1730. His first political position was as a clerk of Henrico County, and later a member of the Virginia House of Burgesses...

  • John Banister
  • Josiah Bartlett
    Josiah Bartlett
    Josiah Bartlett was an American physician and statesman, delegate to the Continental Congress for New Hampshire and signatory of the Declaration of Independence...

  • Daniel Carroll
    Daniel Carroll
    Daniel Carroll was a politician and one of the Founding Fathers of the United States. He was a prominent member of one of the United States' great colonial Catholic families, whose members included his younger brother Archbishop John Carroll, the first Catholic bishop in the United States and...

  • William Clingan
    William Clingan
    William Clingan was a delegate in the Continental Congress for Pennsylvania from 1777 to 1779. He signed the Articles of Confederation.-External links:...

  • John Collins
    John Collins (delegate)
    John Collins , was the third Governor of the U.S. state of Rhode Island, born in Newport, the son of Samuel and Elizabeth Collins.He stood forth as a staunch advocate of the independence of the Thirteen Colonies...

  • Francis Dana
    Francis Dana
    Francis Dana was an American lawyer, jurist, and statesman from Massachusetts. He served as a delegate to the Continental Congress in 1777-1778 and 1784. He signed the Articles of Confederation.-Biography:...

  • John Dickinson
    John Dickinson (delegate)
    John Dickinson was an American lawyer and politician from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and Wilmington, Delaware. He was a militia officer during the American Revolution, a Continental Congressman from Pennsylvania and Delaware, a delegate to the U.S. Constitutional Convention of 1787, President of...

  • William Henry Drayton
    William Henry Drayton
    Other notable men have similar names, see: William Drayton .William Henry Drayton was an American planter and lawyer from Charleston, South Carolina...

  • James Duane
    James Duane
    James Duane was an American lawyer, jurist, and Revolutionary leader from New York. He served as a delegate to the Continental Congress, New York state senator, Mayor of New York, and a U.S...

  • William Duer
  • William Ellery
  • Elbridge Gerry
    Elbridge Gerry
    Elbridge Thomas Gerry was an American statesman and diplomat. As a Democratic-Republican he was selected as the fifth Vice President of the United States , serving under James Madison, until his death a year and a half into his term...

  • John Hancock
    John Hancock
    John Hancock was a merchant, statesman, and prominent Patriot of the American Revolution. He served as president of the Second Continental Congress and was the first and third Governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts...

  • John Hanson
    John Hanson
    John Hanson was a merchant and public official from Maryland during the era of the American Revolution. After serving in a variety of roles for the Patriot cause in Maryland, in 1779 Hanson was elected as a delegate to the Continental Congress...

  • Cornelius Harnett
    Cornelius Harnett
    Cornelius Harnett was an American merchant, farmer, and statesman from Wilmington, North Carolina. He was a leading American Revolutionary in the Cape Fear region, and a delegate for North Carolina in the Continental Congress from 1777 to 1779.Harnett was born to Cornelius and Elizabeth Harnett in...

  • John Harvie
    John Harvie
    John Harvie was an American lawyer and builder from Virginia. He was a delegate to the Continental Congress in 1777 and 1778, where he signed the Articles of Confederation....

  • Thomas Heyward Jr.
  • Samuel Holten
    Samuel Holten
    Samuel Holten was an American physician and statesman from Danvers, Massachusetts. He represented Massachusetts as a delegate to the Continental Congress and as a Congressman in the U.S. House.-External links:...

  • Titus Hosmer
    Titus Hosmer
    Titus Hosmer was an American lawyer from Middletown, Connecticut. He was a delegate for Connecticut to the Continental Congress in 1778, where he signed the Articles of Confederation....

  • Samuel Huntington
    Samuel Huntington (statesman)
    Samuel Huntington was a jurist, statesman, and Patriot in the American Revolution from Connecticut. As a delegate to the Continental Congress, he signed the Declaration of Independence and the Articles of Confederation...

