America's Founding Fathers
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The Founding Fathers of America have some of the most intriguing and endearing stories that you will ever read. There were many people who fought in the Revolutionary War and many others who helped define the ideas and principles of the new government of the United States of America. To many others, the duty fell to implement the new government.

So the first question to ask is, "How do we define what a Founding Father is?" For the purposes of this website, we define the Founders to be those who had a substantial impact on the gaining of independence from Britain, upon the birth, growth and development of the ideas of the American Revolution and the securing and implementation of those ideals into a stable, independently functioning nation.

Founding Fathers
Founding Fathers

Who are America's Founding Fathers?

Thomas Paine
Thomas Paine

There are several very distinct groups of people that fall into this category that we can call Founding Fathers. They include the 56 Signers of the Declaration of Independence, the 14 presidents of the Continental Congress from 1774-1789, five dozen or so generals and officers of the navy that physically secured freedom for the new states, the early governors of the states, the 55 members of the Constitutional Convention who created the United States Constitution and the figures who were leading voices in the state Constitutional Convention debates to ratify the new Constitution.

This group also includes the 91 members of the First Congress who passed the Bill of Rights, the members of George Washington's and John Adams' cabinets, who were tasked with turning the ideas of the Constitution and Bill of Rights into a real living and tangible reality, the earliest members of the Supreme Court, a few others who do not fit conveniently into any of these categories, such as Paul Revere, Ethan Allen and Noah Webster and various women who are considered to be "Founding Mothers" because of heroic acts performed during the war or for other contributions.

Paul Revere
Paul Revere

Without the contributions of any of these groups of people, the United States likely would not have become what it is and may not have survived at all.

Thanks to all of these Founding Fathers and Revolutionary War heroes who sacrificed their lives and fortunes for a better life for themselves and their descendants... you and me!

On this page you will find the names of these Founding Fathers of the United States of America. Some of the names are linked to fuller biographies and information about that particular Founding Father. A few of the names appear in more than one category because of the multiple responsibilities held by many of them.

It is the hope of the "Minuteman," the editor of this website, to create biographies of ALL of these Founding Fathers at some point. There are, however, so many of them that they are not all yet complete.

Signers of the Declaration of Independence

The 56 signers of the Declaration of Independence undoubtedly deserve to be in our list of Founding Fathers. They are the ones who decided it was ultimately time to break with Great Britain permanently to forge a new nation. They pledged to give "our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor," in order to live in freedom and throw off the oppression that was being forced on them.

John Adams
John Adams

Many of these Founding Fathers you have heard of, such as John Hancock, Benjamin Franklin and John Adams. Many others, undoubtedly, you have not heard of, but they were just as influential during the time of the American Revolution as the ones you have heard of....

Men such as Benjamin Harrison, who led the discussions leading up to the signing of the Declaration of Independence and whose son and great-grandson later became Presidents of the United States, George Clymer whose family hid in the woods while British soldiers ransacked his home, Thomas McKean who served as President of the Continental Congress, Governor of Delaware and Chief Justice of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court and Francis Lewis of New York whose home was destroyed by the British and whose wife was captured and held in a British prison where she became very ill. Though she was eventually released, she never recovered and died as a result.

These and other great stories can be found by reading the biographies of the Founding Fathers below.

Signers from Georgia

Signers from North Carolina

Signers from South Carolina

  • Edward Rutledge
  • Thomas Heyward, Jr.
  • Thomas Lynch, Jr.
  • Arthur Middleton

Signers from Maryland

  • Samuel Chase
  • William Paca
  • Thomas Stone
  • Charles Carroll of Carrollton

Signers from Pennsylvania

  • Robert Morris
  • Benjamin Rush
  • Benjamin Franklin
  • John Morton
  • George Clymer
  • James Smith
  • George Taylor
  • James Wilson
  • George Ross

Signers from Delaware

Signers from New Hampshire

  • Josiah Bartlett
  • William Whipple
  • Matthew Thornton

Signers from Virginia

Signers from New Jersey

  • Richard Stockton
  • John Witherspoon
  • Francis Hopkinson
  • John Hart
  • Abraham Clark

Signers from Massachusetts

Signers from Connecticut

Signers from New York

Test your knowledge of the signers of the Declaration with our Declaration of Independence Signers Crossword Puzzle here.

