Founding Fathers of the United States
A list of individuals who are considered as "Founding Fathers of the United States" due to their significant contributions to the winning of American independence and the founding of the United States of America.
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created February 21, 2017
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Was He a Federalist or a Democratic-Republican?
The First Party System featured two national parties: the Federalist Party and the Democratic-Republican Party. Do you know which party each founding father was affiliated to at the time?
Founding Documents and Their Signatories
Although historians have used the term "founding fathers" variously, most of the individuals who are considered as founding fathers signed at least one of the following founding documents: Continental Association, Declaration of Independence, Articles of Confederation, and United States Constitution. Do you know which document(s) each founding father signed? In each round, please select the founding fathers who only signed the displayed document(s).
Founding Fathers and Their States
In this game, please match founding fathers with the states they belonged to.
Does the Description Match the Founding Father?
In this game, please decide whether each description accurately reflects the contributions of the founding father.
Spell the Names of the Founding Fathers
Can you spell the names of these founding fathers based on the notable governmental positions they held?
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|Name||Portrait||State||Notable Governmental Position||Other Occupation||Year of Birth||Year of Death||Spouse||Political Party||Signed Key Historical Documents||Description|
|John Adams||Massachusetts||2nd President of the United States; 1st Vice President of the United States||Lawyer; Diplomat; Political theorist||1735||1826||Abigail Smith||Federalist||Continental Association; Declaration of Independence||He played a leading role in persuading Congress to declare independence and assisted in drafting the Declaration of Independence; He helped negotiate the eventual peace treaty with Great Britain as a diplomat in Europe; American political theory was influenced by his Massachusetts Constitution (1780) and Thoughts on Government (1776).|
|Samuel Adams||Massachusetts||4th Governor of Massachusetts; 3rd Lieutenant Governor of Massachusetts||Political philosopher||1722||1803||Elizabeth Checkley; Elizabeth Wells||Democratic-Republican||Continental Association; Declaration of Independence; Articles of Confederation||He conceived of the Boston Committee of Correspondence and coordinated Boston’s resistance to the Tea Act; He helped guide Congress towards issuing the Continental Association and the Declaration of Independence; He helped draft the Articles of Confederation and the Massachusetts Constitution; He is regarded as one of the most influential champions of Republicanism.|
|Abraham Baldwin||Georgia||United States Senator from Georgia; President pro tempore of the United States Senate||Minister; Lawyer; Educator||1754||1807||Democratic-Republican||United States Constitution||He founded and developed the University of Georgia, which was the first state-chartered public institution of higher education in the United States.|
|Richard Bassett||Delaware||13th Governor of Delaware; United States Senator from Delaware||Lawyer; Soldier||1745||1815||Ann Ennals; Betsy Garnett||Federalist||United States Constitution||He led the Constitutional Convention to draft a revision of the Delaware Constitution of 1792.|
|John Blair||Virginia||Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States||Lawyer||1732||1800||Jean Balfour||Federalist||United States Constitution||He influenced the interpretation of the Constitution as a judge on the Virginia Court of Appeals and on the U.S. Supreme Court.|
|Pierce Butler||South Carolina||United States Senator from South Carolina||Soldier; Planter||1744||1822||Mary Middleton||Switched from Federalist to Democratic-Republican||United States Constitution||He was an outspoken advocate of reconciliation with former Loyalists and of equal representation for the residents of the backcountry.|
|Charles Carroll||Maryland||United States Senator from Maryland||Planter||1737||1832||Mary Darnall||Federalist||Declaration of Independence||He was the only Catholic signatory of the Declaration of Independence.|
|Daniel Carroll||Maryland||President of the Maryland State Senate||Planter||1730||1796||Eleanor Carroll||Articles of Confederation; United States Constitution||He played an essential role in formulating the limitation of the powers of the federal government at the Constitutional Convention.|
|George Clinton||New York||4th Vice President of the United States; 1st Governor of New York||Soldier||1739||1812||Sarah Cornelia Tappen||Democratic-Republican||As the Governor of New York, he used the seizure and sale of Tory estates to keep taxes down; He helped negotiate for the evacuation of the British troops from their remaining posts in the United States.|
|George Clymer||Pennsylvania||United States House of Representatives||Merchant; Banker; Educator||1739||1813||Elizabeth Meredith||Declaration of Independence; United States Constitution||He was one of the first patriots to promote the idea of complete American independence; He was a leader in the demonstrations in Philadelphia resulting from the Tea Act and the Stamp Act.|
