The Founding Fathers



The Founding Fathers are the main group of individuals that influenced the birth of the great nation know as The United States. Their works, biographies, and quotes have inspired generations. Their names have been given to future generations and have become dinner conversation around Amercian dinner tables for generations. They include George Washington, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and Benjamin Franklin.

They are the authors of American Revolution, Articles of Confederation, The Constitution, and the Bill of Rights. Their writings, like the Federalist Papers, Common Sense, the Novanglus Essays, and the famous Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death speech are taught to millions. They have been quoted on numerous topics, such as: consequences, citizen, poor, christian, freedom, liberty, arms, god, government, and morality,

This site is dedicated to those men, their quotes, their biographies, and their writings. Our goal is to preserve and share the knowledge of the Founding Fathers with current and future patriots.
Thomas Jefferson

Thomas Jefferson (1743 - 1826)


Thomas Jefferson was born on the second day of April, O. S. 1743, ( April 13, 1743) at a place called Shadwell, in the county of Albermarle, and state of Virginia, a short distance from Monticello. His family were among the earliest emigrants from England. They sustained an honorable ... [MORE]

James Madison

James Madison (1751 - 1836)


Within site of Blue Ridge, in Virginia, lived three Presidents of the United States, whose public career commenced in the Revolutionary times, and whose political faith was the same throughout a long series of years. These were Thomas Jefferson, James Monroe, and James Madison. The ... [MORE]

George Washington

George Washington (1732 - 1799)


FIRST IN War - first in Peace - first in the hearts of his Countrymen - was a just sentiment uttered half a century ago by the foster-son' of the Great Patriot, when speaking of the character of his noble guardian. And the hand of that son was the first to erect a monumental stone ... [MORE]

Alexander Hamilton

Alexander Hamilton (1755 - 1804)


The name of Hamilton, the pure patriot, the brave soldier, the accomplished statesman, and acute financier, there is a halo which brightens With the lapse of years, for he was peerless among his fellows. He was a native of the island of Nevis, in the "West Indies, and was descended ... [MORE]

Founding Fathers Trivia Challenge

John Adams

John Adams (1735 - 1826)


John Adams was born at Quincy, then part of the ancient town of Braintree, on the 19th day of October, old style, 1735. He was a descendant of the Puritans, his ancestors having early emigrated from England, and settled in Massachusetts. Discovering early a strong love of reading ... [MORE]

Benjamin Franklin

Benjamin Franklin ( 1706 - 1790)


Benjamin Franklin was born at Boston, on the 17th of January, 1706. His ancestors were from the county of Northampton, in England, where they had for many generations possessed a small freehold estate, near the village of Eaton. During the persecutions in the reign of Charles II., ... [MORE]

Samuel Adams

Samuel Adams (1722 - 1803)


Among those who signed the Declaration of Independence, and were conspicuous in the revolution, there existed, of course, a great diversity of intellectual endowments; nor did all render to their country, in those perilous days, the same important services. Like the luminaries of ... [MORE]

Thomas Paine

Thomas Paine (1737 - 1809)


Few men nave ever received so large a share of the podium of common public opinion (which Hood defined as "the average prejudice of mankind") as Thomas Paine, whose pen was almost as powerful in support of the republican cause in the early years of the Revolution, as was the sword ... [MORE]

Founding Fathers Document Library

Founding Fathers Newsletter

Sign up!


Sign up for our Weekly Newsletter, get a digest once a week (Friday) of all the quotes, articles, and documents added to the site during the week.

[View Newsletter Archive]

James Wilson

James Wilson (1742 - 1798)


James Wilson was a native of Scotland, where he was born about the year 1742. His father was a respectable farmer, who resided in the vicinity of St. Andrews, well known for its university. Though not wealthy, he enjoyed a competency, until at length, a passion for speculation nearly ... [MORE]

Patrick Henry

Patrick Henry (1736 - 1799)


"Give me Liberty, or give me Death!" were the burning words which fell from the lips of Patrick Henry, at the beginning of the War for Independence, and aroused the Continent to more vigorous and united action.1 He was the son of a Virginia planter in Hanover county, and was born ... [MORE]

Benjamin Rush

Benjamin Rush (1745 - 1813)