Presidents of the Continental Congress

The Continental Congress was the governing body of the United States from 1774 to 1789 when the US Constitution was adopted. The Presidents of Congress were chosen by the other elected representatives to serve as a moderator, figurehead and administrator of the official business of Congress.

As such, these men played a pivotal role in the original break from Great Britain, the execution of the Revolutionary War and the years during which the new nation was governed by the Articles of Confederation before the Constitution was adopted and deserve to be in our list of Founding Fathers.

  • Peyton Randolph of Virginia
    September 5, 1774 - October 22, 1774 and
    October 22, 1774 - October 26, 1774
  • Henry Middleton of South Carolina
    October 22, 1774 - October 26, 1774
  • John Hancock of Massachusetts
    May 24, 1775 - October 29, 1777 and
    N
    ovember 23, 1785 - June 5, 1786
  • Henry Laurens of South Carolina
    November 1, 1777 - December 9, 1778
  • John Jay of New York
    December 10, 1778 - September 28, 1779
  • Samuel Huntington of Connecticut
    September 28, 1779 - July 10, 1781
  • Thomas McKean of Delaware
    July 10, 1781 - November 5, 1781
  • John Hanson of Maryland
    November 5, 1781 - November 4, 1782
  • Elias Boudinot of New Jersey
    November 4, 1782 - November 3, 1783
  • Thomas Mifflin of Pennsylvania
    November 3, 1783 - June 3, 1784
  • Richard Henry Lee of Virginia
    November 30, 1784 - November 4, 1785
  • Nathaniel Gorham of Massachusetts
    June 6, 1786 - November 3, 1786
  • Arthur St. Clair of Pennsylvania
    February 2, 1787 - November 4, 1787
  • Cyrus Griffin of Virginia
    January 22, 1788 - November 15, 1788

Revolutionary War Generals

The Revolutionary War could not have been won if it were not for the men who actually led the Americans into battle against the British forces - the most powerful military in the world at the time. These five dozen or so generals and naval commanders should certainly be included in our list of Founding Fathers. Without them, the war for independence could not have been won. Most of them were generals in the Continental Army, while some were important generals over state militias.

Henry Knox by Gilbert Stuart
Henry Knox
by Gilbert Stuart

You probably know that George Washington was the Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Army of the United States, but there are many other interesting figures of whom you may not have heard.

Major General Nathanael Greene was one of George Washington's best strategists and led the Continental Army's successful campaign against the British army's invasion in the South.

Major General Henry Knox was a bookstore owner in Boston before the war. He studied military history and became Washington's chief artillery officer. He is probably best known for organizing the transport of 60 tons of cannons that were captured at Fort Ticonderoga across the snow and ice covered New England mountains to assist in the Siege of Boston. The cannons were a decisive factor that made British General William Howe abandon the city.

Major General Benjamin Lincoln of Massachusetts served in several major battles of the Revolutionary War. He was injured at the Battle of Bemis Heights and was present at the surrender of British General John Burgoyne at Saratoga, a major turning point in the war. As second-in-command to George Washington, he accepted British General Charles Cornwallis' sword as a token of surrender, which was delivered by Cornwallis' second-in-command.

Major Generals

  • William Alexander, Lord Stirling, of
    New Jersey
  • James Clinton of New York
  • Louis Lebègue Duportail from France
  • Horatio Gates of Virginia
  • Nathanael Greene of Rhode Island
  • Edward Hand of Pennsylvania
  • William Heath of Massachusetts
  • Robert Howe of North Carolina
  • Johann de Kalb from Germany
  • Henry Knox of Massachusetts
  • Gilbert du Motier, the Marquis de
    Lafayette from France
  • Charles Lee of Virginia
  • Benjamin Lincoln of Massachusetts
  • Lachlan McIntosh of Georgia
  • Alexander McDougall of New York
  • William Moultrie of South Carolina
  • Richard Montgomery of New York
  • Peter Muhlenberg of Virginia
  • John Paterson of Massachusetts
  • Israel Putnam of Connecticut
  • Philip Schuyler of New York
  • William Smallwood of Maryland
  • Arthur St. Clair of Pennsylvania
  • Adam Stephen of Virginia
  • Friedrich Wilhelm von Steuben from
    Prussia
  • John Sullivan of New Hampshire
  • John Thomas of Massachusetts
  • Artemas Ward of Massachusetts
  • Joseph Warren of Massachusetts
  • Anthony Wayne of Pennsylvania
  • David Wooster of Connecticut

          *the traitor Benedict Arnold is intentionally
           left off of this list.