|William Richardson Davie||North Carolina||10th Governor of North Carolina||Lawyer; Soldier; Diplomat||1756||1820||Sarah Jones||Federalist||He was one of the most important men involved in the founding of the University of North Carolina.|
|John Dickinson||Delaware and Pennsylvania||President of Delaware; 5th President of Pennsylvania||Solicitor||1732||1808||Mary Norris||Democratic-Republican||Continental Association; Articles of Confederation; United States Constitution||He was known as the "Penman of the Revolution" for his Letters from a Farmer in Pennsylvania; He served on the committee that wrote the first draft of the 1776–1777 Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union.|
|William Few||Georgia||United States Senator from Georgia||Farmer; Businessman||1748||1828||Catherine Nicholson||United States Constitution||He was a prominent supporter of public education as a federal judge for the Georgia Circuit.|
|Benjamin Franklin||Pennsylvania||6th President of Pennsylvania||Author; Printer; Political theorist; Postmaster; Scientist; Inventor; Civic activist; Diplomat||1709||1790||Deborah Read||Declaration of Independence; United States Constitution||He earned the title of "The First American"; He was a major figure in the American Enlightenment; He facilitated many civic organizations, including Philadelphia's fire department and the University of Pennsylvania.|
|Elbridge Gerry||Massachusetts||5th Vice President of the United States; 9th Governor of Massachusetts||Diplomat||1744||1814||Ann Thompson||Democratic-Republican||Declaration of Independence; Articles of Confederation||He was actively involved in drafting and passage of the Bill of Rights; He was the namesake of gerrymandering.|
|Button Gwinnett||Georgia||Governor of Georgia||Merchant; Planter||1735||1777||Ann Bourne||Declaration of Independence||He wrote the original draft of Georgia's first State Constitution.|
|Alexander Hamilton||New York||1st United States Secretary of the Treasury||Political scientist; Journalist; Soldier; Economist; Lawyer||1755||1804||Elizabeth Schuyler||Federalist||United States Constitution||He served as the senior aide to George Washington during the American Revolutionary War; He was an influential interpreter and promoter of the U.S. Constitution; He was the founder of the nation's financial system, the Federalist Party, the United States Coast Guard, and the New York Post newspaper.|
|John Hancock||Massachusetts||1st and 3rd Governor of Massachusetts; 4th President of the Continental Congress||Merchant||1737||1793||Dorothy Quincy||Declaration of Independence; Articles of Confederation||As one of the wealthiest men in the thirteen colonies, he used his wealth to support American independence; He was one of Boston's leaders during the crisis that led to the outbreak of the American Revolutionary War.|
|Patrick Henry||Virginia||1st & 6th Governor of Virginia||Lawyer; Planter||1736||1799||Sarah Shelton; Dorothea Dandridge||Switched from Democratic-Republican to Federalist||Continental Association||He is remembered for his "Give me liberty, or give me death!" speech; He is regarded as one of the most influential champions of Republicanism.|
|John Jay||New York||2nd Governor of New York; 1st Chief Justice of the United States||Lawyer; Diplomat||1745||1829||Sarah Livingston||Federalist||Continental Association||He was a negotiator of the Treaty of Paris during and after the American Revolution; He negotiated favorable trade terms with Great Britain in the Jay Treaty in 1794; As the Governor of the State of New York, he signed into law the 1799 Act, which eventually granted freedom to all slaves in New York.|
|Thomas Jefferson||Virginia||3rd President of the United States; 2nd Vice President of the United States; 1st United States Secretary of State||Lawyer; Diplomat; Architect; Writer||1743||1826||Martha Wayles||Democratic-Republican||Declaration of Independence||He is the primary author of the Declaration of Independence; He advocated religious freedom and tolerance in Virginia; The Louisiana Purchase was made while he was the president.|
|Rufus King||Massachusetts and New York||United States Senator from New York||Lawyer; Diplomat||1755||1827||Mary Alsop King||Federalist||United States Constitution||At the Constitutional Convention, he played a major role in preparing a final draft of the United States Constitution; As a diplomat, he was able to successfully reach a compromise on the passing of the Jay Treaty; He was also famous for his opposition to the expansion of slavery and the slave trade.|
|John Langdon||New Hampshire||United States Senator from New Hampshire; 2nd Governor of New Hampshire||Ship owner; Merchant||1741||1819||Elizabeth Sherburne Langdon||Switched from Federalist to Democratic-Republican||United States Constitution||During the American Revolutionary War, he participated in the seizure and confiscation of British munitions from Fort William and Mary, and superintended the construction of several warships.|
|Richard Henry Lee||Virginia||United States Senator from Virginia||Lawyer||1732||1794||Anne Aylett; Anne (Gaskins) Pinckard||Democratic-Republican||Continental Association; Declaration of Independence; Articles of Confederation||His famous resolution of June 1776 led to the United States Declaration of Independence.|
|Robert R. Livingston||New York||1st United States Secretary of Foreign Affairs; 1st Chancellor of New York||Lawyer; Diplomat||1746||1813||Mary Stevens Livingston||Democratic-Republican||He was a member of the Committee of Five that drafted the Declaration of Independence; As U.S. Minister to France, he negotiated the Louisiana Purchase.|
