Founding Fathers of the United States

The Founding Fathers of the United States, commonly referred to as the Founding Fathers, were a group of late-18th-century American revolutionary leaders who united the Thirteen Colonies, oversaw the War of Independence from Great Britain, established the United States of America, and crafted a framework of government for the new nation.

Founding Fathers of the United States
The Committee of Five (Adams, Livingston, Sherman, Jefferson, and Franklin) present their draft of the Declaration of Independence to the Second Continental Congress in Philadelphia on June 28, 1776, as depicted in John Trumbull's 1819 portrait
LocationThe Thirteen Colonies
IncludingSigners of the Declaration of Independence (1776), Articles of Confederation (1781), and United States Constitution (1789)
Key events
George Washington, a key Founding Father, was commanding general of the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War and a Revolutionary hero, presided over the Constitutional Convention and became the nation's first president in April 1789.[1]

America's Founding Fathers include those who signed the United States Declaration of Independence, Articles of Confederation, and the United States Constitution, and others. In 1973, historian Richard B. Morris identified seven figures as key founders, based on what he called the "triple tests" of leadership, longevity, and statesmanship: John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Alexander Hamilton, John Jay, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and George Washington.[2]

Most of the Founding Fathers hailed from English ancestry, though many had family roots extended across various regions of the British Isles, including Scotland, Wales, and Ireland. Additionally, some traced their lineage back to the early Dutch settlers of New York (New Netherland) during the colonial era, while others were descendants of French Huguenots who settled in the colonies, escaping religious persecution in France.[3][4][5]

Historical founders edit

Thomas Jefferson, a key Founding Father, was the primary author of the Declaration of Independence, which Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Joseph Ellis says contains "the most potent and consequential words in American history".[6]

Historian Richard Morris' selection of seven key founders was widely accepted through the 20th century.[7][8] John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, and Benjamin Franklin were members of the Committee of Five that were charged by the Second Continental Congress with drafting the Declaration of Independence. Franklin, Adams, and John Jay negotiated the 1783 Treaty of Paris, which established American independence and brought an end to the American Revolutionary War.[9] The constitutions drafted by Jay and Adams for their respective states of New York (1777) and Massachusetts (1780) proved influential in the language used in developing the U.S. Constitution.[10][11][12] The Federalist Papers, which advocated the ratification of the Constitution, were written by Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and Jay. George Washington was Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Army and later president of the Constitutional Convention.[13][14]

Each of these men held additional important roles in the early government of the United States. Washington, Adams, Jefferson, and Madison served as the first four presidents; Adams and Jefferson were the nation's first two vice presidents;[15] Jay was the nation's first chief justice;[16] Hamilton was the first Secretary of the Treasury;[17] Jefferson and Madison were the first two Secretaries of State;[18][19] and Franklin was America's most senior diplomat from the start of the Revolutionary War through its conclusion with the signing of the Treaty of Paris in 1783.[20]

The list of Founding Founders is often expanded to include the signers of the Declaration of Independence and individuals who later approved the U.S. Constitution.[2] Some scholars regard all delegates to the Constitutional Convention as Founding Fathers whether they approved the Constitution or not.[21][22] In addition, some historians include signers of the Articles of Confederation, which was adopted in 1781 as the nation's first constitution.[23]

Over the years, various historians have come to recognize others as founders, such as Revolutionary War military leaders as well as participants in developments leading up to the war, including prominent writers, orators, and other men and women who contributed to cause.[24][8][25][26] Since the 19th century, Founding Fathers have shifted from the concept of the founders as demigods who created the modern nation-state to take into account the inability of the founding generation to quickly take care of issues such as the practice of slavery and the amount of debt owed after the end of the American Revolutionary War.[27][28] Other scholars of the American founding suggest that the Founding Fathers' accomplishments and shortcomings be viewed within the context of their times.[29]

Origin of phrase edit

The phrase "Founding Fathers" was first coined by U.S. Senator Warren G. Harding in his keynote speech at the Republican National Convention of 1916.[30] Harding later repeated the phrase at his March 4, 1921, inauguration.[31] While U.S. presidents used the terms "founders" and "fathers" in their speeches throughout much of the early 20th century, it was another 60 years before Harding's phrase would be used again during the inaugural ceremonies. Ronald Reagan referred to "Founding Fathers" at both his first inauguration on January 20, 1981, and his second on January 20, 1985.[32][33]

In 1811, responding to praise for his generation, John Adams wrote to a younger Josiah Quincy III, "I ought not to object to your Reverence for your Fathers as you call them ... but to tell you a very great secret ... I have no reason to believe We were better than you are."[34] He also wrote, "Don't call me, ... Father ... [or] Founder ... These titles belong to no man, but to the American people in general."[35]

In Thomas Jefferson's second inaugural address in 1805, he referred to those who first came to the New World as "forefathers".[36] At his 1825 inauguration, John Quincy Adams called the U.S. Constitution "the work of our forefathers" and expressed his gratitude to "founders of the Union".[37] In July of the following year, John Quincy Adams, in an executive order upon the deaths of his father John Adams and Jefferson, who died on the same day, paid tribute to them as both "Fathers" and "Founders of the Republic".[38] These terms were used in the U.S. throughout the 19th century, from the inaugurations of Martin Van Buren and James Polk in 1837 and 1845, to Abraham Lincoln's Cooper Union speech in 1860 and his Gettysburg Address in 1863, and up to William McKinley's first inauguration in 1897.[39][40][41][42]

At a 1902 celebration of Washington's Birthday in Brooklyn, James M. Beck, a constitutional lawyer and later a U.S. Congressman, delivered an address, "Founders of the Republic", in which he connected the concepts of founders and fathers, saying: "It is well for us to remember certain human aspects of the founders of the republic. Let me first refer to the fact that these fathers of the republic were for the most part young men."[25]

Framers and signers edit

Portraits and autograph signatures of the Founding Fathers, who signed the Declaration of Independence at the Second Continental Congress in Philadelphia

The National Archives has identified three founding documents as the "Charters of Freedom": Declaration of Independence, United States Constitution, and Bill of Rights. According to the Archives, these documents "have secured the rights of the American people for more than two and a quarter centuries and are considered instrumental to the founding and philosophy of the United States."[43] In addition, as the nation's first constitution, the Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union is also a founding document.[44][45] As a result, signers of three key documents are generally considered to be Founding Fathers of the United States: Declaration of Independence (DI),[21] Articles of Confederation (AC),[23] and U.S. Constitution (USC).[22] The following table provides a list of these signers, some of whom signed more than one document.

Name Province/state DI (1776) AC (1777) USC (1787)
Andrew Adams Connecticut Yes
John Adams Massachusetts Yes
Samuel Adams Massachusetts Yes Yes
Thomas Adams Virginia Yes
Abraham Baldwin Georgia Yes
John Banister Virginia Yes
Josiah Bartlett New Hampshire Yes Yes
Richard Bassett Delaware Yes
Gunning Bedford Jr. Delaware Yes
John Blair Jr. Virginia Yes
William Blount North Carolina Yes
Carter Braxton Virginia Yes
David Brearley New Jersey Yes
Jacob Broom Delaware Yes
Pierce Butler South Carolina Yes
Charles Carroll Maryland Yes
Daniel Carroll Maryland Yes Yes
Samuel Chase Maryland Yes
Abraham Clark New Jersey Yes
William Clingan Pennsylvania Yes
George Clymer Pennsylvania Yes Yes
John Collins Rhode Island Yes
Francis Dana Massachusetts Yes
Jonathan Dayton New Jersey Yes
John Dickinson Delaware Yes Yes
William Henry Drayton South Carolina Yes
James Duane New York Yes
William Duer New York Yes
William Ellery Rhode Island Yes Yes
William Few Georgia Yes
Thomas Fitzsimons Pennsylvania Yes
William Floyd New York Yes
Benjamin Franklin Pennsylvania Yes Yes
Elbridge Gerry Massachusetts Yes Yes
Nicholas Gilman New Hampshire Yes
Nathaniel Gorham Massachusetts Yes
Button Gwinnett Georgia Yes
Lyman Hall Georgia Yes
Alexander Hamilton New York Yes
John Hancock Massachusetts Yes Yes
John Hanson Maryland Yes
Cornelius Harnett North Carolina Yes
Benjamin Harrison V Virginia Yes
John Hart New Jersey Yes
John Harvie Virginia Yes
Joseph Hewes North Carolina Yes
Thomas Heyward Jr. South Carolina Yes Yes
Samuel Holten Massachusetts Yes
William Hooper North Carolina Yes
Stephen Hopkins Rhode Island Yes
Francis Hopkinson New Jersey Yes
Titus Hosmer Connecticut Yes
Samuel Huntington Connecticut Yes Yes
Richard Hutson South Carolina Yes
Jared Ingersoll Pennsylvania Yes
William Jackson South Carolina Yes
Thomas Jefferson Virginia Yes
Daniel of St. Thomas Jenifer Maryland Yes
William Samuel Johnson Connecticut Yes
Rufus King Massachusetts Yes
John Langdon New Hampshire Yes
Edward Langworthy Georgia Yes
Henry Laurens South Carolina Yes
Francis Lightfoot Lee Virginia Yes Yes
Richard Henry Lee Virginia Yes Yes
Francis Lewis New York Yes Yes
Philip Livingston New York Yes
William Livingston New Jersey Yes
James Lovell Massachusetts Yes
Thomas Lynch Jr. South Carolina Yes
James Madison Virginia Yes
Henry Marchant Rhode Island Yes
John Mathews South Carolina Yes
James McHenry Maryland Yes
Thomas McKean Delaware Yes Yes
Arthur Middleton South Carolina Yes
Thomas Mifflin Pennsylvania Yes
Gouverneur Morris[a] New York Yes
Pennsylvania Yes
Lewis Morris New York Yes
Robert Morris Pennsylvania Yes Yes Yes
John Morton Pennsylvania Yes
Thomas Nelson Jr. Virginia Yes
William Paca Maryland Yes
Robert Treat Paine Massachusetts Yes
William Paterson New Jersey Yes
John Penn North Carolina Yes Yes
Charles Pinckney South Carolina Yes
Charles Cotesworth Pinckney South Carolina Yes
George Read Delaware Yes Yes
Joseph Reed Pennsylvania Yes
Daniel Roberdeau Pennsylvania Yes
Caesar Rodney Delaware Yes
George Ross Pennsylvania Yes
Benjamin Rush Pennsylvania Yes
Edward Rutledge South Carolina Yes
John Rutledge South Carolina Yes
Nathaniel Scudder New Jersey Yes
Roger Sherman Connecticut Yes Yes Yes
James Smith Pennsylvania Yes
Jonathan Bayard Smith Pennsylvania Yes
Richard Dobbs Spaight North Carolina Yes
Richard Stockton New Jersey Yes
Thomas Stone Maryland Yes
George Taylor Pennsylvania Yes
Edward Telfair Georgia Yes
Matthew Thornton New Hampshire Yes
Nicholas Van Dyke Delaware Yes
George Walton Georgia Yes
John Walton Georgia Yes
George Washington Virginia Yes
John Wentworth Jr. New Hampshire Yes
William Whipple New Hampshire Yes
John Williams North Carolina Yes
William Williams Connecticut Yes
Hugh Williamson North Carolina Yes
James Wilson Pennsylvania Yes Yes
John Witherspoon New Jersey Yes Yes
Oliver Wolcott Connecticut Yes Yes
George Wythe Virginia Yes

Other delegates edit

The 55 delegates who attended the Constitutional Convention are referred to as framers. Of these, the 16 listed below did not sign the document.[46] Three refused, while the remainder left early, either in protest of the proceedings or for personal reasons.[47][48] Nevertheless, some sources regard all framers as founders, including those who did not sign:[22][49]

(*) Randolph, Mason, and Gerry were the only three present at the Constitution's adoption who refused to sign.