  • Richard Hutson
    Richard Hutson
    ' was an American lawyer, judge, and politician from Charleston, South Carolina. He represented South Carolina as a delegate to the Continental Congress, where he signed the Articles of Confederation. After the British captured Charleston in 1780, he was held as a prisoner at St. Augustine,...

  • Edward Langworthy
    Edward Langworthy
    Edward Langworthy was an American teacher who was a delegate to the Continental Congress from Georgia. He signed the Articles of Confederation....

  • Henry Laurens
    Henry Laurens
    Henry Laurens was an American merchant and rice planter from South Carolina who became a political leader during the Revolutionary War. A delegate to the Second Continental Congress, Laurens succeeded John Hancock as President of the Congress...

  • Francis Lightfoot Lee
    Francis Lightfoot Lee
    Francis Lightfoot Lee was a member of the House of Burgesses in the Colony of Virginia. As an active protester of issues such as the Stamp Act, Lee helped move the colony in the direction of independence from Britain. Lee was a delegate to the Virginia Conventions and the Continental Congress...

  • Richard Henry Lee
    Richard Henry Lee
    Richard Henry Lee was an American statesman from Virginia best known for the motion in the Second Continental Congress calling for the colonies' independence from Great Britain. He was a signatory to the Articles of Confederation and his famous resolution of June 1776 led to the United States...

  • Francis Lewis
    Francis Lewis
    Francis Lewis was a signer of the United States Declaration of Independence as a representative of New York....

  • James Lovell
    James Lovell (delegate)
    James Lovell was an American educator and statesman from Boston, Massachusetts. He was a delegate for Massachusetts to the Continental Congress from 1777 to 1782. He was a signatory to the Articles of Confederation....

  • Henry Marchant
    Henry Marchant
    Henry Marchant was American lawyer from Newport, Rhode Island and United States federal judge. He was a delegate to the Continental Congress from 1777 to 1779, and was a signer of the Articles of Confederation for Rhode Island.-Life of service:Born in Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts, Marchant...

  • John Mathews
    John Mathews (lawyer)
    John Mathews was an American lawyer from Charleston, South Carolina. He was a delegate to the Continental Congress from 1778 to 1781 where he endorsed the Articles of Confederation on behalf of South Carolina. On his return, he was elected the 33rd Governor of South Carolina, serving a single term...

  • Thomas McKean
    Thomas McKean
    Thomas McKean was an American lawyer and politician from New Castle, in New Castle County, Delaware and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. During the American Revolution he was a delegate to the Continental Congress where he signed the United States Declaration of Independence and the Articles of...

  • Gouverneur Morris
    Gouverneur Morris
    Gouverneur Morris , was an American statesman, a Founding Father of the United States, and a native of New York City who represented Pennsylvania in the Constitutional Convention of 1787. He was a signatory to the Articles of Confederation. Morris was also an author of large sections of the...

  • Robert Morris
    Robert Morris (merchant)
    Robert Morris, Jr. was a British-born American merchant, and signer of the Declaration of Independence, the Articles of Confederation, and the United States Constitution...

  • John Penn
    John Penn (delegate)
    John Penn was a signer of both the United States Declaration of Independence and the Articles of Confederation as a representative of North Carolina. Penn was distantly related to William Penn, founder of Pennsylvania....

  • Joseph Reed
    Joseph Reed (jurist)
    Joseph Reed was a Pennsylvania lawyer, military officer, and statesman of the Revolutionary Era. He served as a delegate to the Continental Congress and, while in Congress, signed the Articles of Confederation...

  • Daniel Roberdeau
    Daniel Roberdeau
    Daniel Roberdeau was an American merchant residing in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania at the time of the American War of Independence. He represented Pennsylvania from 1777 to 1779 in the Continental Congress. Roberdeau served as a brigadier general in the Pennsylvania state militia during the war...

  • Nathaniel Scudder
    Nathaniel Scudder
    Nathaniel Scudder was an American physician and patriot leader during the Revolutionary War. He served as a delegate for New Jersey to the Continental Congress, where he signed the Articles of Confederation....

