The Best American Founding Fathers

Originally By 2.6k votes 501 voters 14k views 88 items tags f p @

List Criteria: Signers of the Declaration of Independece and/or 1787 Constitutional Convention delegates only. Upvote the men who had the most important impacts on the creation of America.

The Founding Fathers of the United States of America boast luminary names like George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Ben Franklin, and John Adams. But there were dozens of signers of the Declaration of Independence and delegates to the Constitutional Convention of 1787, many of whom had noteworthy careers in law, politics, and the military. Most of their names are known only to historians or devotees of the period.

There were dozens of people who played key roles in the founding of America, but their names have been overshadowed by the most famous of the Founders. Here's your chance to vote up the Founders that you think have been unfairly forgotten by history, or that people just don't know enough about. Likewise, if you think a Founding Father is overrated or maybe wasn't as important as people think, give them a down vote.

The Founding Fathers were a pretty interesting bunch of guys, learn more about them (including a cool essay Benjamin Franklin wrote about flatulence!) on this list of Founding Fathers facts!
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    Virginia, USA George Washington was the first President of the United States, the Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Army during the American Revolutionary War, and one of the Founding Fathers of the United

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    Boston, Massachusetts, USA Benjamin Franklin FRS was one of the Founding Fathers of the United States. A renowned polymath, Franklin was a leading author, printer, political theorist, politician, postmaster, scientist,

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    Shadwell, Virginia, USA Thomas Jefferson was an American Founding Father, the principal author of the Declaration of Independence, and the third President of the United States. He was a spokesman for democracy, and embraced

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    Charlestown, Saint Kitts and Nevis Alexander Hamilton was a founding father of the United States, chief staff aide to General George Washington, one of the most influential interpreters and promoters of the U.S. Constitution, the

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    Braintree, Massachusetts, USA John Adams was the second president of the United States, having earlier served as the first vice president of the United States. An American Founding Father, Adams was a statesman, diplomat, and a

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    Port Conway, Virginia, USA James Madison, Jr. was an American statesman, political theorist, and the fourth President of the United States. He is hailed as the "Father of the Constitution" for being instrumental in

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    Boston, Massachusetts, USA Samuel Adams was an American statesman, political philosopher, and one of the Founding Fathers of the United States. As a politician in colonial Massachusetts, Adams was a leader of the movement that

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

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    Virginia, USA Richard Henry Lee was an American statesman from Virginia best known for the motion in the Second Continental Congress calling for the colonies' independence from Great Britain. He was a signatory to

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    Byberry, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Benjamin Rush was a Founding Father of the United States. Rush was a civic leader in Philadelphia, where he was a physician, politician, social reformer, educator and humanitarian, as well as the

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    Newton, Massachusetts, USA Roger Sherman was an early American lawyer and politician, as well as a Founding Father of the United States. He served as the first mayor of New Haven, Connecticut, and served on the Committee of

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    Maryland, USA Samuel Chase was an Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court and earlier was a signatory to the United States Declaration of Independence as a representative of Maryland. Early in life,

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    Stratford Hall, Virginia, USA Francis Lightfoot Lee was a member of the House of Burgesses in the Colony of Virginia. As an active protester of issues such as the Stamp Act, Lee helped move the colony in the direction of

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    Morrisania, New York City, New York Gouverneur Morris was an American statesman, a Founding Father of the United States, and a native of New York City who represented Pennsylvania in the Constitutional Convention of 1787. He was a

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    Virginia, USA John Penn was a signer of both the United States Declaration of Independence and the Articles of Confederation as a representative of North Carolina.

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    Liverpool, England Robert Morris, Jr., a Founding Father of the United States, was a Liverpool-born American merchant who financed the American Revolution and was signatory to the Declaration of Independence, the

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    Providence, Rhode Island, USA Stephen Hopkins was a governor of the Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, a Chief Justice of the Rhode Island Supreme Court, and a signer of the Declaration of Independence. From a

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    Hampton, Virginia, USA George Wythe was the first American law professor, a noted classics scholar and Virginia judge, as well as a prominent opponent of slavery. The first of the seven Virginia signatories of the United

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    Charleston, South Carolina, USA Charles Pinckney was an American politician who was a signer of the United States Constitution, the 37th Governor of South Carolina, a Senator and a member of the House of Representatives. He was

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    Gifford, United Kingdom John Knox Witherspoon was a Scots Presbyterian minister and a signatory of the United States Declaration of Independence as a representative of New Jersey. As president of the College of New Jersey,

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    Dover, Delaware, USA Caesar Rodney was an American lawyer and politician from St. Jones Neck in Dover Hundred, Kent County, Delaware, east of Dover. He was an officer of the Delaware militia during the French and Indian

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    Wallingford, Connecticut, USA Lyman Hall, physician, clergyman, and statesman, was a signer of the United States Declaration of Independence as a representative of Georgia. Hall County is named after him.