Benjamin Rush was born on the 24th of December, 1745 (0.S.), in the township of Byberry, twelve or fourteen miles northeast of Philadelphia. His ancestors emigrated front England to Pennsylvania, about the year 1683. The father of young Rush died when he was six years of age. The ... [MORE]

John Jay

John Jay (1745 - 1829)


Among the many thousands of the Huguenots of France who fled to England and America toward the close of the seventeenth century, to escape fiery persecutions, was Augustus Jay, a young merchant. He landed at Charleston, in South Carolina, but soon proceeded northward, and settled ... [MORE]

ADVERTISMENT
Liberty Classroom

ADVERTISMENT

James Otis

James Otis (1725 - 1783)


Near the northeast corner of the old Common of Boston a section of ground was put apart long before the beginning of the eighteenth century to be a burying ground for some of the heroic dead of the city of the Puritans. For some quaint reason or caprice this acre of God was called ... [MORE]

William Ellery

William Ellery (1727 - 1820)


William Ellery, the son of a gentleman of the same name, was born at Newport, on the 22d day of December, 1727. His ancestors were originally from Bristol, in England, whence they emigrated to America during the latter part of the seventeenth century, and took up their residence at ... [MORE]

Charles Carroll

Charles Carroll (1737 - 1832)


Charles Carroll Was a descendant of Daniel Carroll, an Irish gentleman, who emigrated from England to America about the year 1659. He settled in the province of Maryland, where, a few years after, he received the appointment of judge, and register of the land office, and became agent ... [MORE]

Charles Thomson

Charles Thomson (1729 - 1824)


Of all the patriots of the Revolution, no man was better acquainted with the men and events of that struggle, than Charles Thomson, who was the permanent Secretary of the Continental Congress for more than fifteen years. He was born in Ireland in 1730, and at the age of eleven years ... [MORE]

Richard Henry Lee

Richard Henry Lee (1732 - 1794)


Richard Henry Lee, a descendant from an ancient and distinguished family in Virginia, was born in Westmoreland county, of that province, on January 20, 1732, two years before another brother, Francis Lightfoot Lee, who also signed the Declaration of Independence. The schools of America ... [MORE]

John Hancock

John Hancock (1737 - 1793)


The events leading to the declaration of independence, which have been rapidly passed in review, in the preceding pages, have brought us to the more particular notice of those distinguished men, who signed their names to that instrument, and thus identified themselves with the glory ... [MORE]

Abraham Clark

Abraham Clark (1725 - 1794)


It is unfortunately the fact, in respect to many of the distinguished actors in the revolutionary drama, but especially in reference to the subject of this memoir, that but few incidents of their lives have been preserved. The truth is, that although men of exalted patriotism, who ... [MORE]

Thomas McKean

Thomas McKean (1734 - 1817)


Thomas M'Kean was the second son of William M'Kean, a native of Ireland, who sometime after his emigration to America, was married to an Irish lady, with whom he settled in the township of New-London, county of Chester, and the province of Pennsylvania, where Thomas was born, on the ... [MORE]

Elbridge Gerry

Elbridge Gerry (1744 - 1814)


Elbridge Gerry was born at Marblehead, in the state of Massachusetts, on the seventeenth day of July, 1744. His father was a native of Newton, of respectable parentage and connections. He emigrated to America in 1730, soon after which, he established himself as a merchant in Marblehead, ... [MORE]

Robert Morris

Robert Morris (1734 - 1806)


Robert Morris was a native of Lancashire, England, where he was born January, 1733-4 (O.S.). His father was a Liverpool merchant, who had for some years been extensively concerned in the American trade. While he was yet a boy, his father removed to America; shortly after which, he ... [MORE]

Josiah Bartlett

Josiah Bartlett (1729 - 1795)


Josiah Bartlett, the first of the New-Hampshire delegation who signed the Declaration of Independence, was born in Amesbury, Massachusetts, in 1729. He was the fourth son of Stephen Bartlett, whose ancestors came from England during the seventeenth century, and settled at Beverly. The ... [MORE]

William Hooper

William Hooper (1742 - 1790)


William Hooper was a native of Boston, province of Massachusetts Bay, where he was born on the seventeenth of June, 1742. His father's name was also William Hooper. He was born in Scotland, in the year 1702, and soon after leaving the university of Edinburgh emigrated to America. ... [MORE]

