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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.
a data set by WorldExplorer
created February 21, 2017
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NamePortraitStateNotable Governmental PositionOther OccupationYear of BirthYear of DeathSpousePolitical PartySigned Key Historical DocumentsDescription
John AdamsMassachusetts2nd President of the United States; 1st Vice President of the United StatesLawyer; Diplomat; Political theorist17351826Abigail SmithFederalistContinental 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 AdamsMassachusetts4th Governor of Massachusetts; 3rd Lieutenant Governor of MassachusettsPolitical philosopher17221803Elizabeth Checkley; Elizabeth WellsDemocratic-RepublicanContinental Association; Declaration of Independence; Articles of ConfederationHe 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 BaldwinGeorgiaUnited States Senator from Georgia; President pro tempore of the United States SenateMinister; Lawyer; Educator17541807Democratic-RepublicanUnited States ConstitutionHe founded and developed the University of Georgia, which was the first state-chartered public institution of higher education in the United States.
Richard BassettDelaware13th Governor of Delaware; United States Senator from DelawareLawyer; Soldier17451815Ann Ennals; Betsy GarnettFederalistUnited States ConstitutionHe led the Constitutional Convention to draft a revision of the Delaware Constitution of 1792.
John BlairVirginiaAssociate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United StatesLawyer17321800Jean Balfour FederalistUnited States ConstitutionHe influenced the interpretation of the Constitution as a judge on the Virginia Court of Appeals and on the U.S. Supreme Court.
Pierce ButlerSouth CarolinaUnited States Senator from South CarolinaSoldier; Planter17441822Mary MiddletonSwitched from Federalist to Democratic-RepublicanUnited States ConstitutionHe was an outspoken advocate of reconciliation with former Loyalists and of equal representation for the residents of the backcountry.
Charles CarrollMarylandUnited States Senator from MarylandPlanter17371832Mary DarnallFederalistDeclaration of Independence He was the only Catholic signatory of the Declaration of Independence.
Daniel CarrollMarylandPresident of the Maryland State SenatePlanter17301796Eleanor CarrollArticles of Confederation; United States ConstitutionHe played an essential role in formulating the limitation of the powers of the federal government at the Constitutional Convention.
George ClintonNew York4th Vice President of the United States; 1st Governor of New YorkSoldier17391812Sarah Cornelia TappenDemocratic-RepublicanAs 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 PennsylvaniaUnited States House of RepresentativesMerchant; Banker; Educator17391813Elizabeth MeredithDeclaration of Independence; United States ConstitutionHe 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 DavieNorth Carolina10th Governor of North CarolinaLawyer; Soldier; Diplomat17561820Sarah JonesFederalistHe was one of the most important men involved in the founding of the University of North Carolina.
John DickinsonDelaware and PennsylvaniaPresident of Delaware; 5th President of PennsylvaniaSolicitor17321808Mary NorrisDemocratic-RepublicanContinental Association; Articles of Confederation; United States ConstitutionHe 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 FewGeorgiaUnited States Senator from GeorgiaFarmer; Businessman17481828Catherine NicholsonUnited States ConstitutionHe was a prominent supporter of public education as a federal judge for the Georgia Circuit.
Benjamin FranklinPennsylvania6th President of PennsylvaniaAuthor; Printer; Political theorist; Postmaster; Scientist; Inventor; Civic activist; Diplomat17091790Deborah ReadDeclaration of Independence; United States ConstitutionHe 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 GerryMassachusetts5th Vice President of the United States; 9th Governor of MassachusettsDiplomat17441814Ann ThompsonDemocratic-RepublicanDeclaration of Independence; Articles of ConfederationHe was actively involved in drafting and passage of the Bill of Rights; He was the namesake of gerrymandering.
Button GwinnettGeorgiaGovernor of GeorgiaMerchant; Planter17351777Ann BourneDeclaration of Independence He wrote the original draft of Georgia's first State Constitution.