  • Roger Sherman
    Roger Sherman
    Roger Sherman was an early American lawyer and politician, as well as a founding father. He served as the first mayor of New Haven, Connecticut, and served on the Committee of Five that drafted the Declaration of Independence, and was also a representative and senator in the new republic...

  • Jonathan Bayard Smith
    Jonathan Bayard Smith
    Jonathan Bayard Smith was an American merchant from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He served as a delegate for Pennsylvania to the Continental Congress in 1777 and 1778...

  • Edward Telfair
    Edward Telfair
    Edward Telfair was the Governor of the state of Georgia in 1786, and from 1790 through 1793. He was a member of the Continental Congress, and a signer of the Articles of Confederation.-Early Life:...

  • Nicholas Van Dyke
    Nicholas Van Dyke (governor)
    Nicholas Van Dyke was an American lawyer and politician from New Castle, in New Castle County, Delaware. He served in the Delaware General Assembly, as a Continental Congressman from Delaware, and as President of Delaware.-Early life and family:Van Dyke was born at Berwick, his family's home in St...

  • John Walton
  • John Wentworth Jr.
    John Wentworth Jr.
    John Wentworth, Jr. was a lawyer who served as a delegate to the Continental Congress for New Hampshire and a signer of the Articles of Confederation.-Biography:...

  • John Williams
    John Williams (delegate)
    John Williams was a signer of the United States' Articles of Confederation. He was one of the founders of the University of North Carolina. During the American Revolutionary War, Williams was a colonel in the North Carolina militia. In 1777 and 1778, he was a member of the North Carolina House of...

  • John Witherspoon
    John Witherspoon
    John Witherspoon was a signatory of the United States Declaration of Independence as a representative of New Jersey. As president of the College of New Jersey , he trained many leaders of the early nation and was the only active clergyman and the only college president to sign the Declaration...

  • Oliver Wolcott

Other founders


The following people are referred to in the cited reliable sources as having been fathers or founders of the United States.
  • Abigail Adams
    Abigail Adams
    Abigail Adams was the wife of John Adams, who was the second President of the United States, and the mother of John Quincy Adams, the sixth...

    , wife and mother of presidents.
  • John Quincy Adams
    John Quincy Adams
    John Quincy Adams was the sixth President of the United States . He served as an American diplomat, Senator, and Congressional representative. He was a member of the Federalist, Democratic-Republican, National Republican, and later Anti-Masonic and Whig parties. Adams was the son of former...

    , president and son of president.
  • Ethan Allen
    Ethan Allen
    Ethan Allen was a farmer, businessman, land speculator, philosopher, writer, and American Revolutionary War patriot, hero, and politician. He is best known as one of the founders of the U.S...

    , military and political leader in Vermont.
  • Richard Allen, African-American bishop.
  • Egbert Benson
    Egbert Benson
    Egbert Benson was a lawyer, jurist, politician from Upper Red Hook, New York, and a Founding Father of the United States who represented New York in the Continental Congress, Annapolis Convention, and the United States House of Representatives, and who served as a member of the New York State...

    , politician from New York.
  • Nicholas Biddle
    Nicholas Biddle (banker)
    Nicholas Biddle was an American financier who served as the president of the Second Bank of the United States.-Ancestry and early life:...

    , banker.
  • Richard Bland
    Richard Bland
    Richard Bland , sometimes referred to as Richard Bland II or Richard Bland of Jordan's Point, was an American planter and statesman from Virginia...

    , VA
    Virginia
    The Commonwealth of Virginia , is a U.S. state on the Atlantic Coast of the Southern United States. Virginia is nicknamed the "Old Dominion" and sometimes the "Mother of Presidents" after the eight U.S. presidents born there...

     delegate to Continental Congress.
  • Elias Boudinot
    Elias Boudinot
    Elias Boudinot was a lawyer and statesman from Elizabeth, New Jersey who was a delegate to the Continental Congress and a U.S. Congressman for New Jersey...