Brigadier Generals

  • Daniel Broadhead of Pennsylvania
  • George Clinton of New York
  • John Cadwalader of Pennsylvania
  • George Rogers Clark of Kentucky
  • Elias Dayton of New Jersey
  • Mordecai Gist of Maryland
  • Josiah Harmar of Pennsylvania
  • Christopher Gadsden of South Carolina
  • Moses Hazen of Quebec
  • William Irvine of Pennsylvania
  • Jean Baptiste Joseph, chevalier de Laumoy from France
  • Hugh Mercer of Virginia
  • Daniel Morgan of Virginia
  • Francis Nash of North Carolina
  • Enoch Poor of New Hampshire
  • Casimir Pulaski from Poland
  • Rufus Putnam of Massachusetts
  • William Thompson of Pennsylvania
  • Charles Armand Tuffin, marquis de la Rouörie from France
  • John Stark of New Hampshire
  • Seth Warner of Vermont
  • George Weedon of Virginia
  • James Wilkinson of Pennsylvania

Continental Navy Officers

  • Esek Hopkins of Rhode Island
  • Samuel Nicholas of Pennsylvania
  • Dudley Saltonstall of Connecticut
  • Nicholas Biddle of Pennsylvania
  • James Nicholson of Maryland
  • John Manley of Massachusetts
  • John Burroughs Hopkins of Rhode Island
  • John Barry of Pennsylvania
  • Hector McNeill of Quebec
  • Abraham Whipple of Rhode Island
  • Samuel Tucker of Massachusetts
  • John Paul Jones of Virginia
  • Lambert Wickes of Maryland
  • Gustavus Conyngham of Pennsylvania
  • Jonathan Haraden of Massachusetts

Delegates to the Constitutional Convention

The 55 members of the Constitutional Convention are among the most important Founding Fathers of the United States because they proposed the ideas for the Constitution, debated their merit and wrote the final document. This single document is the basis of the entire system of the United States government.

39 of these men signed the final document. The 16 members who did not sign mostly chose not to do so because they still believed the Constitution would give the central government too much power over the states without a Bill of Rights added to it.

Nonetheless, their names are included in our list of Founding Fathers because of their contributions to the document. Most of them later came to support the Constitution after the Bill of Rights was added to the document by the First Congress.

The names with an (*) asterisk beside them are the men who did not sign the final document.

Signing the Constitution
Signing the Constitution

Delegates from Connecticut

  • Oliver Ellsworth*
  • William Samuel Johnson
  • Roger Sherman

Delegates from Delaware

  • Richard Bassett
  • Gunning Bedford, Jr.
  • Jacob Broom
  • John Dickinson
  • George Read

Delegates from Georgia

  • Abraham Baldwin
  • William Few
  • William Houstoun*
  • William Pierce*

Delegates from Maryland

  • Daniel Carroll
  • Luther Martin*
  • James McHenry
  • John Francis Mercer*
  • Daniel of St. Thomas Jenifer

Delegates from Massachusetts

  • Elbridge Gerry*
  • Nathaniel Gorham
  • Rufus King
  • Caleb Strong*

Delegates from New Hampshire

Delegates from New Jersey

Delegates from New York

Delegates from North Carolina

  • William Blount
  • William Richardson Davie*
  • John Jay*
  • Alexander Martin*
  • Richard Dobbs Spaight
  • Hugh Williamson

Delegates from Pennsylvania

  • George Clymer
  • Thomas Fitzsimons
  • Benjamin Franklin
  • Jared Ingersoll
  • Thomas Mifflin
  • Gouverneur Morris
  • Robert Morris
  • James Wilson

Delegates from South Carolina

Delegates from Virginia

Delegates from Rhode Island

  • No delegates from Rhode Island

Important governors and other figures
in the state ratification conventions

After the Constitution was written by the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia, each state began its own ratification proceedings to choose whether or not to accept the Constitution. Nine states had to vote to accept the Constitution in order for it to go into effect among those states. Eventually all 13 states voted to ratify the document.