Additional Founding Fathers edit

In addition to the signers and Framers of the founding documents and one of the seven notable leaders previously mentioned—John Jay—the following are regarded as founders based on their contributions to the creation and early development of the new nation:

Selected portraits of Founding Fathers
Early advocate of colonial unity, was a foundational figure in defining the US ethos and exemplifying the emerging nation's ideals.
Served as Washington's senior aide-de-camp during most of the Revolutionary War; wrote 51 of the 85 articles comprising the Federalist Papers; and created much of the administrative framework of the government.
Member Committee of Five that drafted the Declaration of Independence; administered oath of office to Washington
President of the Continental Congress from 1778 to 1779; negotiated the Treaty of Paris with Adams and Franklin; wrote The Federalist Papers with Hamilton and Madison.
Called the "Father of the Constitution" by his contemporaries[80]
President of the Continental Congress, presided over creation of the Continental Association[81]
Introduced the Lee Resolution in the Second Continental Congress calling for the colonies' independence from Great Britain
President of the Continental Congress; renowned for his large signature on the United States Declaration of Independence
Member of the First and Second Continental Congress; Signed the Continental Association, Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution
Known as the "Penman of the Revolution"; wrote the 1774 Petition to the King, the 1775 Olive Branch Petition, the final draft of Causes and Necessity of Taking Up Arms, and the first draft of the Articles of Confederation.
President of the Continental Congress (November 1, 1777 – December 9, 1778) when the Articles were passed on November 15, 1777.[82]
Member of the Committee of Five, developed the Constitution's influential Connecticut Compromise and was the only person who signed all four major U.S. founding documents.[83]
President of Pennsylvania's Committee of Safety, "Financier of the Revolution"; one of the founders of the financial system of the United States.
Physician who died during the Battle of Bunker Hill
Member First and Second Continental Congress; Signed the Continental Association and U.S. Constitution
Member Second Continental Congress; Signed the Declaration of Independence and Articles of Confederation; Fifth vice President under James Madison

Women founders edit

Abigail Adams was a close advisor to her husband John Adams, a Founding Father and the second U.S. president.

Historians have come to recognize the roles women played in the nation's early development, using the term "Founding Mothers".[84][85] Among the women honored in this respect are:

Other patriots edit

The following men and women are also recognized for the notable contributions they made during the founding era:

The colonies unite (1765–1774) edit

In the mid-1760s, Parliament began levying taxes on the colonies to finance Britain's debts from the French and Indian War, a decade-long conflict that ended in 1763.[129][130] Opposition to Stamp Act and Townshend Acts united the colonies in a common cause.[131] While the Stamp Act was withdrawn, taxes on tea remained under the Townshend Acts and took on a new form in 1773 with Parliament's adoption of the Tea Act. The new tea tax, along with stricter customs enforcement, was not well-received across the colonies, particularly in Massachusetts.[132]

On December 16, 1773, 150 colonists disguised as Mohawk Indians boarded ships in Boston and dumped 342 chests of tea into the city's harbor, a protest that came to be known as the Boston Tea Party.[133][134] Orchestrated by Samuel Adams and the Boston Committee of Correspondence, the protest was viewed as treasonous by British authorities.[135] In response, Parliament passed the Coercive or Intolerable Acts, a series of punitive laws that closed Boston's port and placed the colony under direct control of the British government. These measures stirred unrest throughout the colonies, which felt Parliament had overreached its authority and was posing a threat to the self-rule that had existed in the Americas since the 1600s.[132]

Intent on responding to the Acts, twelve of the Thirteen Colonies agreed to send delegates to meet in Philadelphia as the First Continental Congress, with Georgia declining because it needed British military support in its conflict with native tribes.[136] The concept of an American union had been entertained long before 1774, but always embraced the idea that it would be subject to the authority of the British Empire. By 1774, however, letters published in colonial newspapers, mostly by anonymous writers, began asserting the need for a "Congress" to represent all Americans, one that would have equal status with British authority.[137]

Continental Congress (1774–1775) edit

First Continental Congress at Prayer, an 1848 portrait by T. H. Matteson

The Continental Congress was convened to deal with a series of pressing issues the colonies were facing with Britain. Its delegates were men considered to be the most intelligent and thoughtful among the colonialists. In the wake of the Intolerable Acts, at the hands of an unyielding British King and Parliament, the colonies were forced to choose between either totally submitting to arbitrary Parliamentary authority or resorting to unified armed resistance.[138][139] The new Congress functioned as the directing body in declaring a great war and was sanctioned only by reason of the guidance it provided during the armed struggle. Its authority remained ill-defined, and few of its delegates realized that events would soon lead them to deciding policies that ultimately established a "new power among the nations". In the process the Congress performed many experiments in government before an adequate Constitution evolved.[140]

First Continental Congress (1774) edit

The First Continental Congress convened at Philadelphia's Carpenter's Hall on September 5, 1774.[141] The Congress, which had no legal authority to raise taxes or call on colonial militias, consisted of 56 delegates, including George Washington of Virginia; John Adams and Samuel Adams of Massachusetts; John Jay of New York; John Dickinson of Pennsylvania; and Roger Sherman of Connecticut. Peyton Randolph of Virginia was unanimously elected its first president.[81][142]

The Congress came close to disbanding in its first few days over the issue of representation, with smaller colonies desiring equality with the larger ones. While Patrick Henry, from the largest colony, Virginia, disagreed, he stressed the greater importance of uniting the colonies: "The distinctions between Virginians, Pennsylvanians, New Yorkers, and New Englanders are no more. I am not a Virginian, but an American!".[143] The delegates then began with a discussion of the Suffolk Resolves, which had just been approved at a town meeting in Milton, Massachusetts.[144] Joseph Warren, chairman of the Resolves drafting committee, had dispatched Paul Revere to deliver signed copies to the Congress in Philadelphia.[145][146][135] The Resolves called for the ouster of British officials, a trade embargo of British goods, and the formation of a militia throughout the colonies.[144] Despite the radical nature of the resolves, on September 17 the Congress passed them in their entirety in exchange for assurances that Massachusetts' colonists would do nothing to provoke war.[147][148]

The delegates then approved a series of measures, including a Petition to the King in an appeal for peace and a Declaration and Resolves which introduced the ideas of natural law and natural rights, foreshadowing some of the principles found in the Declaration of Independence and Bill of Rights.[149] The declaration asserted the rights of colonists and outlined Parliament's abuses of power. Proposed by Richard Henry Lee, it also included a trade boycott known as the Continental Association.[150] The Association, a crucial step toward unification, empowered committees of correspondence throughout the colonies to enforce the boycott. The Declaration and its boycott directly challenged Parliament's right to govern in the Americas, bolstering the view of King George III and his administration under Lord North that the colonies were in a state of rebellion.[151]

Lord Dartmouth, the Secretary of State for the Colonies who had been sympathetic to the Americans, condemned the newly established Congress for what he considered its illegal formation and actions.[152][153] In tandem with the Intolerable Acts, British Army commander-in-chief Lieutenant General Thomas Gage was installed as governor of Massachusetts. In January 1775, Gage's superior, Lord Dartmouth, ordered the general to arrest those responsible for the Tea Party and to seize the munitions that had been stockpiled by militia forces outside of Boston. The letter took several months to reach Gage, who acted immediately by sending out 700 army regulars. During their march to Lexington and Concord on the morning of April 19, 1775, the British troops encountered militia forces, who had been warned the night before by Paul Revere and another messenger on horseback, William Dawes. Even though it is unknown who fired the first shot, the Revolutionary War began.[154]

Second Continental Congress (1775) edit

George Mason, author of the 1776 Virginia Declaration of Rights and co-father of the United States Bill of Rights

On May 10, 1775, less than three weeks after the Battles at Lexington and Concord, the Second Continental Congress convened in the Pennsylvania State House. The gathering essentially reconstituted the First Congress with many of the same delegates in attendance.[155] Among the new arrivals were Benjamin Franklin of Pennsylvania, John Hancock of Massachusetts, and in June, Thomas Jefferson of Virginia. Hancock was elected president two weeks into the session when Peyton Randolph was recalled to Virginia to preside over the House of Burgesses as speaker, and Jefferson was named to replace him in the Virginia delegation.[156] After adopting the rules of debate from the previous year and reinforcing its emphasis on secrecy,[157][158] the Congress turned to its foremost concern, the defense of the colonies.[159]

The provincial assembly in Massachusetts, which had declared the colony's governorship vacant, reached out to the Congress for direction on two matters: whether the assembly could assume the powers of civil government and whether the Congress would take over the army being formed in Boston.[160] In answer to the first question, on June 9 the colony's leaders were directed to choose a council to govern within the spirit of the colony's charter.[161][162] As for the second, Congress spent several days discussing plans for guiding the forces of all thirteen colonies. Finally, on June 14 Congress approved provisioning the New England militias, agreed to send ten companies of riflemen from other colonies as reinforcements, and appointed a committee to draft rules for governing the military, thus establishing the Continental Army. The next day, Samuel and John Adams nominated Washington as commander-in-chief, a motion that was unanimously approved.[163][164] Two days later, on June 17, the militias clashed with British forces at Bunker Hill, a victory for Britain but a costly one.[165]

The Congress's actions came despite the divide between conservatives who still hoped for reconciliation with England and at the other end of the spectrum, those who favored independence.[166] To satisfy the former, Congress adopted the Olive Branch Petition on July 5, an appeal for peace to King George III written by John Dickinson. Then, the following day, it approved the Declaration of the Causes and Necessity of Taking Up Arms, a resolution justifying military action.[163] The declaration, intended for Washington to read to the troops upon his arrival in Massachusetts, was drafted by Jefferson but edited by Dickinson who thought its language too strong.[167][168] When the Olive Branch Petition arrived in London in September, the king refused to look at it.[169] By then, he had already issued a proclamation declaring the American colonies in rebellion.[170]

Declaration of Independence (1776) edit

Under the auspices of the Second Continental Congress and its Committee of Five,[171] Thomas Jefferson drafted the Declaration of Independence. It was presented to the Congress by the Committee on June 28,[172] and after much debate and editing of the document, on July 2, 1776,[173][174] Congress passed the Lee Resolution, which declared the United Colonies independent from Great Britain. Two days later, on July 4, the Declaration of Independence was adopted.[175] The name "United States of America", which first appeared in the Declaration, was formally approved by the Congress on September 9, 1776.[176]

In an effort to get this important document promptly into the public realm John Hancock, president of the Second Continental Congress, commissioned John Dunlap, editor and printer of the Pennsylvania Packet, to print 200 broadside copies of the Declaration, which came to be known as the Dunlap broadsides. Printing commenced the day after the Declaration was adopted. They were distributed throughout the 13 colonies/states with copies sent to General Washington and his troops at New York with a directive that it be read aloud. Copies were also sent to Britain and other points in Europe.[177][178][172]