Alexander HamiltonNew York1st United States Secretary of the TreasuryPolitical scientist; Journalist; Soldier; Economist; Lawyer17551804Elizabeth SchuylerFederalistUnited States ConstitutionHe 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 HancockMassachusetts1st and 3rd Governor of Massachusetts; 4th President of the Continental CongressMerchant17371793Dorothy QuincyDeclaration 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 HenryVirginia1st & 6th Governor of VirginiaLawyer; Planter17361799Sarah Shelton; Dorothea DandridgeSwitched from Democratic-Republican to FederalistContinental AssociationHe 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 JayNew York2nd Governor of New York; 1st Chief Justice of the United StatesLawyer; Diplomat17451829Sarah LivingstonFederalistContinental AssociationHe 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 JeffersonVirginia3rd President of the United States; 2nd Vice President of the United States; 1st United States Secretary of StateLawyer; Diplomat; Architect; Writer17431826Martha WaylesDemocratic-RepublicanDeclaration 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 KingMassachusetts and New YorkUnited States Senator from New York Lawyer; Diplomat17551827Mary Alsop KingFederalistUnited 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 LangdonNew HampshireUnited States Senator from New Hampshire; 2nd Governor of New HampshireShip owner; Merchant17411819Elizabeth Sherburne LangdonSwitched from Federalist to Democratic-RepublicanUnited States ConstitutionDuring 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 LeeVirginiaUnited States Senator from VirginiaLawyer17321794Anne Aylett; Anne (Gaskins) PinckardDemocratic-RepublicanContinental Association; Declaration of Independence; Articles of ConfederationHis famous resolution of June 1776 led to the United States Declaration of Independence.
Robert R. LivingstonNew York 1st United States Secretary of Foreign Affairs; 1st Chancellor of New YorkLawyer; Diplomat 17461813Mary Stevens LivingstonDemocratic-RepublicanHe 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 MadisonVirginia4th President of the United States; 5th United States Secretary of StateSoldier17511836Dolley Payne Todd Democratic-RepublicanUnited States ConstitutionHe 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 MarshallVirginia4th Chief Justice of the Supreme Court; 4th United States Secretary of StateLawyer; Soldier; Author17551835Mary Willis AmblerFederalistAs 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 MifflinPennsylvania1st Governor of Pennsylvania; 7th President of Pennsylvania; 11th President of the Confederation CongressMerchant; Soldier17441800Sarah MorrisFederalistContinental Association; United States ConstitutionAs 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 MonroeVirginia5th President of the United States; 8th United States Secretary of War; 7th United States Secretary of StatePlanter; Soldier; Diplomat17581831Elizabeth KortrightDemocratic-RepublicanAs 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 MorrisPennsylvania and New YorkUnited States Senator from New YorkLawyer; Merchant; Diplomat17521816Anne Cary RandolphFederalistArticles of Confederation; United States ConstitutionHe was a significant contributor to the Constitution of the United States, who wrote the preamble, and was called the "Penman of the Constitution".
Robert MorrisPennsylvaniaUnited States Senator from Pennsylvania; United States Superintendent of FinanceMerchant 17341806Mary White MorrisFederalistDeclaration of Independence; Articles of Confederation; United States ConstitutionHe financed the American Revolution and was one of two delegates who signed all three of the nation's founding documents.
Thomas PaineJournalist; Inventor; Political activist; Philosopher; Political theorist17371809Elizabeth 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 PatersonNew JerseyAssociate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States; 2nd Governor of New Jersey; United States Senator from New JerseyLawyer17451806Cornelia Bell; Euphemia WhiteFederalistUnited States ConstitutionAs 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 PinckneySouth Carolina37th Governor of South Carolina; United States Senator from South CarolinaLawyer; Diplomat17571824Mary Eleanor LaurensSwitched from Federalist to Democratic-RepublicanUnited States ConstitutionHe was a significant contributor to the final draft of the Constitution and worked for ratification in South Carolina.
Benjamin RushPennsylvaniaPhysician; Politician; Social reformer; Educator; Humanitarian17461813Julia StocktonDeclaration 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 ShermanConnecticutUnited States Senator from ConnecticutLawyer17211793Elizabeth Hartwell; Rebecca Minot PrescottFederalistContinental Association; Declaration of Independence; Articles of Confederation; United States ConstitutionHe 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 WashingtonVirginia1st President of the United StatesSurveyor; General17321799Martha DandridgeContinental Association; United States ConstitutionHe 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 WilsonPennsylvaniaAssociate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United StatesLawyer; Soldier17421798Rachel Bird; Hannah GrayFederalistDeclaration of Independence; United States ConstitutionHe 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 WitherspoonNew JerseyEducator; Minister17231794Elizabeth MontgomeryFederalistDeclaration of Independence; Articles of ConfederationHe 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 WytheVirginiaPolitician; Lawyer; Educator17261806Ann Lewis; Elizabeth TaliaferroFederalistDeclaration 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.
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