Weird History
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The Best American Founding Fathers

Updated June 14, 2019 35.2k votes 5.4k voters 127.1k views87 items

List RulesSigners 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!
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  • George Washington1
    2,209
    544

    George Washington

    February 22, 1732—Westmoreland County

    NationalityKingdom of Great Britain, United States of America

    George Washington was the first President of the United States, the Commander-in-Chief of the...  more
  • Alexander Hamilton2
    2,315
    694

    Alexander Hamilton

    January 11, 1757—Charlestown

    NationalityUnited States of America

    Alexander Hamilton (January 11, 1755 or 1757 – July 12, 1804) was an American statesman,...  more
  • Benjamin Franklin3
    1,880
    590

    Benjamin Franklin

    January 17, 1706—Boston

    NationalityUnited States of America

    Benjamin Franklin (January 17, 1706 [O.S. January 6, 1705] – April 17, 1790) was an American...  more
  • Thomas Jefferson4
    1,790
    650

    Thomas Jefferson

    April 13, 1743—Shadwell

    NationalityUnited States of America

    Party (if partisan)Democratic-Republican Party

    Thomas Jefferson was an American Founding Father, the principal author of the Declaration of...  more
  • James Madison5
    1,209
    448

    James Madison

    March 16, 1751—Port Conway

    NationalityUnited States of America

    Party (if partisan)Democratic-Republican Party

    James Madison Jr. (March 16, 1751 – June 28, 1836) was an American statesman, lawyer,...  more
  • John Adams6
    1,281
    483

    John Adams

    October 30, 1735—Quincy

    NationalityUnited States of America

    Party (if partisan)Federalist Party

    John Adams Jr. (October 30, 1735 – July 4, 1826) was an American statesman, attorney,...  more
  • Samuel Adams7
    891
    397

    Samuel Adams

    September 27, 1722—Boston

    NationalityUnited States of America

    Samuel Adams (September 27 [O.S. September 16] 1722 – October 2, 1803) was an American...  more
  • John Hancock8
    828
    380

    John Hancock

    January 23, 1737—Braintree

    NationalityUnited States of America

    John Hancock (January 23, 1737 [O.S. January 12, 1736] – October 8, 1793) was an American...  more
  • Patrick Henry9
    739
    330

    Patrick Henry

    May 29, 1736—Studley

    NationalityUnited States of America

    Patrick Henry (May 29, 1736 – June 6, 1799) was an American attorney, planter, and orator best...  more
  • James Monroe10
    483
    223

    James Monroe

    Monroe Hall, Virginia

    NationalityUnited States of America

    Party (if partisan)Democratic-Republican Party

    James Monroe (; April 28, 1758 – July 4, 1831) was an American statesman, lawyer, diplomat and...  more
  • Gouverneur Morris11
    378
    281

    Gouverneur Morris

    January 30, 1752—New York City

    NationalityUnited States of America

    Gouverneur Morris (30 January 1752 – 6 November 1816) was an American statesman, a Founding...  more
  • Benjamin Rush12
    368
    300

    Benjamin Rush

    January 4, 1746—Philadelphia

    NationalityUnited States of America

    Benjamin Rush (January 4, 1746 [O.S. December 24, 1745] – April 19, 1813) was a signer of the...  more
  • Richard Henry Lee13
    322
    248

    Richard Henry Lee

    January 20, 1732—Stratford Hall

    NationalityUnited States of America

    Richard Henry Lee (January 20, 1732 – June 19, 1794) was an American statesman and Founding...  more
  • Roger Sherman14
    346
    308

    Roger Sherman

    April 19, 1721—Newton

    NationalityUnited States of America

    Roger Sherman (April 19, 1721 – July 23, 1793) was an early American statesman and lawyer, as...  more
  • Robert Morris15
    259
    186

    Robert Morris

    January 20, 1734—Liverpool

    NationalityUnited States of America

    Robert Morris, Jr. (January 20, 1734 – May 8, 1806) was an English-born merchant and a...  more
  • John Penn16
    249
    225

    John Penn

    Virginia, United States of America

    NationalityUnited States of America

    John Penn (May 17, 1741 – September 14, 1788) was a signer of both the United States...  more
  • Robert Treat Paine17
    174
    133

    Robert Treat Paine

    Eastern United States, Boston

    NationalityUnited States of America

    Robert Treat Paine (March 11, 1731 – May 11, 1814) was a Massachusetts lawyer and politician,...  more
  • Rufus King18
    172
    144

    Rufus King

    Scarborough, Maine

    NationalityUnited States of America

    Party (if partisan)Federalist Party

    Rufus King (March 24, 1755 – April 29, 1827) was an American lawyer, politician, and diplomat....  more
  • John Dickinson19
    175
    136

    John Dickinson

    Maryland, United States of America

    NationalityUnited States of America

    John Dickinson (November 2 Jul./November 13Greg., 1732 – February 14, 1808), a Founding Father...  more
  • Samuel Chase20
    207
    185

    Samuel Chase

    Maryland, United States of America

    NationalityUnited States of America

    Samuel Chase (April 17, 1741 – June 19, 1811) was an Associate Justice of the United States...  more
  • Charles Carroll of Carrollton21
    176
    167

    NationalityUnited States of America

    Charles Carroll (September 19, 1737 – November 14, 1832), known as Charles Carroll of...  more
  • James Wilson22
    128
    96

    James Wilson

    Ceres, United Kingdom

    NationalityUnited States of America, Scotland

    James Wilson (September 14, 1742 – August 21, 1798) was one of the Founding Fathers of the...  more
  • Charles Cotesworth Pinckney23
    132
    113

    Charles Cotesworth Pinckney

    Charleston, South Carolina

    NationalityUnited States of America

    Party (if partisan)Federalist Party

    Charles Cotesworth Pinckney (February 25, 1746 – August 16, 1825) was an early American...  more
  • George Wythe24
    168
    149

    NationalityUnited States of America

    George Wythe (;December 3, 1726 – June 8, 1806) was the first American law professor, a noted...  more
  • John Witherspoon25
    169
    160

    John Witherspoon

    Gifford, United Kingdom

    NationalityScotland, United States

    John Knox Witherspoon (February 5, 1723 – November 15, 1794) was a Scottish-American...  more