Fighting for independence edit

George Washington's crossing of the Delaware River on December 25–26, 1776, depicted in an 1856 portrait, Washington's Crossing the Delaware, by Emanuel Leutze

While the colonists were fighting the British to gain independence their newly formed government, with its Articles of Confederation, were put to the test, revealing the shortcomings and weaknesses of America's first Constitution. During this time Washington became convinced that a strong federal government was urgently needed, as the individual states were not meeting the organizational and supply demands of the war on their own individual accord.[179][180] Key precipitating events included the Boston Tea Party in 1773, Paul Revere's Ride in 1775, and the Battles of Lexington and Concord in 1775.[181] George Washington's crossing of the Delaware River was a major American victory over Hessian forces at the Battle of Trenton and greatly boosted American morale.[182] The Battle of Saratoga and the Siege of Yorktown, which primarily ended the fighting between American and British, were also pivotal events during the war. The 1783 Treaty of Paris marked the official end of the war.[183]

After the war, Washington was instrumental in organizing the effort to create a "national militia" made up of individual state units, and under the direction of the Federal government. He also endorsed the creation of a military academy to train artillery offices and engineers. Not wanting to leave the country disarmed and vulnerable so soon after the war, Washington favored a peacetime army of 2600 men. He also favored the creation of a navy that could repel any European intruders. He approached Henry Knox, who accompanied Washington during most of his campaigns, with the prospect of becoming the future Secretary of War.[184]

Treaty of Paris edit

Signature page of the Treaty of Paris of 1783 – See also: An image of the first page and a transcript of the treaty

After Washington's final victory at the surrender at Yorktown on October 19, 1781, more than a year passed before official negotiations for peace commenced. The Treaty of Paris was drafted in November 1782, and negotiations began in April 1783. The completed treaty was signed on September 3. Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, John Jay and Henry Laurens represented the United States,[185] while David Hartley, a member of Parliament, and Richard Oswald, a prominent and influential Scottish businessman, represented Great Britain.[186][187]

Franklin, who had a long-established rapport with the French and was almost entirely responsible for securing an alliance with them a few months after the start of the war, was greeted with high honors from the French council, while the others received due accommodations but were generally considered to be amateur negotiators.[188] Communications between Britain and France were largely effected through Franklin and Lord Shelburne who was on good terms with Franklin.[189] Franklin, Adams and Jay understood the concerns of the French at this uncertain juncture and, using that to their advantage, in the final sessions of negotiations convinced both the French and the British that American independence was in their best interests.[190]

Constitutional Convention edit

Scene at the Signing of the Constitution of the United States, a 1940 portrait by Howard Chandler Christy depicting the 1787 Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia

Under the Articles of Confederation, the Congress of the Confederation had no power to collect taxes, regulate commerce, pay the national debt, conduct diplomatic relations, or effectively manage the western territories.[191][192][193] Key leaders – George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and others – began fearing for the young nation's fate.[194] As the Articles' weaknesses became more and more apparent, the idea of creating a strong central government gained support, leading to the call for a convention to amend the Articles.[195][196]

The Constitutional Convention met in the Pennsylvania State House from May 14 through September 17, 1787.[197] The 55 delegates in attendance represented a cross-section of 18th-century American leadership. The vast majority were well-educated and prosperous, and all were prominent in their respective states with over 70 percent (40 delegates) serving in the Congress when the convention was proposed.[198][193]

Many delegates were late to arrive, and after eleven days' delay, a quorum was finally present on May 25 to elect Washington, the nation's most trusted figure, as convention president.[199][200] Four days later, on May 29, the convention adopted a rule of secrecy, a controversial decision but a common practice that allowed delegates to speak freely.[201][202][203]

Virginia and New Jersey plans edit

Immediately following the secrecy vote, Virginia governor Edmund Randolph introduced the Virginia Plan, fifteen resolutions written by Madison and his colleagues proposing a government of three branches: a single executive, a bicameral (two-house) legislature, and a judiciary.[204][205][206] The lower house was to be elected by the people, with seats apportioned by state population. The upper house would be chosen by the lower house from delegates nominated by state legislatures. The executive, who would have veto power over legislation, would be elected by the Congress, which could overrule state laws.[207][208] While the plan exceeded the convention's objective of merely amending the Articles, most delegates were willing to abandon their original mandate in favor of crafting a new form of government.[209][196]

Discussions of the Virginia resolutions continued into mid-June, when William Paterson of New Jersey presented an alternative proposal.[210] The New Jersey Plan retained most of the Articles' provisions, including a one-house legislature and equal power for the states. One of the plan's innovations was a "plural" executive branch, but its primary concession was to allow the national government to regulate trade and commerce.[211][212][213] Meeting as a committee of the whole, the delegates discussed the two proposals beginning with the question of whether there should be a single or three-fold executive and then whether to grant the executive veto power.[214] After agreeing on a single executive who could veto legislation, the delegates turned to an even more contentious issue, legislative representation.[215] Larger states favored proportional representation based on population, while smaller states wanted each state to have the same number of legislators.[216][217][218]

Connecticut Compromise edit

By mid-July, the debates between the large-state and small-state factions had reached an impasse.[219] With the convention on the verge of collapse, Roger Sherman of Connecticut introduced what became known as the Connceticut (or Great) Compromise.[220][221][222] Sherman's proposal called for a House of Representatives elected proportionally and a Senate where all states would have the same number of seats. On July 16, the compromise was approved by the narrowest of margins, 5 states to 4.[223][224]

The proceedings left most delegates with reservations.[225][226] Several went home early in protest, believing the convention was overstepping its authority.[227][228][229] Others were concerned about the lack of a Bill of Rights safeguarding individual liberties.[230][231] Even Madison, the Constitution's chief architect, was dissatisfied, particularly over equal representation in the Senate and the failure to grant Congress the power to veto state legislation.[232] Misgivings aside, a final draft was approved overwhelmingly on September 17, with 11 states in favor and New York unable to vote since it had only one delegate remaining, Hamilton.[225] Rhode Island, which was in a dispute over the state's paper currency, had refused to send anyone to the convention.[233][234] Of the 42 delegates present, only three refused to sign: Randolph and George Mason, both of Virginia, and Elbridge Gerry of Massachusetts.[235][226]

State ratification conventions edit

The U. S. Constitution faced one more hurdle: approval by the legislatures in at least nine of the 13 states.[236] Within three days of the signing, the draft was submitted to the Congress of the Confederation, which forwarded the document to the states for ratification.[237] In November, Pennsylvania's legislature convened the first of the conventions. Before it could vote, Delaware became the first state to ratify, approving the Constitution on December 7 by a 30–0 margin.[238] Pennsylvania followed suit five days later, splitting its vote 46–23.[239] Despite unanimous votes in New Jersey and Georgia, several key states appeared to be leaning against ratification because of the omission of a Bill of Rights, particularly Virginia where the opposition was led by Mason and Patrick Henry, who had refused to participate in the convention claiming he "smelt a rat".[240][241][242] Rather than risk everything, the Federalists relented, promising that if the Constitution was adopted, amendments would be added to secure people's rights.[243]

Over the next year, the string of ratifications continued. Finally, on June 21, 1788, New Hampshire became the ninth state to ratify, making the Constitution the law of the land.[244][245] Virginia followed suit four days later, and New York did the same in late July.[240] After North Carolina's assent in November, another year-and-a-half would pass before the 13th state would weigh in.[246] Facing trade sanctions and the possibility of being forced out of the union, Rhode Island approved the Constitution on May 29, 1790, by a begrudging 34–32 vote.[247][246]

New form of government edit

The Constitution officially took effect on March 4, 1789 (235 years ago) (1789-03-04), when the House and Senate met for their first sessions. On April 30, Washington was sworn in as the nation's first president.[248][249][250] Ten amendments, known collectively as the United States Bill of Rights, were ratified on December 15, 1791.[251] Because the delegates were sworn to secrecy, Madison's notes on the ratification were not published until after his death in 1836.[252]

Bill of Rights edit

The Constitution, as drafted, was sharply criticized by the Anti-Federalists, a group that contended the document failed to safeguard individual liberties from the federal government. Leading Anti-Federalists included Patrick Henry and Richard Henry Lee, both from Virginia, and Samuel Adams of Massachusetts. Delegates at the Constitutional Convention who shared their views were Virginians George Mason and Edmund Randolph and Massachusetts representative Elbridge Gerry, the three delegates who refused to sign the final document.[253] Henry, who derived his hatred of a central governing authority from his Scottish ancestry, did all in his power to defeat the Constitution, opposing Madison every step of the way.[254]

The criticisms are what led to the amendments proposed under the Bill of Rights. Madison, the bill's principal author, was originally opposed to the amendments, but was influenced by the 1776 Virginia Declaration of Rights, primarily written by Mason, and the Declaration of Independence, by Thomas Jefferson.[255] Jefferson, while in France, shared Henry's and Mason's fears about a strong central government, especially the president's power, but because of his friendship with Madison and the pending Bill of Rights, he quieted his concerns.[256] Alexander Hamilton, however, was opposed to a Bill of Rights believing the amendments not only unnecessary but dangerous:

Why declare things shall not be done, which there is no power to do ... that the liberty of the press shall not be restrained, when no power is given by which restrictions may be imposed?[257]

Madison had no way of knowing the debate between Virginia's two legislative houses would delay the adoption of the amendments for more than two years.[258] The final draft, referred to the states by the federal Congress on September 25, 1789,[259] was not ratified by Virginia's Senate until December 15, 1791.[258]
The Bill of Rights drew its authority from the consent of the people and held that,

The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.
— Article 11.

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.
— Article 12.[260]

Madison came to be recognized as the founding era's foremost proponent of religious liberty, free speech, and freedom of the press.[261]

Ascending to the presidency edit

The first five U.S. presidents are regarded as Founding Fathers for their active participation in the American Revolution: Washington, John Adams, Jefferson, Madison, and Monroe. Each of them served as a delegate to the Continental Congress.[262]

Demographics and other characteristics edit

The Founding Fathers represented the upper echelon of political leadership in the British colonies during the latter half of the 18th century.[263][264] All were leaders in their communities and respective colonies who were willing to assume responsibility for public affairs.[265]

Of the signers of the Declaration of Independence, Articles of Confederation, and U.S. Constitution, nearly all were native born and of British heritage, including Scots, Irish, and Welsh.[266][267] Nearly half were lawyers, while the remainder were primarily businessmen and planter-farmers.[268][269][270] The average age of the founders was 43.[271] Benjamin Franklin, born in 1706, was the oldest, while only a few were born after 1750 and thus were in their 20s.[272][273][274]

The following sections discuss these and other demographic topics in greater detail. For the most part, the information is confined to signers/delegates associated with the Declaration of Independence, Articles of Confederation, and Constitution.

Political experience edit

All of the Founding Fathers had extensive political experience at the national and state levels.[275][276] As just one example, the signers of the Declaration of Independence and Articles of Confederation were members of Second Continental Congress, while four-fifths of the delegates at the Constitutional Convention had served in the Congress either during or prior to the convention. The remaining fifth attending the convention were recognized as leaders in the state assemblies that appointed them.