|James Madison||Virginia||4th President of the United States; 5th United States Secretary of State||Soldier||1751||1836||Dolley Payne Todd||Democratic-Republican||United States Constitution||He was hailed as the "Father of the Constitution" for his critical role in drafting and promoting the United States Constitution and the Bill of Rights.|
|John Marshall||Virginia||4th Chief Justice of the Supreme Court; 4th United States Secretary of State||Lawyer; Soldier; Author||1755||1835||Mary Willis Ambler||Federalist||As the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, his court opinions helped lay the foundation for United States constitutional law; He played a significant role in the development of the American legal system.|
|Thomas Mifflin||Pennsylvania||1st Governor of Pennsylvania; 7th President of Pennsylvania; 11th President of the Confederation Congress||Merchant; Soldier||1744||1800||Sarah Morris||Federalist||Continental Association; United States Constitution||As the president of the Supreme Executive Council of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, he presided over the committee that wrote Pennsylvania's 1790 State Constitution.|
|James Monroe||Virginia||5th President of the United States; 8th United States Secretary of War; 7th United States Secretary of State||Planter; Soldier; Diplomat||1758||1831||Elizabeth Kortright||Democratic-Republican||As a diplomat in France, he helped negotiate the Louisiana Purchase in 1803; As president, he bought Florida from Spain, sought to ease partisan tensions, and influenced American foreign policy.|
|Gouverneur Morris||Pennsylvania and New York||United States Senator from New York||Lawyer; Merchant; Diplomat||1752||1816||Anne Cary Randolph||Federalist||Articles of Confederation; United States Constitution||He was a significant contributor to the Constitution of the United States, who wrote the preamble, and was called the "Penman of the Constitution".|
|Robert Morris||Pennsylvania||United States Senator from Pennsylvania; United States Superintendent of Finance||Merchant||1734||1806||Mary White Morris||Federalist||Declaration of Independence; Articles of Confederation; United States Constitution||He financed the American Revolution and was one of two delegates who signed all three of the nation's founding documents.|
|Thomas Paine||Journalist; Inventor; Political activist; Philosopher; Political theorist||1737||1809||Elizabeth Ollive; Mary Lambert||He wrote the two most influential pamphlets at the start of the American Revolution, inspiring the rebels in 1776 to declare independence from Britain.|
|William Paterson||New Jersey||Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States; 2nd Governor of New Jersey; United States Senator from New Jersey||Lawyer||1745||1806||Cornelia Bell; Euphemia White||Federalist||United States Constitution||As a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, he played an important role in drafting the Judiciary Act of 1789 that established the federal court system.|
|Charles Pinckney||South Carolina||37th Governor of South Carolina; United States Senator from South Carolina||Lawyer; Diplomat||1757||1824||Mary Eleanor Laurens||Switched from Federalist to Democratic-Republican||United States Constitution||He was a significant contributor to the final draft of the Constitution and worked for ratification in South Carolina.|
|Benjamin Rush||Pennsylvania||Physician; Politician; Social reformer; Educator; Humanitarian||1746||1813||Julia Stockton||Declaration of Independence||He was a leader in Pennsylvania's ratification of the Constitution in 1788, and was prominent in many reforms, especially in the areas of medicine and education; His study of mental disorder made him one of the founders of American psychiatry.|
|Roger Sherman||Connecticut||United States Senator from Connecticut||Lawyer||1721||1793||Elizabeth Hartwell; Rebecca Minot Prescott||Federalist||Continental Association; Declaration of Independence; Articles of Confederation; United States Constitution||He served on the Committee of Five that drafted the Declaration of Independence; He was the only person who signed all four of the nation's founding documents.|
|George Washington||Virginia||1st President of the United States||Surveyor; General||1732||1799||Martha Dandridge||Continental Association; United States Constitution||He served as Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Army during the American Revolutionary War; He presided over the 1787 convention that drafted the United States Constitution; He is known as the "Father of the Country".|
|James Wilson||Pennsylvania||Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States||Lawyer; Soldier||1742||1798||Rachel Bird; Hannah Gray||Federalist||Declaration of Independence; United States Constitution||He played a significant role in drafting the United States Constitution; He was one of the six original justices appointed by George Washington to the Supreme Court of the United States.|
|John Witherspoon||New Jersey||Educator; Minister||1723||1794||Elizabeth Montgomery||Federalist||Declaration of Independence; Articles of Confederation||He embraced the concepts of Scottish Common Sense Realism; He was the only active clergyman and the only college president to sign the Declaration of Independence.|
|George Wythe||Virginia||Politician; Lawyer; Educator||1726||1806||Ann Lewis; Elizabeth Taliaferro||Federalist||Declaration of Independence||He was the first American law professor, who taught and mentored Thomas Jefferson, John Marshall, Henry Clay and others who later became leaders of the United States of America.|