John Witherspoon

John Witherspoon (1723 - 1794)


John Witherspoon, a man alike distinguished as a minister of the gospel, and a patriot of the revolution, was born in the parish of Yester, a few miles from Edinburgh, on the 5th of February, 1722. He was lineally descended from John Knox, the Scottish reformer, of whom Mary, queen ... [MORE]

Samuel Chase

Samuel Chase (1741 - 1811)


Samuel Chase was the son of the Rev. Thomas Chase, a clergyman of distinction, in the protestant Episcopal church, who, after his emigration to America, married the daughter of a respectable farmer, and settled, for a time, in Somerset county, in Maryland, where this son was born, ... [MORE]

George Clymer

George Clymer (1739 - 1813)


George Clymer was born in the city of Philadelphia, in the year 1739. His father was descended from a respectable family of Bristol, in England; and after his emigration to America became connected by marriage with a lady in Philadelphia. Young Clymer was left an orphan at the age ... [MORE]

Edward Rutledge

Edward Rutledge (1749 - 1800)


Edward Rutledge, the first of the South Carolina delegation, who affixes his name to the Declaration of Independence, was born in the city of Charleston, November, 1749. He was the youngest, son of Doctor John Rutledge, who emigrated from Ireland to South Carolina, about the year ... [MORE]

Carter Braxton

Carter Braxton (1736 - 1797)


Carter Braxton was the son of George Braxton, a wealthy planter of Newington, in the county of King and Queen, in Virginia, where he was born on the tenth of September, 1736. His mother was the daughter of Robert Carter, who was for some time a member, and the president of the king's ... [MORE]

William Paca

William Paca (1740 - 1799)


William Paca was born on the 31st of October, 1740. He was the second son of John Paca, a gentleman of large estate, who resided in the county of Harford, in the state of Maryland. His father, sensible of the importance of a good education, placed his son, at a proper age, in the ... [MORE]

Lyman Hall

Lyman Hall (1724 - 1790)


Little is known by this writer of Lyman Hall's early life except that he was born in Wallingford, Connecticut, on April 12, 1724. He later moved to South Carolina and then on to Georgia. Hall was a physician and perhaps it was the pursuit of that profession which inspired his movement ... [MORE]

Joseph Hewes

Joseph Hewes (1730 - 1779)


Joseph Hewes was born near Kingston, in New Jersey, in the year 1730. His parents were Aaron and Providence Hewes, who were members of the Society Of Friends, and who originally belonged to the colony of Connecticut. They were induced, however, to remove from New-England, on account ... [MORE]

Arthur Middleton

Arthur Middleton (1742 - 1787)


Arthur Middleton was the son of Henry Middleton, and was born in the year 1743, at the seat of his father, at Middleton place, near the banks of the Ashley. At the early age of twelve years, he was sent to the celebrated school of Hackney, in the neighborhood of London; whence, after ... [MORE]

George Read

George Read (1733 - 1798)


George Read was a native of the province of Maryland, where he was born in the year 1734. His grandfather was an Irishman, who resided in the city of Dublin, and was possessed of a considerable fortune. His son, John Read, the father of the subject of the present memoir, having emigrated ... [MORE]

Caesar Rodney

Caesar Rodney (1728 - 1784)


Caesar Rodney, the first of the delegation from Delaware, was a native of that state, and was born about the year 1730. His birth-place was Dover. The family, from which he was descended, was of ancient date, and is honorably spoken of in the history of early times. We read of Sir ... [MORE]

Roger Sherman

Roger Sherman (1721 - 1793)


Roger Sherman, the subject of the present memoir, was a native of Newton, Massachusetts, where he was born on the 19th of April, 1721. His ancestors were from Dedham, in England, whence they removed to America about the year 1635, and settled at Watertown in the same state. The father ... [MORE]

Thomas Stone

Thomas Stone (1743 - 1787)


Thomas Stone was the son of David Stone, of Pointon Manor, Charles County, Maryland. His father was a descendant of William Stone, who was governor of Maryland during the protectorate of Oliver Cromwell. The boyhood of Thomas Stone was distinguished by an unusual fondness for learning. ... [MORE]