Following are brief profiles of the political backgrounds of some of the more notable founders:

  • John Adams began his political career as a town council member in Braintree outside Boston. He came to wider attention following a series of essays he wrote during the Stamp Act crisis of 1765. In 1770, he was elected to the Massachusetts General Assembly, went on to lead Boston's Committee of Correspondence, and in 1774, was elected to the Continental Congress. Adams later became the first vice president (1789–1797) and second president (1797–1801) of the nation he helped found.[277][278]
  • John Dickinson was one of the leaders of the Pennsylvania Assembly during the 1770s. As a member of the First and Second Continental Congress, he wrote two petitions for the Congress to King George III seeking a peaceful solution. Dickinson opposed independence and refused to sign the Declaration of Independence, but served as an officer in the militia and wrote the initial draft of the Articles of Confederation. In the 1780s, he served as president of Pennsylvania and president of Delaware and as a delegate to the Constitutional Convention.[279]
  • Benjamin Franklin retired from his business activities in 1747 and was elected to the Pennsylvania Assembly in 1751. He was sent to London in 1757 for the first of two diplomatic missions on behalf of the colony.[280] Upon returning from England in 1775, Franklin was elected to the Second Continental Congress. After signing the Declaration of Independence in 1776, he was appointed Minister to France and then Sweden, and in 1783 helped negotiate the Treaty of Paris. Franklin was governor of Pennsylvania from 1785 to 1788 and was a delegate to the Constitutional Convention.[281]
  • John Jay was a New York delegate to the First and Second Continental Congress and in 1778 was elected Congress president. In 1782, he was summoned to Paris by Franklin to help negotiate the Treaty of Paris with Great Britain. As a supporter of the proposed Constitution, he wrote five of the Federalist Papers and became the first Chief Justice of the Supreme Court following the Constitution's adoption.[282] Minister to Spain[2][283][284]
  • Thomas Jefferson was a delegate from Virginia to the Second Continental Congress (1775–1776) and was the primary author of the Declaration of Independence. He was elected the second governor of Virginia (1779–1781) and served as Minister to France (1785–1789). He later served as the first Secretary of State (1790–1793), second vice president (1797–1801) and third President of the United States (1801–1809)[285][286]
  • Robert Morris had been a member of the Pennsylvania Assembly and president of Pennsylvania's Committee of Safety. He was also a member of the Committee of Secret Correspondence and member of the Second Continental Congress. Under the Articles of Confederation he served as the Minister of Finance and served as a delegate to the Constitutional Convention.[287]
  • Roger Sherman had served in the First and Second Continental Congresses, Connecticut House of Representatives and Justice of the Peace before attending the Constitutional Convention as a delegate. After the Constitution was ratified he served in both the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate representing his home state of Connecticut. He was the only Founder to sign all four of the major Founding documents, the Continental Association, Declaration of Independence, Articles of Confederation, and the U.S. Constitution.[288]

Education edit

More than a third of the Founding Fathers attended or graduated from colleges in the American colonies, while additional founders attended college abroad, primarily in England and Scotland. All other founders either were home schooled, received tutoring, completed apprenticeships, or were self-educated.

American colleges edit

Following is a listing of founders who graduated from six of the nine colleges established in the Americas during the Colonial Era. A few founders, such as Alexander Hamilton[289] and James Monroe,[290] attended college (Columbia and William & Mary, respectively) but did not graduate. The other three colonial colleges, all founded in the 1760s, included Brown University (originally College of Rhode Island), Dartmouth College, and Rutgers University (originally Queen's College).

United Kingdom colleges edit

Following are founders who graduated from colleges in Great Britain:

Ethnicity edit

All of the founders were white, and two-thirds (36 out of 55) were natives of the American Colonies, while nineteen were born in other parts of the British Empire.

Occupations edit

While the Founding Fathers were engaged in a broad range of occupations, most had careers in three professions: about half the founders were lawyers, a sixth were planters/farmers, another sixth were merchants/businessmen, and the others were spread across miscellaneous professions.

  • Ten founders were physicians: Josiah Bartlett,[376] Lyman Hall,[337] Samuel Holten,[377] James McClurg,[293] James McHenry (surgeon),[378] Benjamin Rush,[327] Nathaniel Scudder,[328] Matthew Thornton,[379] Joseph Warren,[311] and Hugh Williamson.[335]
  • John Witherspoon was the only minister, although Lyman Hall had been a preacher prior to becoming a physician.[380][337]
  • George Washington, a Virginia planter, was a land surveyor before becoming a colonel in the Virginia Regiment.[381]
  • Benjamin Franklin was a successful printer and publisher and an accomplished scientist and inventor, in Philadelphia. Franklin retired at age 42 to focus first on scientific pursuits and then politics and diplomacy, serving as a member of the Continental Congress, first postmaster general, minister to Great Britain, France, and Sweden, and governor of Pennsylvania.[382][383][384][385]

Religion edit

Of the 55 delegates to the Constitutional Convention in 1787, 28 were Anglicans (Church of England or Episcopalian), 21 were other Protestants, and three were Catholics (Daniel Carroll and Fitzsimons; Charles Carroll was Catholic but was not a Constitution signatory).[386] Among the Protestant delegates to the Constitutional Convention, eight were Presbyterians, seven were Congregationalists, two were Lutherans, two were Dutch Reformed, and two were Methodists.[386]

A few prominent Founding Fathers were anti-clerical, notably Jefferson.[387][388] Historian Gregg L. Frazer argues that the leading founders (John Adams, Jefferson, Franklin, Wilson, Morris, Madison, Hamilton, and Washington) were neither Christians nor Deists, but rather supporters of a hybrid "theistic rationalism".[389] Many founders deliberately avoided public discussion of their faith. Historian David L. Holmes uses evidence gleaned from letters, government documents, and second-hand accounts to identify their religious beliefs.[50]

Founders on currency and postage edit

Four U.S. founders are minted on American currencyBenjamin Franklin, Alexander Hamilton, Thomas Jefferson, and George Washington; Washington and Jefferson both appear on three different denominations.

Founding Father name Currency image Denomination
George Washington   Quarter dollar (quarter)
  Dollar coin
  One dollar
Thomas Jefferson   Five cents (nickel)
  Dollar coin
  Two dollars
Alexander Hamilton   Ten dollars
Benjamin Franklin   One hundred dollars
Selected stamps of Founding events
Washington at Cambridge, 1925 issue
Washington at the Battle of Brooklyn, 1951 issue
Drafting the Articles of Confederation, 1977 issue

Political and cultural impact edit

Political rhetoric edit

According to David Sehat, in modern politics:[390]

Everyone cites the Founders. Constitutional originalists consult the Founders' papers to decide original meaning. Proponents of a living and evolving Constitution turn to the Founders as the font of ideas that have grown over time. Conservatives view the Founders as architects of a free enterprise system that built American greatness. The more liberal-leaning, following their sixties parents, claim the Founders as egalitarians, suspicious of concentrations of wealth. Independents look to the Founders to break the logjam of partisan brinksmanship. Across the political spectrum, Americans ground their views in a supposed set of ideas that emerged in the eighteenth century. But, in fact, the Founders disagreed with each other....they had vast and profound differences. They argued over federal intervention in the economy and about foreign policy. They fought bitterly over how much authority rested with the executive branch, about the relationship and prerogatives of federal and state government. The Constitution provided a nearly limitless theater of argument. The founding era was, in reality, one of the most partisan periods of American history.

Holidays edit

Fireworks, such as these shown over the Washington Monument in Washington, D.C. on July 4, 1986, are an annual national holiday tradition every July 4 in celebration of Independence Day and the founding of the United States.

Independence Day (colloquially called the Fourth of July) is a United States national holiday celebrated yearly on July 4 to commemorate the signing of the Declaration of Independence and the founding of the nation. Washington's Birthday is also observed as a national federal holiday, and on April 13 Jefferson's Birthday honors the US founder and president.

Media and theater edit

The Founding Fathers were portrayed in the Tony Award–winning 1969 musical 1776, which depicted the debates over and eventual adoption of the Declaration of Independence. The stage production was adapted into the 1972 film of the same name. The 1989 film A More Perfect Union, which was filmed on location in Independence Hall, depicts the events of the Constitutional Convention. The writing and passing of the founding documents are depicted in the 1997 documentary miniseries Liberty!, and the passage of the Declaration of Independence is portrayed in the second episode of the 2008 miniseries John Adams and the third episode of the 2015 miniseries Sons of Liberty. The Founders also feature in the 1986 miniseries George Washington II: The Forging of a Nation, the 2002–2003 animated television series Liberty's Kids, the 2020 miniseries Washington, and in many other films and television portrayals.[citation needed]

Several Founding Fathers, Hamilton, Washington, Jefferson, and Madison—were reimagined in Hamilton, a 2015 musical inspired by Ron Chernow's 2004 biography Alexander Hamilton, with music, lyrics and book by Lin-Manuel Miranda. The musical won eleven Tony Awards and a Pulitzer Prize for Drama.[391]

Sports edit

Several major professional sports teams in the Northeastern United States are named for themes based on the founders:

Religious freedom edit

Religious persecution had existed for centuries around the world and it existed in colonial America.[392] Founders such as Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, Patrick Henry, and George Mason first established a measure of religious freedom in Virginia in 1776 with the Virginia Declaration of Rights, which became a model for religious liberty for the nation.[393] Prior to this, Baptists, Presbyterians, and Lutherans had for a decade petitioned against the Church of England's efforts to suppress religious liberties in Virginia.

Jefferson left the Continental Congress to return to Virginia to join the fight for religious freedom, which proved difficult since many members of the Virginia legislature belonged to the established Church of England. While Jefferson was not completely successful, he managed to have repealed the various laws that were punitive toward those with different religious beliefs.[393][394][395] Jefferson was the architect for separation of Church and State, which opposed the use of public funds to support any established religion and believed it was unwise to link civil rights to religious doctrine.[396][395]

The United States Constitution, ratified in 1788, states in Article VI that "no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States". Freedom of religion and freedom of speech were further affirmed as the nation's law in the Bill of Rights. [392] The 14th Amendment of 1868 provided all Americans with "equal protection under the laws" and thus applied the First Amendment restriction against limiting the free exercise of religion to the states. [397][398]

Washington, a local leader of the Church of England, was also a strong proponent of religious freedom, He assured Baptists worried that the Constitution might not protect their religious liberties, that, "... certainly, I would never have placed my signature to it." Jews also viewed Washington as a champion of freedom and sought his assurances that they would enjoy complete religious freedom. Washington responded by declaring America's revolution in religion stood as an example for the rest of the world.[399]

Slavery edit

George Washington and William Lee, a 1780 portrait by John Trumbull

The Founding Fathers were not unified on the issue of slavery and continued to accommodate it within the new nation. Some were morally opposed to it and some attempted to end it in several of the colonies, but at the national level, slavery remained protected. In her study of Jefferson, historian Annette Gordon-Reed notes, "Others of the founders held slaves, but no other founder drafted the charter for American freedom".[400] As well as Jefferson, Washington and many other Founding Fathers were slaveowners. Some were conflicted by the institution, seeing it as immoral and politically divisive; Washington gradually became a cautious supporter of abolitionism and freed his slaves in his will. Jay and Hamilton led the successful fight to outlaw the international slave trade in New York, with efforts beginning in 1777.[401][402]