James Wilson
James Wilson

Once the Constitution was written, it was sent to the states for ratification and each state called its own Constitutional Convention. There were many voices against the Constitution and many in favor of it. Those voices that were strongest in supporting the ratification or were very influential in persuading the people in favor of the Constitution are included in our list of Founding Fathers.

Many were state governors, prominent legislative leaders or writers and pamphleteers in their prospective states. These are certainly to be included in our list of Founding Fathers, because without their support, the Constitution and thus, the United States of America, would not have come into existence as we know it.

Some names on the list led the opposition against the Constitution, but their names are included nonetheless because of their contributions to the debate. Many made valuable points in considering the new constitution and contributed ideas that were eventually included in the Bill of Rights.

Nearly all of the detractors eventually supported the Constitution after it was adopted, in spite of its imperfection, and many went on to serve in various positions in the new government or at the state level.

Figures from Delaware

  • Governor Thomas Collins
  • Gunning Bedford, Jr.
  • Richard Bassett

Figures from South Carolina

  • Rawlins Lowndes
  • Governor Thomas Pinckney
  • Charles Cotesworth Pinckney

Figures from Pennsylvania

  • James Wilson
  • Thomas McKean
  • Timothy Pickering
  • Benjamin Rush
  • William Findlie
  • John Smilie
  • Robert Whitehill
  • Samuel Bryan

Figures from New Jersey

  • John Witherspoon

Figures from Connecticut

  • Governor Samuel Huntington
  • Oliver Wolcott
  • Richard Law
  • Roger Sherman
  • Jedidiah Huntington
  • William Samuel Johnson
  • Samuel Holden Parsons

Figures from Massachusetts

  • Governor John Hancock
  • Fisher Ames
  • James Bowdoin
  • Samuel Adams
  • Francis Dana
  • Theophilus Parsons
  • Mercy Otis Warren
  • John Winthrop

Figures from Maryland

  • William Paca
  • Luther Martin
  • John Mercer

Figures from New Hampshire

Figures from Virginia

  • Governor Edmund Randolph
  • James Madison
  • John Marshall
  • George Mason
  • Patrick Henry
  • James Monroe
  • William Grayson
  • Edmund Pendleton
  • Richard Henry Lee

Figures from New York

Figures from North Carolina

  • James Iredell
  • Willie Jones
  • Samuel Spencer
  • Richard Caswell
  • Timothy Bloodworth
  • Joseph McDowell

Early Governors

Thomas McKean
Thomas McKean

When people think of the Founding Fathers of America, they usually think of national leaders, such as those who served in the Continental Congress or the Constitutional Convention.

We should keep in mind though, that during the Revolutionary War, all thirteen colonies lost their governments and had to form new ones. This was an extremely volatile time in each colony and the future was very uncertain at this point.

The men who were placed at the helms of these new state governments were crucial leaders in the development of the new nation. These Founding Fathers were charged with administering the governments of their new states and supporting the war effort in the face of great danger.

Once the new Constitution was created, many of these governors led the way to ratification in their prospective states, not to mention the fact that once the Constitution was ratified, they had to try to create stable state governments that would cooperate with the federal government in the manner which the Constitution prescribed.

These men were extremely important Founding Fathers during the process of creating the United States of America.