    , NJ
    New Jersey
    New Jersey is a state in the Northeastern and Middle Atlantic regions of the United States. , its population was 8,791,894. It is bordered on the north and east by the state of New York, on the southeast and south by the Atlantic Ocean, on the west by Pennsylvania and on the southwest by Delaware...

     delegate to Continental Congress.
  • Aaron Burr
    Aaron Burr
    Aaron Burr, Jr. was an important political figure in the early history of the United States of America. After serving as a Continental Army officer in the Revolutionary War, Burr became a successful lawyer and politician...

    , VP under Jefferson.
  • George Rogers Clark
    George Rogers Clark
    George Rogers Clark was a soldier from Virginia and the highest ranking American military officer on the northwestern frontier during the American Revolutionary War. He served as leader of the Kentucky militia throughout much of the war...

    , army general.
  • George Clinton
    George Clinton (vice president)
    George Clinton was an American soldier and politician, considered one of the Founding Fathers of the United States. He was the first Governor of New York, and then the fourth Vice President of the United States , serving under Presidents Thomas Jefferson and James Madison. He and John C...

    , NY
    New York
    New York is a state in the Northeastern region of the United States. It is the nation's third most populous state. New York is bordered by New Jersey and Pennsylvania to the south, and by Connecticut, Massachusetts and Vermont to the east...

     governor and VP of the U.S.
  • Tench Coxe
    Tench Coxe
    Tench Coxe was an American political economist and a delegate for Pennsylvania to the Continental Congress in 1788-1789. He wrote under the pseudonym "A Pennsylvanian".-Biography:...

    , economist in Continental Congress.
  • Albert Gallatin
    Albert Gallatin
    Abraham Alfonse Albert Gallatin was a Swiss-American ethnologist, linguist, politician, diplomat, congressman, and the longest-serving United States Secretary of the Treasury. In 1831, he founded the University of the City of New York...

    , politician and Treasury Secretary.
  • Horatio Gates
    Horatio Gates
    Horatio Lloyd Gates was a retired British soldier who served as an American general during the Revolutionary War. He took credit for the American victory at the Battle of Saratoga – Benedict Arnold, who led the attack, was finally forced from the field when he was shot in the leg – and...

    , army general.
  • Stephen Girard
    Stephen Girard
    Stephen Girard was a French-born, naturalized American, philanthropist and banker. He personally saved the U.S. government from financial collapse during the War of 1812, and became one of the wealthiest men in America, estimated to have been the fourth richest American of all time, based on the...

    , banker and philanthropist.
  • Nathanael Greene
    Nathanael Greene
    Nathanael Greene was a major general of the Continental Army in the American Revolutionary War. When the war began, Greene was a militia private, the lowest rank possible; he emerged from the war with a reputation as George Washington's most gifted and dependable officer. Many places in the United...

    , army general.
  • Nathan Hale
    Nathan Hale
    Nathan Hale was a soldier for the Continental Army during the American Revolutionary War. He volunteered for an intelligence-gathering mission in New York City but was captured by the British...

    , captured U.S. soldier executed in 1776.
  • Patrick Henry
    Patrick Henry
    Patrick Henry was an orator and politician who led the movement for independence in Virginia in the 1770s. A Founding Father, he served as the first and sixth post-colonial Governor of Virginia from 1776 to 1779 and subsequently, from 1784 to 1786...

    , Virginia governor.
  • James Iredell
    James Iredell
    James Iredell was one of the first Justices of the Supreme Court of the United States. He was appointed by President George Washington and served from 1790 until his death in 1799...

    , advocate for Constitution, judge.
  • Andrew Jackson
    Andrew Jackson
    Andrew Jackson was the seventh President of the United States . Based in frontier Tennessee, Jackson was a politician and army general who defeated the Creek Indians at the Battle of Horseshoe Bend , and the British at the Battle of New Orleans...

    , Revolutionary War POW
    Prisoner of war
    A prisoner of war or enemy prisoner of war is a person, whether civilian or combatant, who is held in custody by an enemy power during or immediately after an armed conflict...