Founders such as Samuel Adams and John Adams were against slavery their entire lives. Rush wrote a pamphlet in 1773 which criticized the slave trade as well as the institution of slavery. In the pamphlet, Rush argued on a scientific basis that Africans are not by nature intellectually or morally inferior, and that any apparent evidence to the contrary is only the "perverted expression" of slavery, which "is so foreign to the human mind, that the moral faculties, as well as those of the understanding are debased, and rendered torpid by it." The Continental Association contained a clause which banned any Patriot involvement in slave trading.[403][404][405][406]

Franklin, though he was a key founder of the Pennsylvania Abolition Society,[407] originally owned slaves whom he later manumitted (released). While serving in the Rhode Island Assembly, in 1769 Hopkins introduced one of the earliest anti-slavery laws in the colonies. When Jefferson entered public life as a member of the House of Burgesses, he began as a social reformer by an effort to secure legislation permitting the emancipation of slaves. Jay founded the New York Manumission Society in 1785, for which Hamilton became an officer. They and other members of the Society founded the African Free School in New York City, to educate the children of free blacks and slaves. When Jay was governor of New York in 1798, he helped secure and signed into law an abolition law; fully ending forced labor as of 1827. He freed his slaves in 1798. Hamilton opposed slavery, as his experiences left him familiar with it and its effect on slaves and slaveholders,[408] though he did negotiate slave transactions for his wife's family, the Schuylers.[409] Evidence suggests Hamilton may have owned a house slave. After the Jay Treaty was signed, Hamilton advocated that American slaves freed by the British during the Revolutionary War be forcibly returned to their enslavers.[410] Some Founding Fathers never owned slaves, including John Adams, Samuel Adams, and Paine.[411] Henry Laurens, on the other hand, ran the largest slave trading house in North America. In the 1750s alone, his firm, Austin and Laurens, handled the sales of more than 8000 Africans.[412]

Slaves and slavery are mentioned only indirectly in the 1787 Constitution. For example, Article 1, Section 2, Clause 3 prescribes that "three-fifths of all other Persons" are to be counted for the apportionment of seats in the House of Representatives and direct taxes. Additionally, in Article 4, Section 2, Clause 3, slaves are referred to as "persons held in service or labor".[407][413] The Founding Fathers, however, did make efforts to contain slavery. Many Northern states had adopted legislation to end or significantly reduce slavery during and after the revolution.[413] In 1782, Virginia passed a manumission law that allowed slave owners to free their slaves by will or deed.[414] As a result, thousands of slaves were manumitted in Virginia.[414] In the Ordinance of 1784, Jefferson proposed to ban slavery in all the western territories, which failed to pass Congress by one vote. Partially following Jefferson's plan, Congress did ban slavery in the Northwest Ordinance, for lands north of the Ohio River. The international slave trade was banned in all states except South Carolina by 1800. Finally in 1807, President Jefferson called for and signed into law a federally enforced ban on the international slave trade throughout the U.S. and its territories. It became a federal crime to import or export a slave. However, the domestic slave trade was allowed for expansion or for diffusion of slavery into the Louisiana Territory.[413]

Reconstruction as a "Second Founding" edit

According to Professors Jeffrey K. Tulis and Nicole Mellow:[415]

The Founding, Reconstruction (often called "the second founding"), and the New Deal are typically heralded as the most significant turning points in the country's history, with many observers seeing each of these as political triumphs through which the United States has come to more closely realize its liberal ideals of liberty and equality.

Scholars such as Eric Foner have expanded the theme into books.[416][417][418] Black abolitionists played a key role by stressing that freed blacks needed equal rights after slavery was abolished.[419] Biographer David Blight states that Frederick Douglass, "played a pivotal role in America's Second Founding out of the apocalypse of the Civil War, and he very much wished to see himself as a founder and a defender of the Second American Republic."[420] Constitutional provision for racial equality for free blacks was enacted by a Republican Congress led by Thaddeus Stevens, Charles Sumner and Lyman Trumbull.[421] The "second founding" comprised the 13th, 14th and 15th amendments to the Constitution. All citizens now had federal rights that could be enforced in federal court. In a deep reaction, after 1876 freedmen lost many of these rights and had second class citizenship in the era of lynching and Jim Crow laws. Finally in the 1950s the U.S., Supreme Court started to restore those rights. Under the leadership of Martin Luther King and James Bevel, the Civil Rights movement made the nation aware of the crisis, and under President Lyndon Johnson major civil rights legislation was passed in 1964–65, and 1968.[422]

Scholarly analysis edit

Historians who wrote about the American Revolution era and the founding of the United States government now number in the thousands. Their inclusion would go well beyond the scope of this article. Some of the most prominent ones, however, are listed below. While most scholarly works maintain overall objectivity, historian Arthur H. Shaffer notes that many of the early works about the American Revolution often express a national bias, or anti-bias. Shaffer maintains that this bias lends a direct insight into the minds of the founders and their adversaries respectively. He notes that any bias is the product of a national interest and prevailing political mood, and as such cannot be dismissed as having no historic value for the modern historian.[423] Conversely, various modern accounts of history contain anachronisms, modern day ideals and perceptions used in an effort to write about the past and as such can distort the historical account in an effort to placate a modern audience.[424][425]

Early historians edit

Several of the earliest histories of the founding of the United States and its founders were written by Jeremy Belknap, author of his three-volume work, The history of New-Hampshire, published in 1784.[426]

Modern historians edit

Articles and books by these and other 20th- and 21st-century historians, combined with the digitization of primary sources such as handwritten letters, continue to contribute to an encyclopedic body of knowledge about the Founding Fathers:

According to American historian Joseph 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, such as Andrew Jackson, Henry Clay, Daniel Webster, and John C. Calhoun, the founders represented 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. 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.

Daniel Webster, 1825[435]

Noted collections edit

See also edit

Notes edit

  1. ^ Morris signed two of the documents, one as a delegate from New York, and one as a delegate from Pennsylvania.