Early Governors of Delaware

  • John McKinly
  • Thomas McKean
  • George Read
  • Caesar Rodney
  • John Dickinson
  • John Cook
  • Nicholas Van Dyke
  • Thomas Collins
  • Jehu Davis
  • Joshua Clayton

Early Governors of Connecticut

  • Jonathan Trumbull
  • Matthew Griswold
  • Samuel Huntington

Early Governors of Rhode Island

  • Nicholas Cooke
  • William Greene
  • John Collins
  • Arthur Fenner

Early Governors of Massachusetts

  • John Hancock
  • Thomas Cushing
  • James Bowdoin

Early Governors of New Hampshire

  • Meshech Weare
  • John Langdon
  • John Sullivan
  • Josiah Bartlett

Early Governors of Pennsylvania

  • Thomas Wharton, Jr.
  • George Bryan
  • Joseph Reed
  • William Moore
  • John Dickinson
  • Benjamin Franklin
  • Thomas Mifflin

Early Governors of Maryland

  • Thomas Johnson
  • Thomas Sim Lee
  • William Paca
  • William Smallwood
  • John Eager Howard
  • George Plater
  • John Hoskins Stone

Early Governors of New Jersey

  • William Livingston
  • Elisha Lawrence
  • William Paterson
  • Richard Howell

Early Governors of Virginia

  • Patrick Henry
  • Thomas Jefferson
  • Thomas Nelson, Jr.
  • Benjamin Harrison
  • Edmund Randolph
  • Henry Lee

Early Governors of New York

  • George Clinton

Early Governors of North Carolina

  • Richard Caswell
  • Abner Nash
  • Thomas Burke
  • Alexander Martin
  • Samuel Johnston
  • Richard Dobbs Spaight

Early Governors of South Carolina

  • John Rutledge
  • Rawlins Lowndes
  • John Mathews
  • Benjamin Guerard
  • Thomas Pinckney
  • Charles Pinckney

Early Governors of Georgia

  • William Ewen
  • George Walton
  • William Ewen
  • Archibald Bulloch
  • Button Gwinnett
  • John Treutlen
  • John Houstoun
  • William Glascock
  • Stephen Heard
  • Myrick Davies
  • Nathan Brownson
  • John Martin
  • Lyman Hall
  • Samuel Elbert
  • Edward Telfair
  • George Mathews
  • George Handley

The First Congress

The First Congress of the United States should be included in our list of Founding Fathers because they were charged with taking the ideas of the Constitution and actually creating an actual government based on them. They should also be included because of their introduction of the Bill of Rights to the end of the Constitution.

James Madison
James Madison

Before accepting the Constitution, many citizens were very concerned that it gave the federal government too much power at the expense of the states and individuals. Many called for a Bill of Rights to be added that would enumerate specific rights that the federal government could not violate - things such as freedom of speech, freedom of religion and freedom of the press.

Supporters of the Constitution vowed that the First Congress would address these concerns if the states would accept it. In the end, this promise swayed enough detractors to change their votes to yes and the Constitution was accepted.

Fulfilling this promise, James Madison introduced 20 amendments that included the most popular suggestions from the states. The First Congress voted to approve twelve of these amendments, which were then given to the states for ratification. Ten of them were eventually passed by the states. These first ten amendments are known as the Bill of Rights.

Senators from Connecticut

  • Oliver Ellsworth
  • William S. Johnson

Senators from Delaware

  • Richard Bassett
  • George Read

Senators from Georgia

  • William Few
  • James Gunn

Senators from Maryland

  • John Henry
  • Charles Carroll

Senators from Massachusetts

  • Tristram Dalton
  • Caleb Strong

Senators from New Hampshire

  • John Langdon
  • Paine Wingate

Senators from New Jersey

  • Jonathan Elmer
  • William Paterson

Senators from New York

  • Rufus King
  • Philip Schuyler

Senators from North Carolina

  • Benjamin Hawkins
  • Samuel Johnston

Senators from Pennsylvania

  • William Maclay
  • Robert Morris

Senators from Rhode Island

  • Theodore Foster
  • Joseph Stanton, Jr.

Senators from South Carolina

  • Pierce Butler
  • Ralph Izard

Senators from Virginia

  • William Grayson
  • Richard Henry Lee

Representatives from Connecticut

  • Benjamin Huntington
  • Roger Sherman
  • Jonathan Sturges
  • Jonathan Trumbull, Jr.
  • Jeremiah Wadsworth

Representatives from Delaware

  • John Vining

Representatives from Georgia

  • James Jackson
  • Abraham Baldwin
  • George Mathews

Representatives from Maryland

  • Michael J. Stone
  • Joshua Seney
  • Benjamin Contee
  • William Smith
  • George Gale
  • Daniel Carroll