    , POTUS
    President of the United States
    The President of the United States of America is the head of state and head of government of the United States. The president leads the executive branch of the federal government and is the commander-in-chief of the United States Armed Forces....

    .
  • John Jay
    John Jay
    John Jay was an American politician, statesman, revolutionary, diplomat, a Founding Father of the United States, and the first Chief Justice of the United States ....

    , the first Chief Justice of the United States
    Chief Justice of the United States
    The Chief Justice of the United States is the head of the United States federal court system and the chief judge of the Supreme Court of the United States. The Chief Justice is one of nine Supreme Court justices; the other eight are the Associate Justices of the Supreme Court of the United States...

    .
  • John Paul Jones
    John Paul Jones
    John Paul Jones was a Scottish sailor and the United States' first well-known naval fighter in the American Revolutionary War. Although he made enemies among America's political elites, his actions in British waters during the Revolution earned him an international reputation which persists to...

    , navy captain.
  • Henry Knox
    Henry Knox
    Henry Knox was a military officer of the Continental Army and later the United States Army, and also served as the first United States Secretary of War....

    , army general.
  • Tadeusz Kościuszko
    Tadeusz Kosciuszko
    Andrzej Tadeusz Bonawentura Kościuszko was a Polish–Lithuanian and American general and military leader during the Kościuszko Uprising. He is a national hero of Poland, Lithuania, the United States and Belarus...

    , army general.
  • Gilbert du Motier, marquis de La Fayette
    Gilbert du Motier, marquis de La Fayette
    Marie-Joseph Paul Yves Roch Gilbert du Motier, Marquis de La Fayette , often known as simply Lafayette, was a French aristocrat and military officer born in Chavaniac, in the province of Auvergne in south central France...

    , army general.
  • Henry Lee III, army officer and VA
    Virginia
    The Commonwealth of Virginia , is a U.S. state on the Atlantic Coast of the Southern United States. Virginia is nicknamed the "Old Dominion" and sometimes the "Mother of Presidents" after the eight U.S. presidents born there...

     governor.
  • Robert R. Livingston
    Robert Livingston (1746-1813)
    Robert R Livingston was an American lawyer, politician, diplomat from New York, and a Founding Father of the United States. He was known as "The Chancellor," after the office he held for 25 years....

    , diplomat and jurist.
  • William Maclay, PA
    Pennsylvania
    The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is a U.S. state that is located in the Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic regions of the United States. The state borders Delaware and Maryland to the south, West Virginia to the southwest, Ohio to the west, New York and Ontario, Canada, to the north, and New Jersey to...

     politician and U.S. Senator.
  • Dolley Madison
    Dolley Madison
    Dolley Payne Todd Madison was the spouse of the fourth President of the United States, James Madison, and was First Lady of the United States from 1809 to 1817...

    , spouse of President James Madison
    James Madison
    James Madison, Jr. was an American statesman and political theorist. He was the fourth President of the United States and is hailed as the “Father of the Constitution” for being the primary author of the United States Constitution and at first an opponent of, and then a key author of the United...

    .
  • John Marshall
    John Marshall
    John Marshall was the Chief Justice of the United States whose court opinions helped lay the basis for American constitutional law and made the Supreme Court of the United States a coequal branch of government along with the legislative and executive branches...

    , fourth Chief Justice of the United States
    Chief Justice of the United States
    The Chief Justice of the United States is the head of the United States federal court system and the chief judge of the Supreme Court of the United States. The Chief Justice is one of nine Supreme Court justices; the other eight are the Associate Justices of the Supreme Court of the United States...

    .
  • Philip Mazzei
    Philip Mazzei
    Philip Mazzei was an Italian physician and a promoter of liberty. He was a close friend of Thomas Jefferson and acted as an agent to purchase arms for Virginia during the American Revolutionary War.-Biography :...

    , Italian physician, merchant and author.
  • James Monroe
    James Monroe
    James Monroe was the fifth President of the United States . Monroe was the last president who was a Founding Father of the United States, and the last president from the Virginia dynasty and the Republican Generation...