William Floyd

William Floyd (1734 - 1821)


William Floyd, who was the first delegate from New York that signed the Declaration of Independence, was born on Long Island, on the 17th of December, 1734. His father was Nicoll Floyd, an opulent and respectable landholder, whose ancestors came to America from Wales, about the year ... [MORE]

Benjamin Harrison V

Benjamin Harrison V (1726 - 1791)


Benjamin Harrison was the descendant of a family long distinguished in the history of Virginia. Both his father and grandfather bore the name of Benjamin, and lived at Berkeley, where they owned, and where the family still owns [1829], a seat, beautifully situated on the banks of ... [MORE]

Stephen Hopkins

Stephen Hopkins (1707 - 1785)


Stephen Hopkins was a native of that part of Providence which is now called Scituate, where he was born on the 7th of March, 1707. His parentage was very respectable, being a descendant of Benedict Arnold*, the first governor of Rhode Island. [* Not the Benedict Arnold of Revolutionary ... [MORE]

Francis Hopkinson

Francis Hopkinson (1737 - 1791)


Francis Hopkinson was a native of Pennsylvania, and was born in the city of Philadelphia, in the year 1737. His father, Thomas Hopkinson, was an Englishman, who emigrated to America, but in what year is unknown to the writer. A short time previous to his emigration, he became respectably ... [MORE]

Lewis Morris

Lewis Morris (1726 - 1798)


Lewis Morris was born at the manor of Morrisania, in the state of New York, in the year 1726. His family was of ancient date; the pedigree of it has been preserved; but it is too extended to admit of a particular notice in these pages. Richard Morris, an ancestor of the family, beyond ... [MORE]

John Morton

John Morton (1725 - 1777)


John Morton was a native of Ridley, in the county of Chester, now Delaware. His ancestors were of Swedish extraction, and among the first Swedish emigrants, who located themselves on the banks of the Delaware. His father, after whom he was called, died a few months previously to his ... [MORE]

Oliver Wolcott

Oliver Wolcott (1796 - 1797)


Few families have been more distinguished in the annals of Connecticut, than the Wolcott family. The ancestor of this family was Henry Wolcott, an English gentleman of considerable fortune, who was born in the year 1578. During the progress of the Independents in England, he embraced ... [MORE]

Button Gwinnett

Button Gwinnett (1735 - 1777)


Button Gwinnett was a native of England, where he was born about the year 1732. His parents were respectable in life, and gave their son as good an education as their moderate circumstances would allow. On coming of age, Mr. Gwinnett became a merchant in the city of Bristol. Some ... [MORE]

John Hart

John Hart (1711 - 1779)


The history of the world probably furnishes not another instance in which there was a nobler exhibition of true patriotism, than is presented in the history of the American revolution. It was certain at its commencement, in respect to numerous individuals, whose talents, wisdom and ... [MORE]

Thomas Heyward

Thomas Heyward (1746-1809)


Thomas Heyward was born in St. Luke's parish, in the province of South Carolina, in the year 1746. His father, Colonel Daniel Heyward, was a planter of great wealth, which he had chiefly acquired by his industry. Unlike many gentlemen of fortune, Mr. Heyward did not appear to idolize ... [MORE]

Samuel Huntington

Samuel Huntington (1731 - 1796)


Samuel Huntington was born in Windham, Connecticut, on the 2d day of July, 1732. His ancestors were respectable; they came to America at an early period of the country, and settled in Connecticut. The father of the subject of the present memoir was Nathaniel Huntington, who resided ... [MORE]

Francis Lightfoot Lee

Francis Lightfoot Lee (1734 - 1797)


Frank Lee, as he was known to those close to him, was regarded by his brothers, including Richard Henry Lee, as the keenest of them in all political judgement. He was quiet, reticent, and had no taste for public life, but the responsibilities that came from bearing the Lee name during ... [MORE]

Francis Lewis

Francis Lewis (1713 - 1803)


Francis Lewis was a native of Landaff, in South Wales, where he was born in the year 1713. His father was a clergyman, belonging to the established church. His mother was the daughter of Dr. Pettingal, who was also a clergyman of the Episcopal establishment, and had his residence ... [MORE]

