Weird History The Best American Founding Fathers  

Amy Boal
Originally by
24.5k votes 4k voters 98.2k views 88 items

List Rules Signers of the Declaration of Independence 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!
list ordered by

1
1,478 398
George Washington is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best American Founding Fathers
February 22, 1732—Westmoreland County, Virginia
George Washington was the first President of the United States, the Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Army, and one of the Founding Fathers of the United States. He presided over the ...more

2
1,332 425
Benjamin Franklin is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best American Founding Fathers
January 17, 1706—Boston, MA
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, ...more

3
1,598 438
Alexander Hamilton is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best American Founding Fathers
January 11, 1757—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 ...more

4
1,247 458
Thomas Jefferson is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best American Founding Fathers
April 13, 1743—Shadwell, VA
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 ...more

5
835 290
James Madison is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best American Founding Fathers
March 16, 1751—Port Conway, VA
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 ...more

6
866 358
John Adams is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best American Founding Fathers
October 30, 1735—Quincy, MA
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, ...more

7
635 270
Samuel Adams is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best American Founding Fathers
September 27, 1722—Boston, MA
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 ...more

8
601 254
John Hancock is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best American Founding Fathers
January 23, 1737—Braintree, MA
John Hancock was a merchant, 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 the ...more

9
504 207
Patrick Henry is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best American Founding Fathers
James Englebert added May 29, 1736—Studley, VA
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 ...more

10
235 88
James Monroe is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best American Founding Fathers
Monroe Hall, Virginia, United States of America
James Monroe was the fifth President of the United States. Monroe was the last president who was a Founding Father of the United States and the last president from the Virginia dynasty and the ...more

11
239 217
Roger Sherman is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best American Founding Fathers
April 19, 1721—Newton, MA
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 ...more

12
242 190
Gouverneur Morris is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best American Founding Fathers
January 30, 1752—New York City, NY
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 ...more

13
221 196
Benjamin Rush is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best American Founding Fathers
January 4, 1746—Philadelphia, PA
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 ...more

14
395 349
Aaron Burr is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best American Founding Fathers
February 6, 1756—Newark, NJ
Aaron Burr, Jr. was the third Vice President of the United States; he served during President Thomas Jefferson's first term. After serving as a Continental Army officer in the Revolutionary War, ...more

15
170 148
John Penn is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best American Founding Fathers
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.

16
221 167
Richard Henry Lee is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best American Founding Fathers
January 20, 1732—Stratford Hall, VA
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 ...more

17
166 127
Robert Morris is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best American Founding Fathers
January 20, 1734—Liverpool, United Kingdom
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 ...more

18
150 160
Francis Lightfoot Lee is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best American Founding Fathers
October 14, 1734—Stratford Hall, VA
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 ...more

19
130 130
Samuel Chase is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best American Founding Fathers
Somerset County, Salisbury, MD Metropolitan Statistical Area
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 ...more

20
108 127
Caesar Rodney is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best American Founding Fathers
United States of America, Delaware, United States
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 ...more

21
106 94
John Witherspoon is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best American Founding Fathers
Eurasia, United Kingdom, Gifford
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 ...more

22
118 112
Charles Carroll of Carrollton is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best American Founding Fathers
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 ...more

23
99 81
Robert Treat Paine is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best American Founding Fathers
Eastern United States, Boston, Area code 617
Robert Treat Paine was a Massachusetts lawyer and politician, best known as a signer of the Declaration of Independence as a representative of Massachusetts. He served as the state's first ...more

24
112 103
George Wythe is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best American Founding Fathers
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 ...more

25
116 110
Josiah Bartlett is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best American Founding Fathers
November 21, 1729—Amesbury, MA
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 ...more