    , fifth President of the United States
    President of the United States
    The President of the United States of America is the head of state and head of government of the United States. The president leads the executive branch of the federal government and is the commander-in-chief of the United States Armed Forces....

  • Daniel Morgan
    Daniel Morgan
    Daniel Morgan was an American pioneer, soldier, and United States Representative from Virginia. One of the most gifted battlefield tacticians of the American Revolutionary War, he later commanded troops during the suppression of the Whiskey Rebellion.-Early years:Most authorities believe that...

    , military hero and VA
    Virginia
    The Commonwealth of Virginia , is a U.S. state on the Atlantic Coast of the Southern United States. Virginia is nicknamed the "Old Dominion" and sometimes the "Mother of Presidents" after the eight U.S. presidents born there...

     Congressman.
  • James Otis, Jr.
    James Otis, Jr.
    James Otis, Jr. was a lawyer in colonial Massachusetts, a member of the Massachusetts provincial assembly, and an early advocate of the political views that led to the American Revolution. The phrase "Taxation without Representation is Tyranny" is usually attributed to him...

    , MA
    Massachusetts
    The Commonwealth of Massachusetts is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States of America. It is bordered by Rhode Island and Connecticut to the south, New York to the west, and Vermont and New Hampshire to the north; at its east lies the Atlantic Ocean. As of the 2010...

     lawyer and politician.
  • Thomas Paine
    Thomas Paine
    Thomas "Tom" Paine was an English author, pamphleteer, radical, inventor, intellectual, revolutionary, and one of the Founding Fathers of the United States...

    , author of Common Sense
    Common Sense (pamphlet)
    Common Sense is a pamphlet written by Thomas Paine. It was first published anonymously on January 10, 1776, during the American Revolution. Common Sense, signed "Written by an Englishman", became an immediate success. In relation to the population of the Colonies at that time, it had the largest...

    .
  • Edmund Pendleton
    Edmund Pendleton
    Edmund Pendleton was a Virginia politician, lawyer and judge, active in the American Revolutionary War. -Early years:...

    , VA
    Virginia
    The Commonwealth of Virginia , is a U.S. state on the Atlantic Coast of the Southern United States. Virginia is nicknamed the "Old Dominion" and sometimes the "Mother of Presidents" after the eight U.S. presidents born there...

     politician, lawyer and judge.
  • Andrew Pickens
    Andrew Pickens (congressman)
    Andrew Pickens was a militia leader in the American Revolution and a member of the United States House of Representatives from South Carolina.-Early life:...

    , army general and SC
    South Carolina
    South Carolina is a state in the Deep South of the United States that borders Georgia to the south, North Carolina to the north, and the Atlantic Ocean to the east. Originally part of the Province of Carolina, the Province of South Carolina was one of the 13 colonies that declared independence...

     congressman.
  • Timothy Pickering
    Timothy Pickering
    Timothy Pickering was a politician from Massachusetts who served in a variety of roles, most notably as the third United States Secretary of State, serving in that office from 1795 to 1800 under Presidents George Washington and John Adams.-Early years:Pickering was born in Salem, Massachusetts to...

    , U.S. Secretary of State
    United States Secretary of State
    The United States Secretary of State is the head of the United States Department of State, concerned with foreign affairs. The Secretary is a member of the Cabinet and the highest-ranking cabinet secretary both in line of succession and order of precedence...

     from MA
    Massachusetts
    The Commonwealth of Massachusetts is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States of America. It is bordered by Rhode Island and Connecticut to the south, New York to the west, and Vermont and New Hampshire to the north; at its east lies the Atlantic Ocean. As of the 2010...

    .
  • Israel Putnam
    Israel Putnam
    Israel Putnam was an American army general and Freemason who fought with distinction at the Battle of Bunker Hill during the American Revolutionary War...