Philip Livingston

Philip Livingston (1716 - 1778)


Philip Livingston was born at Albany, on the fifteenth of January, 1716. His ancestors were highly respectable, and for several generations the family have held a distinguished rank in New-York. His great grandfather, John Livingston, was a divine of some celebrity in the church of ... [MORE]

Thomas Lynch

Thomas Lynch (1749 - 1779)


Thomas Lynch was the son of a gentleman of the same name, and was born on the fifth of August, 1749, at Prince George's Parish, in the province of South Carolina. The family was an ancient one, and is said to have originally emigrated from Austria to England, where they settled in ... [MORE]

Thomas Nelson

Thomas Nelson (1738 - 1789)


Thomas Nelson, Jr. was born at York on the twenty-sixth of December, 1738. He was the eldest son of William Nelson, a merchant of highly respectable character, who was descended from an English family, which settled at York, in the province of Virginia. By his prudence and industry, ... [MORE]

Robert Treat Paine

Robert Treat Paine (1731 - 1814)


Robert Treat Paine was a native of Boston, where he was born, in the year 1731. His parents were pious and respectable. His father was for some years the settled pastor of a church in Weymouth, in the vicinity of Boston. His health failing him, however, he removed with his family ... [MORE]

John Penn

John Penn (1741 - 1788)


John Penn was a native of the county of Caroline, in the province of Virginia, where he was born on the seventeenth day of May, 1741. He was the only child of his parents, Moses and Catharine Penn. The early education of young Penn was greatly neglected by his parents, who appear ... [MORE]

George Ross

George Ross (1730 - 1779)


The last gentleman who belonged to the Pennsylvania delegation, at the time the members of the revolutionary congress affixed their signatures to the declaration of independence, was George Ross. He was the son of a clergyman by the same name, who presided over the Episcopal church ... [MORE]

James Smith

James Smith (1719 - 1806)


James Smith, the subject of the following memoir, was a native of Ireland; but in what year he was born is unknown. This was a secret which, even to his relations and friends, he would never communicate, and the knowledge of it was buried with him in the grave. It is conjectured, ... [MORE]

Richard Stockton

Richard Stockton (1730 - 1781)


The first of the New-Jersey delegation, who signed the Declaration of Independence, was Richard Stockton. He was born near Princeton, on the 1st day of October, 1730. His family was ancient and respectable. His great grandfather, who bore the same name, came from England, about the ... [MORE]

George Taylor

George Taylor (1716 - 1781)


Of the early life of George Taylor although he acted a distinguished part in the political affairs of his time, few incidents are recorded, in any documents which we have seen, and few, it is said, are remembered by the old men of the neighborhood in which he lived. Mr. Taylor was ... [MORE]

Matthew Thornton

Matthew Thornton (1714 - 1803)


Matthew Thornton was the son of James Thornton, a native of Ireland, and was born in that country, about the year 1714. When he was two or three years old, his father emigrated to America, and after a residence of a few years he removed to Worchester, Massachusetts. Here young Thornton ... [MORE]

George Walton

George Walton (1749 - 1804)


George Walton, the last of the Georgia delegation, who signed the declaration of independence, and with an account of whom we shall conclude these biographical notices, was born in the county of Frederick, Virginia, about the year 1740. He was early apprenticed to a carpenter, who ... [MORE]

William Whipple

William Whipple (1730 - 1785)


William Whipple was the eldest son of William Whipple and was born at Kittery, Maine, in the year 1730. His father was a native of Ipswich, and was bred a maltster; but for several years after his removal to Kittery, he followed the sea. His mother was the daughter of Robert Cutts, ... [MORE]

William Williams

William Williams (1731 - 1811)


The family of William Williams is said to have been originally from Wales. A branch of it came to America in the year 1630, and settled in Roxbury, Massachusetts. His grandfather, who bore the same name, was the minister of Hatfield, Massachusetts; and his father, Solomon Williams, ... [MORE]

George Wythe

George Wythe (1726 - 1806)


George Wythe was a native of the county of Elizabeth city, Virginia, where he was born in the year 1726. His father was a respectable farmer, in easy circumstances, and bestowed upon his son a competent patrimony. At a proper age he was placed at school; but the knowledge which he ... [MORE]