Citations edit

  1. ^ Jilson, 1994, p. 291; Portrait by Gilbert Stuart
  2. ^ a b c Morris, 1973, p. 1
  3. ^ "English Emigration". Archived from the original on April 8, 2014. Retrieved August 21, 2017.
  4. ^ Haefeli, Evan (2012). New Netherland and the Dutch Origins of American Religious Liberty. University of Pennsylvania Press.
  5. ^ Lee, Hannah Farnham Sawyer (1973). The Huguenots in France and America. Vol. 1–2.
  6. ^ Ellis, Joseph (2007). American Creation: Triumphs and Tragedies at the Founding of the Republic. New York: Knopf. pp. 55–56. ISBN 978-0-307-26369-8.
  7. ^ Bernstein, 1987, pp. 6–7
  8. ^ a b Sneff, 2016, Essay
  9. ^ Jedson, 2006, pp. 4–5, 37
  10. ^ US Constitution, Transcription
  11. ^ J.Adams and Massachusetts Constitution
  12. ^ Morris: John Jay & the Constitution
  13. ^ Bradford, 1994, pp. 129, 132
  14. ^ Jilson, 1994, p. 291
  15. ^ Library of Congress: Chronological list of Presidents
  16. ^ Dictionary of American biography, 1932, v. 10, pp. 8–9
  17. ^ Chernow, 2004, pp. 2, 4, 287
  18. ^ Chernow, 2010, pp. 429, 526
  19. ^ Stewart, 2015, p. 186
  20. ^ Dictionary of American Biography, 1932, v. 6, p. 595
  21. ^ a b National Archives: Signers of the Declaration, Outline of signers
  22. ^ a b c National Archives, Framers of the Constitution
  23. ^ a b Padover, 1958, pp. 191–214
  24. ^ Encyclopædia Britannica, p. 12
  25. ^ a b c "Hamilton Club Honors Memory of Washington". The Brooklyn Daily Eagle. Brooklyn, NY. February 23, 1902. p. 8. Retrieved June 15, 2022.
  26. ^ Bernstein, 2009, pp. 6–7
  27. ^ "Resistance and Abolition | African | Immigration and Relocation in U.S. History | Classroom Materials at the Library of Congress | Library of Congress". Library of Congress.
  28. ^
  29. ^ Bernstein, 2009, pp. ix–x1
  30. ^ Bernstein, 1987, pp. 3–5
  31. ^ Harding, 1921, Inaugural Address
  32. ^ Reagan, 1981, First Inaugural Address
  33. ^ Reagan, 1985, Second Inaugural Address
  34. ^ "From John Adams to Josiah, III Quincy, 9 February 1811". Founders Online, National Archives. February 9, 1811. Retrieved November 3, 2022.
  35. ^ Ellis, 2007, pp. 6–7
  36. ^ Jefferson, 1805, Second Inaugural Address
  37. ^ J. Quincy Adams, 1825, Inaugural Address
  38. ^ J. Q. Adams, 1826, Executive order
  39. ^ Martin Van Buren, 1837, Inaugural Address
  40. ^ Polk, 1845, Inaugural Address
  41. ^ Conany, 2015, p. ix
  42. ^ McKinley, 1897, First Inaugural Address
  43. ^ "America's Founding Documents". US National Archives. October 30, 2015. Retrieved June 8, 2022.
  44. ^ Altman, 2003, pp. 20–21
  45. ^ Bellia, 2020, pp. 835–940
  46. ^ Morton, 2006, pp. 1, 316
  47. ^ Beeman, 2009, pp. xxi–xxiii, 25955
  48. ^ Morton, 2006, p. 4
  49. ^ Bernstein, 2009, pp. 177–179
  50. ^ a b Holmes, 2006, p. 150
  51. ^ Wood, 2006, pp. 225–242.
  52. ^ a b c Bernstein, 2009, p. 179
  53. ^ Campbell, 1969, pp. 130, 134
  54. ^ Kidd, 2011, pp. 81, 101, 177, 198, 216
  55. ^ Dictionary of American biography, 1932, v. 9, pp. 209–210
  56. ^ Dungan, Nicholas, 2010, pp. 3, 4, 187–189
  57. ^ Chernow, 2004, p. 96
  58. ^ Gotham Center, NY: Livingston papers
  59. ^ Dangerfield, 1960
  60. ^ a b c d e f Bernstein, 2009, pp. 126, 180
  61. ^ "American Founders: K-O". Library of Congress. Retrieved June 10, 2022.
  62. ^ Lehrman, Lewis E. (2013). "Family Enmity: John Marshall and Thomas Jefferson". The American Founders. New York: Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History. pp. 157–159. ISBN 978-0984-01785-0.
  63. ^ Unger, Harlow G. (2014). John Marshall: The Chief Justice Who Saved the Nation. Boston, Massachusetts: Da Capo Press. ISBN 978-0306-82220-9.
  64. ^ Dictionary of American biography, 1932, v. 82, pp. 219–223
  65. ^ Unger, 2009, pp. 2–3
  66. ^ Cogliano, 2006, p. 241
  67. ^ Kann, 1999, p. xi
  68. ^ Bowman, 2005, pp. 22–25
  69. ^ Journal of Blacks in Higher Education, 2005, p. 45
  70. ^ Braff, 2009, pp. 39–43
  71. ^ McCullough, 2001, pp. 96–97
  72. ^ Bernstein, 2009, pp. 51–179
  73. ^ McCullough, 2001, pp. 538–539
  74. ^ Ramage, 1922, pp. 415–418
  75. ^ "Bioguide Search".
  76. ^ Bowling, 1976, pp. 314–335
  77. ^ Cary, 1961, pp. viii, 19–20
  78. ^ a b c d e f g Buchanan, 2007, pp. 522–524
  79. ^ Wright, 1996, pp. 525–560
  80. ^ Allen, 2002, p. 75
  81. ^ a b Mount Vernon, Peyton Randolph, Essay
  82. ^ Jilson & Wilson, 1994, p. 50
  83. ^ Bradford, 1994, pp. 21–25
  84. ^ Encyclopædia Britannica
  85. ^ Kann, 1999, pp. xi–xii
  86. ^ a b "The Founding Fathers". March 23, 2021 [January 30, 2019].
  87. ^ Michals, Debra (2015). "Abigail Smith Adams". National Women's History Museum. Retrieved June 26, 2022.
  88. ^ Encyclopædia Britannica, pp. 166–167
  89. ^ McWilliams, 1976, pp. 257–282
  90. ^ Newman, Richard S. (2008). Freedom's Prophet: Bishop Richard Allen, the AME Church, and the Black Founding Fathers. New York: New York University Press. ISBN 978-0814-75826-7.
  91. ^ Encyclopædia Britannica, pp. 172–173
  92. ^ Boston City Council, archives, p. 34
  93. ^ Howat, Kenna (2017), Mythbusting the Founding Mothers, National Women's History Museum
  94. ^ "John Adams I (Frigate) 1799–1867". Retrieved August 22, 2015.
  95. ^ Meany 1911, p. 1.
  96. ^ Westcott, Reed (n.d.). "Hugh Henry Brackenridge, Digital Encyclopedia of George Washington". George Washington's Mount Vernon ( Retrieved January 23, 2023. Hugh Henry Brackenridge was a Scottish-born Pennsylvanian preacher, politician, writer, and jurist, who – though not strictly a Founding Father himself – was intimately familiar with several founders, James Madison in particular.
  97. ^ Conner, Martha. "Breckenridge at Princeton". Western Pennsylvania History: 146–162.
  98. ^ Chandler, Lyndsay C.; Homol, Lindley (2018) [2007]. "H.H. Brackenridge". Pennsylvania Center for the Book. Penn State University. Retrieved January 23, 2023.
  99. ^ O'Toole, James (January 2, 2000). "Hugh Henry Brackenridge – Our local Founding Father". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved January 23, 2023.
  100. ^ Crocco, Stephen (1992). "Hugh Henry Brackenridge: Priest and Prophet of the American Enlightenment". American Presbyterians. 70 (4): 211–221. ISSN 0886-5159. JSTOR 23332616.
  101. ^ Reed, Isaac Ariail (2019). "Performative State-Formation in the Early American Republic". American Sociological Review. 84 (2): 334–367. doi:10.1177/0003122419831228. ISSN 0003-1224. JSTOR 48595814. S2CID 96424952.
  102. ^ Deetz, 1996, pp. 138–140
  103. ^ Chernow, 2004, pp. 301, 315, 318–319, 423, 464
  104. ^ Yafa, 2006, p. 76
  105. ^ Bowen, Edwin W. (1903). "Philip Freneau, the Poet of the American Revolution". The Sewanee Review. 11 (2): 213–220. ISSN 0037-3052. JSTOR 27530558.
  106. ^ Castronovo, Russ (August 21, 2014). "Aftermath: The Poetry of the Post-Revolution". Propaganda 1776: Secrets, Leaks, and Revolutionary Communications in Early America. Oxford Studies in American Literary History. Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199354900.003.0006. ISBN 9780199354900.
  107. ^ a b c d Dungan, Nicholas, 2010
  108. ^ Ellis, 2007, p. 86
  109. ^ Roberts, Cokie (2005). Founding Mothers: The Women Who Raised Our Nation. Harper Perennial.
  110. ^ Roberts, Cokie (2008). Ladies of Liberty: The Women Who Shaped Our Nation. Harper.
  111. ^ Chernow, 2010, p. 363
  112. ^ "Principles and acts of the revolution in America". Baltimore, Printed and pub. for the editor, by W. O. Niles. 1822.
  113. ^ Sibley's Harvard Graduates. Boston: Harvard University Press. 1933. pp. 220–228. hdl:2027/uc1.31970025342293.
  114. ^ "Founders Online: To John Adams from Benjamin Kent, 24 April 1776".
  115. ^ Raab, 2007, ISBN 978-0786432134, pp. 135
  116. ^ Jones, Keith Marshall, III. John Laurance: The Immigrant Founding Father America Never Knew. Philadelphia: American Philosophical Society, 2019.
  117. ^ LaGumina, Salvatore (2000). The Italian American experience: an encyclopedia. Taylor & Francis, p. 361.
  118. ^ O'Brien, 1937, p. 13
  119. ^ Chernow, 2004, pp. 42, 73, 78
  120. ^ Marine Corps University, Essay
  121. ^ Raphael, Ray. The Complete Idiot's Guide to the Founding Fathers And the Birth of Our Nation (Penguin, 2011).
  122. ^ Schwartz, 1987, pp. 12, 28
  123. ^ Bowden, Ralph (April 10, 2014). "Tennessee's First Hero: Gordon Belt and Traci Nichols-Belt examine how history has treated Tennessee founding father John Sevier". Chapter 16. Humanities Tennessee. Retrieved July 18, 2023.
  124. ^ Jaffe, Irma B. (1975). John Trumbull, patriot-artist of the American Revolution. Boston: New York Graphic Society. ISBN 0-8212-0459-9. OCLC 1229525.
  125. ^ Silverman, E.H. (June 1958). "Painter of the Revolution". American Heritage. 9 (4). Archived from the original on September 12, 2023.
  126. ^ Dictionary of American biography, 1932, v. 19, pp. 226–227
  127. ^ Dictionary of American biography, 1932, v. 17, pp. 226–227
  128. ^ Kendall, 2010, pp. 5–7
  129. ^ Jensen, 1968, pp. 59–61
  130. ^ Carp, 2010, p. 15
  131. ^ Chaffin, 1991, p. 132.
  132. ^ a b Carp, 2010, pp. 193–195
  133. ^ Carp, 2010, p. 143
  134. ^ "Boston Tea Party". March 23, 2022 [October 27, 2009]. Retrieved July 28, 2022.
  135. ^ a b Andrilk, 2012, pp. 98–99
  136. ^ Mount Vernon, Essay: First Continental Congress
  137. ^ Jensen, 1968, p. 461
  138. ^ Ammerman, 1974, p. 145
  139. ^ Chorlton, 2011, p.xxviii
  140. ^ Burnett, 1941, pp. ix, 197
  141. ^ Jensen, 1968, p. 490
  142. ^ Chorlton, 2011, p. 51
  143. ^ Campbell, 1969, p. 110
  144. ^ a b Suffolk, 1973, pp. 21–34
  145. ^ Adams, 1971, Autobiography, p. 135
  146. ^ Scaife, 1921, p. 9
  147. ^ Suffolk, 1973, pp. 37–38
  148. ^ Maier, 1998, p. 3
  149. ^ Perry, 1959, pp. xix, 285
  150. ^ Robbins, Caroline (April 1976). "Rights and Grievances at Carpenters' Hall September 5 – October 26,1774". Pennsylvania History: A Journal of Mid-Atlantic Studies. 43 (2): 103–104. JSTOR 27772339.
  151. ^ Bullion, 1999, pp. 73,76
  152. ^ Ammerman, 1974, pp. 83–84
  153. ^ Chorlton, 2011, pp. 25–26
  154. ^ Alexander, 2002, pp. 145–146
  155. ^ Burnett, 1941, pp. 64–67
  156. ^ Fowler, 1980, p. 189
  157. ^ Congress 1775, pp. 96–97
  158. ^ Burnett, 1941, pp. 66–67
  159. ^ Burnett, 1941, pp. 71–72
  160. ^ Congress 1775, p. 105
  161. ^ Congress 1775, p. 108
  162. ^ Burnett, 1941, pp. 72–76
  163. ^ a b Andrilk, 2012, p. 132
  164. ^ Chernow, 2010, pp. 185–187
  165. ^ Phillips, 2012, p. 11
  166. ^ Morris, 1973, pp. 133–134
  167. ^ Boyd, 1950, p. 55
  168. ^ Burnett, 1941, p. 86
  169. ^ McCullough, 2006, p. 10
  170. ^ Maier, 1998, p. 25
  171. ^ Cogliano, 2006, p. 139
  172. ^ a b Maier, 1998, p. 131
  173. ^ Ellis, 2007, p. 20
  174. ^ Allen, 2002, p. 96
  175. ^ Allen, 2002, p. 60
  176. ^ Allen, 2002, p. 233
  177. ^ Friedenwald, 1904, pp. 123, 139
  178. ^ Andrilk, 2012, p. 194
  179. ^ Swindler, 1981, pp. 167–168
  180. ^ Chernow, 2010, pp. 352–353
  181. ^ Ferling, 2007, p. 29
  182. ^ Ferling, 2007, p. 178
  183. ^ Renehan, 2007, p. 2
  184. ^ Chernow, 2010, p. 446
  185. ^ Jedson, 2006, pp. 4–5
  186. ^ Morris, 1965, p. 110
  187. ^ Jedson, 2006, p. 35
  188. ^ Renehan, 2007, p. 28
  189. ^ Meng, 1933, pp. 198–200
  190. ^ Ferling, 1986, p. 254
  191. ^ Maier, 2010, pp. 11–12
  192. ^ Bowen, 1986, p. 5
  193. ^ a b "Delegates of the Continental and Confederation Congresses Who Signed the United States Constitution". United States House of Representatives. Retrieved January 10, 2023.
  194. ^ "Founders on the Defects of the Articles of Confederation 1780–1787: Letters (Excerpts)" (PDF). National Humanities Center. pp. 1–8. Retrieved October 31, 2022.
  195. ^ Jensen, 1964, pp. 31–33
  196. ^ a b Jensen, 1950, p. 421
  197. ^ Warren, 1928, p. 95
  198. ^ Adler, 2015, p. xi
  199. ^ Jillson, 1994, p. 42
  200. ^ Maier, 2010, p. 28
  201. ^ Beeman, 2009, pp. 83–84
  202. ^ Bowen, 1986, p. 22–23
  203. ^ Warren, 1928, pp. 134–136
  204. ^ Warren, 1928, pp. 141–142
  205. ^ Bowen, 1986, pp. 38, 104–106
  206. ^ Bernstein, 1987, pp. 158–161
  207. ^ Bowen, 1986, pp. 106–107
  208. ^ Farrand, 1913, pp. 68–70
  209. ^ Warren, 1928, pp. 146–148
  210. ^ Jillson, 2016, pp. 41–43
  211. ^ Bowen, 1986, pp. 107
  212. ^ Beeman, 2009, pp. 160–16255
  213. ^ Rakove, 2010, pp. 370–371
  214. ^ Bowman, 1986, p. 54, 63
  215. ^ Warren, 1928, pp. 185–186
  216. ^ Bowen, 1986, p. 86
  217. ^ Jillson, 2016, p. 43
  218. ^ Beeman, 2009, p. 55
  219. ^ Van Doren, 1986, pp. 96–105
  220. ^ Farrand, 1913, pp. 89–91
  221. ^ Maier, 2010, p. 42
  222. ^ Bowen, 1986, p. 140
  223. ^ Bernstein, 1987, pp. 167–168
  224. ^ Beeman, 2009, pp. 218–220
  225. ^ a b Maier, 2010, p. 35
  226. ^ a b Beeman, 2009, pp. 362–363
  227. ^ Farrand, 1913, p. 105
  228. ^ Warren, 1928, pp. 281–282, 810–812
  229. ^ Bowman, 1986, pp. 115, 140
  230. ^ Maier, 2010, p. 46
  231. ^ Bernstein, 1987, p. 179
  232. ^ Maier, 2010, p. 36
  233. ^ Van Doren, 1986, p. 237
  234. ^ Maier, 2010, p. 22
  235. ^ Morton, 2006, p. 15
  236. ^ Beeman, 2009, pp. 294, 351
  237. ^ Ellis, 2007, p. 160
  238. ^ Maier, 2010, p. 122
  239. ^ Warren, 1928, pp. 768, 819
  240. ^ a b Jillson, 2016, p. 50
  241. ^ Morton, 2006, pp. 185–186
  242. ^ Campbell, 1969, p. 317
  243. ^ Beeman, 2009, p. 409
  244. ^ Beeman, 2009, pp. 351, 442
  245. ^ Maier, 2010, pp. 314–316
  246. ^ a b Warren, 1928, p. 820
  247. ^ Maier, 2010, pp. 458–459
  248. ^ Bowman, 2005, p. 175
  249. ^ Van Doren, 1986, p. 238
  250. ^ Maier, 2010, p. 439
  251. ^ Bowman, 2005, p. 129
  252. ^ National Archives: Madison at the Federal Convention, Essay
  253. ^ Labunski, 2006, pp. 20–22
  254. ^ Labunski, 2006, pp. xi–xii
  255. ^ Labunski, 2006, pp. 51–53, 104, 169
  256. ^ Kidd, 2011, p. 189
  257. ^ Labunski, 2006, pp. 9–10
  258. ^ a b Labunski, 2006, p. 240, 253
  259. ^ Labunski, 2006, pp. 59–60
  260. ^ Labunski, 2006, p. 277
  261. ^ Stewart, 2015, pp. 98, 180
  262. ^ Bernstein, 2009, p. 6
  263. ^ Bernstein, 2009, p. 8
  264. ^ Padover, 1958, pp. 192–193
  265. ^ Padover, 1958, pp. 193–194
  266. ^ Padover, 1958, pp. 195
  267. ^ Brown, 1976, p. 479
  268. ^ Werther, Richard J. (October 24, 2017). "Analyzing the Founders: A Closer Look at the Signers of Four Founding Documents". Journal of the American Revolution. Retrieved March 3, 2022.
  269. ^ Padover, 1958, p. 194
  270. ^ Brown, 1976, pp. 474–476
  271. ^ Brown, 1976, p. 469
  272. ^ "Signers of The Declaration of Independence". Retrieved August 30, 2022.
  273. ^ "Signers of The Articles of Confederation". Retrieved August 30, 2022.