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    Annapolis, Maryland, USA Charles Carroll, known as Charles Carroll of Carrollton or Charles Carroll III to distinguish him from his similarly named relatives, was a wealthy Maryland planter and an early advocate of

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    New Castle, Delaware, USA George Ross was a signer of the United States Declaration of Independence as a representative of Pennsylvania. He was born in New Castle, Delaware, and educated at home. He studied law at his brother

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    Newport, Rhode Island, USA William Ellery was a signer of the United States Declaration of Independence as a representative of Rhode Island. In 1764, the Baptists consulted with Ellery and the Congregationalist Reverend Ezra

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    Charleston, South Carolina, USA Charles Cotesworth "C. C." Pinckney, was an early American statesman of South Carolina, Revolutionary War veteran, and delegate to the Constitutional Convention. He was twice nominated by

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

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    Windsor, North Carolina, USA William Blount was an American statesman and land speculator, and a signer of the United States Constitution. He was a member of the North Carolina delegation at the Constitutional Convention of 1787,

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    Charleston, South Carolina, USA Edward Rutledge was an American politician, a slaveholder, and youngest signer of the United States Declaration of Independence. He later served as the 39th Governor of South Carolina.

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    Amesbury, Massachusetts, USA Josiah Bartlett was an American physician and statesman, delegate to the Continental Congress for New Hampshire, and signatory of the Declaration of Independence. He was later Chief Justice of the New

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    Virginia, USA Patrick Henry was an American attorney, planter and politician who became known as an orator during the movement for independence in Virginia in the 1770s. A Founding Father, he served as the first

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    Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA Gunning Bedford, Jr. was an American lawyer and politician from Wilmington, in New Castle County, Delaware. He served in the Delaware General Assembly, as a Continental Congressman from Delaware and

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    Williamsburg, Virginia, USA John Blair, Jr. was an American politician, Founding Father and jurist. Blair was one of the best-trained jurists of his day. A famous legal scholar, he avoided the tumult of state politics,

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

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

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    Maryland, USA John Dickinson, a Founding Father of the United States, was a solicitor and politician from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and Wilmington, Delaware known as the "Penman of the Revolution" for

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    Guilford, Connecticut, USA Abraham Baldwin was a Connecticut-born and raised minister, Patriot, American politician, and Founding Father. A graduate of Yale University and its divinity school, after the Revolutionary War he

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    Elizabeth, New Jersey, USA Abraham Clark was an American politician and Revolutionary War figure. He was delegate for New Jersey to the Continental Congress where he signed the Declaration of Independence and later served in

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    Exeter, New Hampshire, USA Nicholas Gilman, Jr. was a soldier in the Continental Army during the American Revolutionary War, a delegate to the Continental Congress, and a signer of the U.S. Constitution, representing New

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    Maryland, USA Richard Bassett was an American lawyer and political figure from the state of Delaware who, as a veteran of the Revolutionary War and delegate to the Constitutional Convention of 1787, is considered

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    Republic of Ireland Matthew Thornton, was a signer of the United States Declaration of Independence as a representative of New Hampshire.

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    Republic of Ireland George Taylor was a Colonial ironmaster and a signer of the United States Declaration of Independence as a representative of Pennsylvania. Today, his former home, the George Taylor House in

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    Ceres, United Kingdom James Wilson was one of the Founding Fathers of the United States and a signatory of the United States Declaration of Independence. Wilson was elected twice to the Continental Congress, where he

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    Maryland, USA Thomas Stone was an American planter and lawyer who signed the United States Declaration of Independence as a delegate for Maryland. He later worked on the committee that formed the Articles of

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    Scarborough, Maine, USA Rufus King was an American lawyer, politician, and diplomat. He was a delegate for Massachusetts to the Continental Congress. He also attended the Constitutional Convention and was one of the signers

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    Leinster, Republic of Ireland Thomas Fitzsimons was an American merchant and statesman of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He represented Pennsylvania in the Continental Congress, the Constitutional Convention, and the U.S. Congress.

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    Gloucester, United Kingdom Button Gwinnett was a British-born American political leader who, as a representative of Georgia to the Continental Congress, was the second of the signatories on the United States Declaration of

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    Portsmouth, New Hampshire, USA John Langdon, a Founding Father of the United States who, as a delegate to the Constitutional Convention signed the United States Constitution, was a politician from Portsmouth, New Hampshire, and one

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    Ballymena, United Kingdom James McHenry was an Irish-born American statesman. McHenry was a signer of the United States Constitution from Maryland and the namesake of Fort McHenry. He was a delegate to the Continental Congress

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    Virginia, USA Carter Braxton was a signer of the United States Declaration of Independence, as well as a merchant, planter, and Virginia politician. A grandson of Robert “King” Carter, one of the wealthiest and

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