Weird History

The Best American Founding Fathers  

Amy Boal
Originally by
27.3k votes 4.4k voters 108.1k views 87 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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
James Monroe is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best American Founding Fathers
Monroe Hall, Virginia, British 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
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
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
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
Richard Henry Lee is listed (or ranked) 14 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
15
John Penn is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best American Founding Fathers
Virginia, United States of America
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
Aaron Burr is listed (or ranked) 16 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
17
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
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
Samuel Chase is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best American Founding Fathers
Maryland, United States of America
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
Rufus King is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best American Founding Fathers
Eastern United States, Northern New England, Scarborough
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 ...more
21
John Witherspoon is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best American Founding Fathers
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 ...more
22
Caesar Rodney is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best American Founding Fathers
Dover, Delaware, United States of America
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
23
Charles Carroll of Carrollton is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best American Founding Fathers
Annapolis, Maryland, United States of America
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
24
George Wythe is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best American Founding Fathers
Hampton
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
Elbridge Gerry is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best American Founding Fathers
Marblehead, Massachusetts, United States of America
Elbridge Thomas Gerry was an American statesman and diplomat. As a Democratic-Republican he was selected as the fifth Vice President of the United States, serving under James Madison. He is ...more