  274. ^ "Data on the Framers of the Constitution". Retrieved August 30, 2022.
  275. ^ Martin, 1973, pp. 174, 223
  276. ^ Greene, 1973, pp. 1–22
  277. ^ American National Biography, 1999, v. 1, pp. 101–104
  278. ^ McCullough, 2001, pp. 71, 222, 379
  279. ^ Dictionary of American Biography, 1932, v. 5, pp. 299–300
  280. ^ Franklin, Autobiography, 1895, [1790], pp. 6, 51, 83, 214
  281. ^ Brands, 2000, p. 8
  282. ^ Dictionary of American biography, 1932, v. 10, pp. 6–8
  283. ^ Jillson & Wilson, 1994, p. 77
  284. ^ Morris, 1965, p. xiii
  285. ^ Ferling, 2014, pp. xx, 4, 89, 155
  286. ^ Brands, 2000, pp. 639, 710
  287. ^ Dictionary of American biography, 1932, v. 13, pp. 219–223
  288. ^ Dictionary of American biography, 1932, v. 17, pp. 88–89
  289. ^ "Hamilton, Alexander". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved September 29, 2022.
  290. ^ "Monroe, James". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved September 29, 2022.
  291. ^ Cogliano, 2006, p. 19
  292. ^ "John Blair, Jr". Supreme Court Historical Society. Retrieved September 29, 2022.
  293. ^ a b "James McClurg, Virginia". National Archives and Records Administration. November 6, 2015. Retrieved September 29, 2022.
  294. ^ "Mercer, James Francis". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved September 29, 2022.
  295. ^ "Biographies of the Secretaries of State: Edmund Jennings Randolph (1753–1813)". Office of the Historian, US Department of State. Retrieved September 29, 2022.
  296. ^ "John Jay, 1789–1795". Supreme Court Historical Society. Retrieved September 29, 2022.
  297. ^ "Livingston, Robert R." Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved September 29, 2022.
  298. ^ "Morris, Gouverneur". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved September 29, 2022.
  299. ^ "Adams, John". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved September 28, 2022.
  300. ^ "Adams, Samuel". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved September 28, 2022.
  301. ^ "Dana, Francis". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved September 28, 2022.
  302. ^ "Ellery, William". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved September 28, 2022.
  303. ^ "Gerry, Elbridge". National Archives and Records Administration. November 6, 2015. Retrieved September 28, 2022.
  304. ^ "Hancock, John". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved September 28, 2022.
  305. ^ "Hooper, William". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved September 28, 2022.
  306. ^ a b "Johnson, William Samuel". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved September 29, 2022.
  307. ^ "Rufus King, Massachusetts". National Archives and Records Administration. November 6, 2015. Retrieved September 28, 2022.
  308. ^ "Lovell, James". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved September 28, 2022.
  309. ^ "Robert Treat Paine". Proceedings of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. 21. American Academy of Arts & Sciences: 582–585. 1885. JSTOR 25129842.
  310. ^ "Strong, Caleb". National Archives and Records Administration. November 6, 2015. Retrieved September 28, 2022.
  311. ^ a b Feldscher, Karen (March 23, 2012). "Recalling Joseph Warren–Physician, Revolutionary, Leader". Harvard School of Public Health. Retrieved September 28, 2022.
  312. ^ "Wentworth, John, Jr". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved September 28, 2022.
  313. ^ "Williams, William". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved September 28, 2022.
  314. ^ "Princeton Undergraduate Alumni Index, 1748–1920". Department of Special Collections, Princeton University Library. Retrieved September 29, 2022.
  315. ^ "Bedford, Gunning, Jr". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved September 29, 2022.
  316. ^ "William Richardson Davie, North Carolina". National Archives and Records Administration. November 6, 2015. Retrieved September 29, 2022.
  317. ^ "Jonathan Dayton, New Jersey". National Archives and Records Administration. November 6, 2015. Retrieved September 29, 2022.
  318. ^ "Ellsworth, Oliver". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved September 29, 2022.
  319. ^ "Hewes, Joseph". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved September 29, 2022.
  320. ^ "Houstoun, William". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved September 29, 2022.
  321. ^ "Hutson, Richard". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved September 29, 2022.
  322. ^ "Madison, James". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved September 29, 2022.
  323. ^ "Martin, Alexander". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved September 29, 2022.
  324. ^ "Luther Martin, Maryland". National Archives and Records Administration. November 6, 2015. Retrieved September 29, 2022.
  325. ^ "William Paterson, New Jersey". National Archives and Records Administration. November 6, 2015. Retrieved September 29, 2022.
  326. ^ "Reed, Joseph". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved September 29, 2022.
  327. ^ a b "Rush, Benjamin". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved September 29, 2022.
  328. ^ a b "Scudder, Nathaniel". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved September 29, 2022.
  329. ^ "Smith, Jonathan Bayard". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved September 29, 2022.
  330. ^ "Stockton, Richard". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved September 29, 2022.
  331. ^ "Hopkinson, Francis". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved September 29, 2022.
  332. ^ "Marchant, Henry". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved September 29, 2022.
  333. ^ "Mifflin, Thomas". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved September 29, 2022.
  334. ^ a b "Paca, William". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved September 29, 2022.
  335. ^ a b "Williamson, Hugh". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved September 29, 2022.
  336. ^ "Adams, Andrew". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved September 29, 2022.
  337. ^ a b c "Baldwin, Abraham". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved September 29, 2022.
  338. ^ "Hall, Lyman". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved September 29, 2022.
  339. ^ "Hosmer, Titus". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved September 29, 2022.
  340. ^ "Ingersoll, Jared". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved September 29, 2022.
  341. ^ "Livingston, Philip". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved September 29, 2022.
  342. ^ "Livingston, William". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved September 29, 2022.
  343. ^ "Morris, Lewis". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved September 29, 2022.
  344. ^ "Wolcott, Oliver". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved September 29, 2022.
  345. ^ a b c The North Carolina Review, p. 280
  346. ^ a b The North Carolina Review, p. 278
  347. ^ "Banister, John". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved October 4, 2022.
  348. ^ "John Blair, Virginia". National Archives and Records Administration. November 6, 2015. Retrieved October 4, 2022.
  349. ^ "Dickinson, John". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved October 4, 2022.
  350. ^ a b The North Carolina Review, p. 279
  351. ^ "Matthews, John". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved October 4, 2022.
  352. ^ "Randolph, Peyton". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved September 29, 2022.
  353. ^ The North Carolina Review, p. 286
  354. ^ "Nelson, Thomas Jr". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved October 4, 2022.
  355. ^ "Benjamin Rush". University of Pennsylvania, Archives and Records Center. Retrieved June 11, 2023.
  356. ^ "Witherspoon, John". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved October 4, 2022.
  357. ^ Concise Vol. 1, 1997, p. 285
  358. ^ Dictionary of American biography, 1932, v. 5, pp. 486–487
  359. ^ Dictionary of American biography, 1932, v. 7, pp. 65–66
  360. ^ Concise Vol. 1, 1997, p. 884
  361. ^ Concise Vol. 2, 1997, p. 951
  362. ^ Dictionary of American biography, 1932, v. 3, pp. 364–365
  363. ^ Dictionary of American biography, 1932, v. 6, p. 444
  364. ^ Dictionary of American biography, 1932, v. 18, pp. 324–325
  365. ^ Dictionary of American biography, 1932, v. 14, p. 293
  366. ^ Dictionary of American biography, 1932, v. 17, pp. 283–284
  367. ^ "Taylor, George". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved October 2, 2022.
  368. ^ Dictionary of American biography, 1932, v. 18, p. 481
  369. ^ Dictionary of American biography, 1932, v. 18, pp. 503–504
  370. ^ Concise Vol. 2, 1997, p. 1281
  371. ^ Concise Vol. 2, 1997, p. 1456
  372. ^ Concise Vol. 2, 1997, p. 1473
  373. ^ "Lewis, Francis". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved October 2, 2022.
  374. ^ Chernow, 2004, p. 17
  375. ^ Dictionary of American biography, 1932, v. 14, p. 646
  376. ^ "Bartlett, Josiah". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved October 2, 2022.
  377. ^ "Holten, Samuel". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved October 2, 2022.
  378. ^ "McHenry, James". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved October 2, 2022.
  379. ^ "Thornton, Matthew". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved October 2, 2022.
  380. ^ "Witherspoon, John". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved October 2, 2022.
  381. ^ Chernow, 2010, pp. 18–19
  382. ^ Isaacson, 2004, pp. 127–128, 176, 206–209, 291, 325, 382
  383. ^ "Biography: Benjamin Franklin". American Experience. PBS. Retrieved October 2, 2022.
  384. ^ "A Guide to the United States' History of Recognition, Diplomatic, and Consular Relations, by Country, since 1776: Sweden". Office of the Historian. Retrieved October 5, 2022.
  385. ^ "Gov. Benjamin Franklin". National Governors Association. January 15, 2019. Retrieved October 5, 2022.
  386. ^ a b Lambert, 2003, p. [page needed]
  387. ^ Onuf, 2007, pp. 139–168
  388. ^ Letter to Horatio G. Spafford, March 17, 1814. "In every country and in every age, the priest has been hostile to liberty. He is always in alliance with the despot, abetting his abuses in return for protection to his own."
  389. ^ Frazer, 2012, pp. 23, 69, 164, 197
  390. ^ Shehat, 2015, pp 1–2.
  391. ^ Robert Viagas (June 13, 2016). "Hamilton Tops Tony Awards With 11 Wins". Playbill. Retrieved April 9, 2017.
  392. ^ a b Gelfand, 1969, pp. 7–8
  393. ^ a b Gelfand, 1969, p. 34, 37
  394. ^ Cogliano, 2006, pp. 46, 56, 110
  395. ^ a b Meacham, 2012, p. 123
  396. ^ Cogliano, 2006, pp. 151, 153
  397. ^ see Library of Congress, "Religion and the Founding of the American Republic" (2023) [1]
  398. ^ Steven Waldman, Founding Faith: How Our Founding Fathers Forged a Radical New Approach to Religious Liberty (Random House, 2009).
  399. ^ Lambert, 2003, p. 260
  400. ^ a b Gordon-Reed, 2000, pp. 171–182
  401. ^ "The Founders and Slavery: John Jay Saves the Day". The Economist. July 2011. Retrieved April 5, 2017.
  402. ^ The Selected Papers of John Jay
  403. ^ Notes on the history of slavery in Massachusetts, by George Henry Moore (author)
  404. ^ James A. Rawley and Stephen D. Behrendt, The Transatlantic Slave Trade: A History (2008)
  405. ^ Thomas N. Ingersoll, The Loyalist Problem in Revolutionary New England (2016)
  406. ^ Dolbeare, 2010, p. 44
  407. ^ a b Wright, 2002
  408. ^ Horton, James O. (2004). "Alexander Hamilton: Slavery and Race in a Revolutionary Generation". New York Journal of American History. 91 (3): 1151–1152. doi:10.2307/3663046. JSTOR 3663046. Retrieved October 29, 2016.
  409. ^ Magness, Phillip (June 27, 2015). "Alexander Hamilton's Exaggerated Abolitionism". Retrieved April 6, 2017.
  410. ^ Serfilippi, 2020, pp. 1–3
  411. ^ "The Founding Fathers and Slavery". Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved April 9, 2017.
  412. ^ "Slavery and Justice: Report of the Brown University Steering Committee on Slavery and Justice" (PDF). Brown University. October 2006.
  413. ^ a b c Freehling, 1972, p. 85
  414. ^ a b Cambridge History of Law, 2008, p. 278
  415. ^ Jeffrey K. Tulis and Nicole Mellow, Legacies of losing in American politics (U of Chicago Press, 2018), p. 2. -
  416. ^ Eric Foner, The Second Founding: How the Civil War and Reconstruction Remade the Constitution (2020) excerpt
  417. ^ Ilan Wurman, The Second Founding: An Introduction to the Fourteenth Amendment ( 2020) excerpt
  418. ^ See also Garrett Epps, "Second Founding: The Story of the Fourteenth Amendment." Oregon Law Review 85 (2006) pp: 895–911 online.
  419. ^ David Hackett Fischer, African Founders: How Enslaved People Expanded American Ideals (Simon and Schuster, 2022) pp 1–3.excerpt
  420. ^ David W. Blight, Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom (Simon and Schuster, 2018) p. xv; winner of Pulitzer Prize; excerpt.
  421. ^ Trefousse, Hans Louis (1969). The Radical Republicans Lincoln's Vanguard for Racial Justice. New York: Alfred A. Knopf. pp. vii–viii./ref> Paul Rego, Lyman Trumbull and the Second Founding of the United States (University Press of Kansas, 2022) pp. 1–2. excerpt.
  422. ^ Risen, Clay (2014). The Bill of the Century: The Epic Battle for the Civil Rights Act. New York: Bloomsbury Press. pp. 2–5. ISBN 978-1608-19824-5.
  423. ^ Shaffer, 2017, Preface: ISBN 978-1351477000
  424. ^ Murison, 2013, pp. 821–823
  425. ^ Grafton, 1990, pp. inside cover, 5, 35, 118
  426. ^ Kaplan, Sidney (1964). "The History of New-Hampshire: Jeremy Belknap as Literary Craftsman". The William and Mary Quarterly. 21 (1): 18–39. doi:10.2307/1923354. JSTOR 1923354.
  427. ^ Cunningham, 1988: ISBN 978-0813911823
  428. ^ Hart (ed.), 1904–1918
  429. ^ a b Cooney, 1967 Master of Arts Thesis
  430. ^ Bernstein, 2009, p. 180
  431. ^ Furstenberg, François (2006). In the Name of the Father: Washington's Legacy: Slavery and the Making of a Nation. New York: Penguin Press. ISBN 978-1594200922. OCLC 66527258.
  432. ^ Appleton's American Biography, v. 6, p. 579
  433. ^ Ferling, 2007, p. 654
  434. ^ McCullough, 2001, 751 pages
  435. ^ Webster, Daniel (1897). Webster's First Bunker Hill Oration. Boston: Silver, Burdett and Company. p. 24.