Representatives from Massachusetts

  • Fisher Ames
  • Benjamin Goodhue
  • Elbridge Gerry
  • Theodore Sedgwick
  • George Partridge
  • George Thatcher
  • George Leonard
  • Jonathan Grout

Representatives from New Hampshire

  • Abiel Foster
  • Nicholas Gilman
  • Samuel Livermore

Representatives from New Jersey

  • Elias Boudinot
  • Lambert Cadwalader
  • James Schureman
  • Thomas Sinnickson

Representatives from New York

  • William Floyd
  • John Laurance
  • Egbert Benson
  • John Hathorn
  • Peter Silvester
  • Jeremiah Van Rensselaer

Representatives from North Carolina

  • John Baptista Ashe
  • Hugh Williamson
  • Timothy Bloodworth
  • John Steele
  • John Sevier

Representatives from Pennsylvania

  • George Clymer
  • Thomas Fitzsimons
  • Thomas Hartley
  • Daniel Hiester
  • Frederick Muhlenberg
  • Peter Muhlenberg
  • Thomas Scott
  • Henry Wynkoop

Representatives from Rhode Island

  • Benjamin Bourne

Representatives from South Carolina

  • William L. Smith
  • Aedanus Burke
  • Daniel Huger
  • Thomas Sumter
  • Thomas Tudor Tucker

Representatives from Virginia

  • Alexander White
  • John Brown
  • Andrew Moore
  • Richard Bland Lee
  • James Madison
  • Isaac Coles
  • John Page
  • Josiah Parker
  • Theodorick Bland
  • Samuel Griffin

Cabinets of President Washington and President Adams

George Washington
George Washington

The cabinet members of the first two Presidents should also be included in our list of Founding Fathers because, as the administrative branch of government, they had to turn the policies of the Constitution and the First Congress into actual reality.

Many of the other Founding Fathers, such as the signers of the Declaration of Independence and the signers of the Constitution, dealt with ideas. The cabinets of Washington and Adams had to actually do something with those ideas. Had they failed to turn those ideas into realities, the American experiment would not have succeeded.

Great thanks is due to these Founding Fathers and of course to President George Washington and President John Adams for leading them.

Washington's Cabinet - First Term

  • Secretary of State - Thomas Jefferson
  • Secretary of the Treasury - Alexander Hamilton
  • Secretary of War - Henry Knox
  • Attorney General - Edmund Randolph
  • Postmaster General - Samuel Osgood

Washington's Cabinet - Second Term

  • Secretary of State - Thomas Jefferson
  • *succeeded by Edmund Randolph
  • *succeeded by Timothy Pickering
  • Secretary of the Treasury - Alexander Hamilton
  • *succeeded by Oliver Wolcott, Jr.
  • Secretary of War - Henry Knox
  • *succeeded by Timothy Pickering
  • *succeeded by James McHenry
  • Attorney General - Edmund Randolph
  • *succeeded by William Bradford
  • *succeeded by Charles Lee

Adams' Cabinet

  • Secretary of State - Timothy Pickering
  • *succeeded by John Marshall
  • Secretary of the Treasury - Oliver Wolcott, Jr.
  • *succeeded by Samuel Dexter
  • Secretary of War - James McHenry
  • *succeeded by Samuel Dexter
  • Attorney General - Charles Lee
  • Secretary of the Navy - Benjamin Stoddert

The First Supreme Court Justices

Chief Justice John Jay
Chief Justice John Jay

George Washington nominated the first justices to serve on the Supreme Court and the first Senate confirmed them. The first Supreme Court justices and especially the first Chief Justice, John Jay, are extremely important Founding Fathers because they helped interpret the Constitution in the republic's earliest challenges and conflicts.

Due to retirements and other reasons, both Washington and Adams nominated several other justices beyond the first six chosen by Washington. We will use all the justices of the first decade, up through Chief Justice John Marshall who was elected in 1801, for our list of important Supreme Court Founding Fathers.

The Supreme Court remained the weakest branch of the government for its first decade. Chief Justice Marshall is largely responsible for defining the Court's powers and turning it into the powerful branch of government it is today.