    , army general.
  • Comte de Rochambeau
    Jean-Baptiste Donatien de Vimeur, comte de Rochambeau
    Marshal of France Jean-Baptiste Donatien de Vimeur, comte de Rochambeau was a French nobleman and general who participated in the American Revolutionary War as the commander-in-chief of the French Expeditionary Force which came to help the American Continental Army...

    , army general.
  • Thomas Sumter
    Thomas Sumter
    Thomas Sumter nicknamed the "Carolina Gamecock" , was a hero of the American Revolution and went on to become a longtime member of the Congress of the United States.-Early life:Thomas Sumter was born near Charlottesville in Hanover County, Virginia in 1734...

    , SC
    South Carolina
    South Carolina is a state in the Deep South of the United States that borders Georgia to the south, North Carolina to the north, and the Atlantic Ocean to the east. Originally part of the Province of Carolina, the Province of South Carolina was one of the 13 colonies that declared independence...

     military hero and congressman.
  • Haym Solomon
    Haym Solomon
    Haym Solomon was a Spanish and Portuguese Jew who immigrated to New York from Poland during the period of the American Revolution, and who became a prime financier of the Continental Army during the American Revolutionary War against Great Britain.-Early years:Descended from Jewish refugees from...

    , financier and spy for Continental Army.
  • Friedrich Wilhelm von Steuben
    Friedrich Wilhelm von Steuben
    Friedrich Wilhelm August Heinrich Ferdinand von Steuben , also referred to as the Baron von Steuben, was a Prussian-born military officer who served as inspector general and Major General of the Continental Army during the American Revolutionary War...

    , Prussian
    Kingdom of Prussia
    The Kingdom of Prussia was a German kingdom from 1701 to 1918. Until the defeat of Germany in World War I, it comprised almost two-thirds of the area of the German Empire...

     officer.
  • Joseph Warren
    Joseph Warren
    Dr. Joseph Warren was an American doctor who played a leading role in American Patriot organizations in Boston in early days of the American Revolution, eventually serving as president of the revolutionary Massachusetts Provincial Congress...

    , doctor, revolutionary leader.
  • Mercy Otis Warren
    Mercy Otis Warren
    Mercy Otis Warren was a political writer and propagandist of the American Revolution. In the eighteenth century, topics such as politics and war were thought to be the province of men. Few women had the education or training to write about these subjects. Warren was the exception...

    , political writer.
  • Anthony Wayne
    Anthony Wayne
    Anthony Wayne was a United States Army general and statesman. Wayne adopted a military career at the outset of the American Revolutionary War, where his military exploits and fiery personality quickly earned him a promotion to the rank of brigadier general and the sobriquet of Mad Anthony.-Early...

    , army general and politician.
  • Noah Webster
    Noah Webster
    Noah Webster was an American educator, lexicographer, textbook pioneer, English spelling reformer, political writer, editor, and prolific author...

    , writer, lexicographer
    Lexicography
    Lexicography is divided into two related disciplines:*Practical lexicography is the art or craft of compiling, writing and editing dictionaries....

    , educator.
  • Thomas Willing
    Thomas Willing
    Thomas Willing was an American merchant and financier and a Delegate to the Continental Congress from Pennsylvania....

    , banker.
  • Paine Wingate
    Paine Wingate
    Paine Wingate was an American preacher, farmer, and statesman from Stratham, New Hampshire. He served New Hampshire in the Continental Congress and both the United States Senate and House of Representatives....

    , last survivor, Continental Congress
    Continental Congress
    The Continental Congress was a convention of delegates called together from the Thirteen Colonies that became the governing body of the United States during the American Revolution....

    .


See also


  • List of national founders (worldwide)
  • History of the United States Constitution
    History of the United States Constitution
    The United States Constitution was written in 1787, but it did not take effect until after it was ratified in 1789, when it replaced the Articles of Confederation. It remains the basic law of the United States...

  • Rights of Englishmen
    Rights of Englishmen
    The rights of Englishmen are the perceived traditional rights of British subjects. The notion refers to various constitutional documents that were created throughout various stages of English history, such as Magna Carta, the Declaration of Right , and others...


External links