Weird History
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The Best American Founding Fathers

Updated June 14, 2019 36k votes 5.6k voters 131.6k 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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  • 1
    February 22, 1732—Westmoreland County
    2,265
    539

    NationalityBritish America

    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 convention  ...more
  • 2
    January 17, 1706—Boston
    1,920
    570

    NationalityUnited States of America

    Benjamin Franklin (January 17, 1706 [O.S. January 6, 1705] – April 17, 1790) was an American polymath and one of the Founding Fathers of the United States. Franklin was a leading author, printer,  ...more
  • 3
    January 11, 1757—Charlestown
    2,283
    719

    NationalityUnited States of America

    Alexander Hamilton (January 11, 1755 or 1757 – July 12, 1804) was an American statesman, politician, legal scholar, military commander, lawyer, banker and economist. He was one of the Founding  ...more
  • 4
    March 16, 1751—Port Conway
    1,248
    456

    NationalityUnited States of America

    Party (if partisan)Democratic-Republican Party

    James Madison Jr. (March 16, 1751 – June 28, 1836) was an American statesman, lawyer, diplomat, philosopher, and Founding Father who served as the fourth president of the United States from 1809 to  ...more
  • 5
    October 30, 1735—Quincy
    1,316
    502

    NationalityUnited States of America

    Party (if partisan)Federalist Party

    John Adams Jr. (October 30, 1735 – July 4, 1826) was an American statesman, attorney, diplomat, writer, and Founding Father who served as the second president of the United States from 1797 to 1801.  ...more
  • 6
    April 13, 1743—Shadwell
    1,812
    642

    NationalityUnited States of America

    Party (if partisan)Democratic-Republican Party

    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 embraced  ...more
  • 7
    September 27, 1722—Boston
    916
    405

    NationalityUnited States of America

    Samuel Adams (September 27 [O.S. September 16] 1722 – October 2, 1803) was an American statesman, political philosopher, and one of the Founding Fathers of the United States. He was a politician in  ...more
  • 8
    James Englebert addedMay 29, 1736—Studley
    763
    339

    NationalityUnited States of America

    Patrick Henry (May 29, 1736 – June 6, 1799) was an American attorney, planter, and orator best known for his declaration to the Second Virginia Convention (1775): "Give me liberty, or give me death!"  ...more
  • 9
    January 23, 1737—Braintree
    850
    388

    NationalityUnited States of America

    John Hancock (January 23, 1737 [O.S. January 12, 1736] – October 8, 1793) was an American merchant, statesman, and prominent Patriot of the American Revolution. He served as president of the Second  ...more
  • 10
    Monroe Hall, Virginia
    518
    229

    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 Founding Father who served as the fifth president of the United States from 1817 to 1825. A member of  ...more
  • 11
    January 30, 1752—New York City
    391
    292

    NationalityUnited States of America

    Gouverneur Morris (30 January 1752 – 6 November 1816) was an American statesman, a Founding Father of the United States, and a signatory to the Articles of Confederation and the United States  ...more
  • 12
    January 20, 1732—Stratford Hall
    339
    248

    NationalityUnited States of America

    Richard Henry Lee (January 20, 1732 – June 19, 1794) was an American statesman and Founding Father from Virginia best known for the Lee Resolution, the motion in the Second Continental Congress  ...more
  • 13
    April 19, 1721—Newton
    361
    304

    NationalityUnited States of America

    Roger Sherman (April 19, 1721 – July 23, 1793) was an early American statesman and lawyer, as well as a Founding Father of the United States. He is the only person to have signed all four great state  ...more
  • 14
    January 4, 1746—Philadelphia
    373
    310

    NationalityUnited States of America

    Benjamin Rush (January 4, 1746 [O.S. December 24, 1745] – April 19, 1813) was a signer of the Declaration of Independence (U.S.) and a civic leader in Philadelphia, where he was a physician,  ...more
  • 15
    January 20, 1734—Liverpool
    270
    192

    NationalityUnited States of America

    Robert Morris, Jr. (January 20, 1734 – May 8, 1806) was an English-born merchant and a Founding Father of the United States. He served as a member of the Pennsylvania legislature, the Second  ...more
  • 16
    Virginia, United States of America
    262
    228

    NationalityUnited States of America

    John Penn (May 17, 1741 – September 14, 1788) was a signer of both the United States Declaration of Independence and the Articles of Confederation as a delegate of North Carolina.  ...more
  • 17
    Eastern United States, Boston
    189
    145

    NationalityUnited States of America

    Robert Treat Paine (March 11, 1731 – May 11, 1814) was a Massachusetts lawyer and politician, best known as a signer of the Declaration of Independence as a representative of Massachusetts. He served  ...more
  • 18
    Scarborough, Maine
    189
    154

    NationalityUnited States of America

    Party (if partisan)Federalist Party

    Rufus King (March 24, 1755 – April 29, 1827) was an American lawyer, politician, and diplomat. He was a delegate for Massachusetts to the Continental Congress and the Philadelphia Convention and was  ...more
  • 19
    Charleston, South Carolina
    152
    117

    NationalityUnited States of America

    Party (if partisan)Federalist Party

    Charles Cotesworth Pinckney (February 25, 1746 – August 16, 1825) was an early American statesman of South Carolina, Revolutionary War veteran, and delegate to the Constitutional Convention. He was  ...more
  • 20
    Maryland, United States of America
    217
    186

    NationalityUnited States of America

    Samuel Chase (April 17, 1741 – June 19, 1811) was an Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court and a signatory to the United States Declaration of Independence as a representative of  ...more
  • 21
    Ceres, United Kingdom
    139
    109

    NationalityUnited States of America, Scotland

    James Wilson (September 14, 1742 – August 21, 1798) was one of the Founding Fathers of the United States and a signatory of the United States Declaration of Independence and the United States  ...more
  • 22
    Charleston, South Carolina
    139
    116

    NationalityUnited States of America

    Charles Pinckney (October 26, 1757 – October 29, 1824) was an American planter and politician who was a signer of the United States Constitution. He was elected and served as the 37th Governor of  ...more
  • 23
    October 14, 1734—Stratford Hall
    228
    226

    NationalityUnited States of America

    Francis Lightfoot Lee (October 14, 1734 – January 11, 1797) was a member of the House of Burgesses in the Colony of Virginia. As an active protester regarding issues such as the Stamp Act, Lee helped  ...more
  • 24
    February 6, 1756—Newark
    576
    561

    NationalityUnited States of America

    Aaron Burr Jr. (February 6, 1756 – September 14, 1836) was an American politician and lawyer. He was the third vice president of the United States (1801–1805), serving during President Thomas  ...more
  • 25
    172
    158

    NationalityUnited States of America

    George Wythe (;December 3, 1726 – June 8, 1806) was the first American law professor, a noted classics scholar, and a Virginia judge. The first of the seven Virginia signatories of the United States  ...more