First Supreme Court Justices appointed by George Washington

  • Chief Justice John Jay of New York
  • John Rutledge of South Carolina
  • William Cushing of Massachusetts
  • James Wilson of Pennsylvania
  • John Blair of Virginia
  • James Iredell of North Carolina

Other Supreme Court Justices appointed by Washington

  • Thomas Johnson of Maryland
  • William Paterson of New Jersey
  • Samuel Chase of Maryland
  • Chief Justice Oliver Ellsworth of Connecticut

Justices appointed by John Adams

  • Bushrod Washington of Virginia
  • Alfred Moore of North Carolina
  • Chief Justice John Marshall of Virginia

Other important Founding Fathers

These Founding Fathers do not conveniently fit in the other lists on this page. Nonetheless, each had a significant role during the founding period of the United States.

  • Ethan Allen of Vermont - colonel, politics
  • Nicholas Biddle of Pennsylvania - banker
  • Daniel Boone of Virginia - militia, explorer, politician
  • Tench Coxe of Pennsylvania - politician, economist
  • Nathan Hale of Connecticut - soldier, spy
  • Thaddeus Kosciusko of Poland - engineer
  • Francis Marion of South Carolina - military, politician
  • James Otis of Massachusetts - lawyer, politician
  • Thomas Paine of Pennsylvania - author, soldier, diplomat
  • Andrew Pickens of South Carolina - soldier, politician
  • William Prescott of Massachusetts - soldier, politician
  • Paul Revere of Massachusetts - Sons of Liberty
  • Haym Solomon of Pennsylvania - financier, spy
  • Charles Thomson of Pennsylvania - secretary of Congress
  • William Washington of Virginia - colonel of the Light Dragoons
  • Noah Webster of Connecticut - writer

Women in the Revolutionary War

Although they are not Founding Fathers, many women performed heroic acts during the Revolutionary War, such as taking up arms, spying on British soldiers and delivering messages through hostile territory.

Betsy Ross
Betsy Ross

Others contributed by writing inspiring books or pamphlets that encouraged Americans to continue in their fight for independence, organized supplies and protests or encouraged their politician husbands in the quiet of their homes when the British put prices on their heads.

Although they are not Founding Fathers, these Founding Mothers deserve a place on our list of important Founders of the United States.

One such woman is Betsy Ross. You may know about the Betsy Ross Flag, but did you know Betsy Ross lost two husbands to the Revolutionary War or that she was called the "Little Rebel" by British soldiers who occupied her house during the occupation of Philadelphia? Read all about Betsy Ross at our Betsy Ross Facts page.

  • Abigail Adams of Massachusetts - wife of John Adams
  • Penelope Barker of North Carolina - protestor
  • Catharine Moore Barry of South Carolina - helped the war effort
  • Martha Bratton of North Carolina - helped the war effort
  • Elizabeth Burgin of New York - helped the war effort
  • Margaret Corbin of Pennsylvania - helped the war effort
  • Lydia Darrah of Pennsylvania - helped the war effort
  • Mary Draper of Massachusetts - helped the war effort
  • Emily Geiger of South Carolina - helped the war effort
  • Nancy Hart of Georgia - spy, helped the war effort
  • Anna Maria Lane - fought as a soldier disguised as a man
  • Dicey Langston of South Carolina - helped the war effort
  • Sybil Ludington of New York - raised miltia in a midnight ride near Danbury, Connecticut
  • Dolley Madison of Virginia - wife of James Madison
  • Grace and Rachel Martin of South Carolina - helped the war effort
  • Mary Ludwig Hays McCauley (Molly Pitcher) - camp follower who took her husband's place at the cannons
  • Rebecca Motte of South Carolina - helped the war effort
  • Esther Reed of Pennsylvania - organized women to help the war effort
  • Betsy Ross - possible maker of first American flag
  • Deborah Sampson of Massachusetts - soldier
  • Elizabeth Maxwell Steele - encouraged General Schuyler at a low point
  • Mercy Otis Warren of Massachusetts - writer
  • Martha Washington of Virginia - wife of George Washington
  • Prudence Wright of Massachusetts - helped the war effort
  • Elizabeth Zane of Virginia - helped the war effort

Thanks to David Barton and his book Original Intent
for helping us define our list of Founding Fathers
Published 1/11/12

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