Bibliography edit

Books edit

Journal articles edit

  • Altman, John A. (May 2003). "The Articles and the Constitution: Similar in Nature, Different in Design". Pennsylvania Legacies. 3 (1). University of Pennsylvania Press: 20–21. JSTOR 27764871.
  • Bellia, Anthony J.; Clark, Bradford R. (May 2020). "The International Law Origins of American Federalism". Columbia Law Review. 120 (4). Columbia Law Review Association: 835–940. JSTOR 26915803.
  • Bowling, Kenneth R. (1976). "Good-by "Charle": The Lee-Adams Interest and the Political Demise of Charles Thomson, Secretary of Congress, 1774–1789". The Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography. 100 (3): 314–335. JSTOR 20091077.
  • Boyd, Julian P. (January 1950). "The Disputed Authorship of the Declaration on the Causes and Necessity of Taking Up Arms, 1775". The Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography. 74 (1): 51–73. JSTOR 20088116.
  • Brown, Richard D. (July 1976). "The Founding Fathers of 1776 and 1787: A Collective View". The William and Mary Quarterly. 33 (3): 465–480. doi:10.2307/1921543. JSTOR 1921543.
  • Buchanan, John (April 2007). "Founding Fighters: The Battlefield Leaders Who Made American Independence (review)". The Journal of Military History. 71 (2): 522–524. doi:10.1353/jmh.2007.0098. S2CID 159710300.
  • Cooney, Charles W. (July 10, 1967). The American revolution and the Post-Revolutionary Generation of American Historians (PDF) (Master of Arts). Milwaukee, Wisconsin: Marquette University.
  • de Roulhac Hamilton, J.G. (1933). "Southern Members of the Inns of Court" (PDF). The North Carolina Historical Review. 10 (4): 273–286. JSTOR 23514971. Retrieved October 4, 2022.
  • "Founding Father Thomas Paine: He Genuinely Abhorred Slavery". The Journal of Blacks in Higher Education (48): 45. 2005. JSTOR 25073236.
  • Freehling, William W. (February 1972). "The Founding Fathers and Slavery". The American Historical Review. 77 (1): 81–93. doi:10.2307/1856595. JSTOR 1856595.
  • Friedenwald, Herbert (1895). "The Continental Congress". The Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography. 19 (2). University of Pennsylvania Press: 197–207. JSTOR 20083644.
  • Greene, Jack P. (March 1973). "The Social Origins of the American Revolution: An Evaluation and an Interpretation". Political Science Quarterly. 88 (1): 1–22. doi:10.2307/2148646. JSTOR 2148646.
  • Lutz, Donald S. (Winter 1990). "The Articles of Confederation as the Background to the Federal Republic". Publius. 20 (1). Oxford University Press: 55–70. doi:10.1093/oxfordjournals.pubjof.a037862. JSTOR 3330362.
  • McWilliams, J. (June 1976). "The Faces of Ethan Allen: 1760–1860". The New England Quarterly. 49 (2): 257–282. doi:10.2307/364502. JSTOR 364502.
  • Murison, Justine S. (October 2013). "Anachronism, Literary Historicism, and Miraculous Plagues". The William and Mary Quarterly. 70 (4). Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture: 821–823. doi:10.5309/willmaryquar.70.4.0821. JSTOR 10.5309/willmaryquar.70.4.0821.
  • Padover, Saul K. (1958). "The World of the Founding Fathers". Social Research. 25 (2): 191–214. JSTOR 40982556.
  • Ramage, C.J. (1922). "Randolph". The Virginia Law Register. 8 (6): 415–418. doi:10.2307/1105871. JSTOR 1105871.
  • Gordon-Reed, Annette (January 2000). "Engaging Jefferson: Blacks and the Founding Father". The William and Mary Quarterly. 57 (1). Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture: 171–182. doi:10.2307/2674364. JSTOR 2674364. PMID 18273995.
  • Swindler, William F. (February 1981). "Our First Constitution: The Articles of Confederation". American Bar Association Journal. 67 (2). American Bar Association: 166–169. JSTOR 20746978.
  • Wright, R. E. (Autumn 1996). "Thomas Willing (1731–1821): Philadelphia Financier and Forgotten Founding Father". Pennsylvania History. 63 (4): 525–560. JSTOR 27773931.
  • Young, Rowland L. (November 1977). "The Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union". American Bar Association Journal. 63 (11). American Bar Association: 1572–1575. JSTOR 20745080.

Online sources edit

Further reading edit

Books edit

Journal articles edit

  • —— (January 1962). "Political Experience and Enlightenment Ideas in Eighteenth-Century America". The American Historical Review. 67 (2): 339–351. doi:10.2307/1843427. JSTOR 1843427. Retrieved October 19, 2022.
  • Burnard, Trevor. "The Founding Fathers in Early American Historiography: A View from Abroad." William and Mary Quarterly 62#4 (2005), pp. 745–76 online
  • Dreisbach, Daniel L. Reading the Bible with the Founding Fathers (2017) online review
  • Mason, Matthew. "A Missed Opportunity? The Founding, Postcolonial Realities, and the Abolition of Slavery." Slavery & Abolition 35.2 (2014): 199–213.
  • Newman, Richard S. and Roy E. Finkenbine. "Black Founders in the New Republic" William and Mary Quarterly (2007) 64#1 pp. 83–94 online
  • Previdi, Robert. "Vindicating the Founders: Race, Sex, Class, and Justice in the Origins of America," Presidential Studies Quarterly, Vol. 29, 1999
  • Squiers, Anthony. "The Apotheosis of the Founding Fathers and Signs of Filial Piety." in The Politics of the Sacred in America: The Role of Civil Religion in Political Practice (2018) pp: 75–96.

External links edit