As much as we respect the US Founding Fathers for leading the American Revolution and crafting the Constitution, we often forget that many of these men also found the time to carry on several affairs, satisfy their sexual appetites, and tend to unusual bodily ailments. It seems that men in American politics have been grappling with (and publicly apologizing for) their private lives for longer than we tend to remember. What sort of TMI, but still interesting, facts about the Founding Fathers' sex lives will you find below? You can be sure you didn't learn them in elementary school.
The most interesting Founding Fathers sex facts range from fairly run-of-the-mill affairs to what Gouverneur Morris allegedly did with a whale bone - a choice that led to his untimely demise. Are these sex tales from the men who founded America as shocking as the many Founding Fathers conspiracies? Do any of them change your mind about who the best Founding Father was? Read on and decide for yourself!
Alexander Hamilton had one of the most public affairs of any of the Founding Fathers. While his wife was away for the summer, Hamilton found himself unable to say no to the alluring Maria Reynolds and the two began an affair. Maria was married, and when her husband returned, he demanded money from Hamilton in exchange for keeping quiet. Still, Hamilton continued the affair.
A pattern was established that went like this: Maria's husband would leave, Maria would invite Hamilton over, Maria's husband would return and demand money, Hamilton would pay. Repeat. The situation got so serious that Hamilton eventually had to announce the affair to the public. Sadly, this had the consequence of embarrassing not only Hamilton, but his wife as well.
Franklin had a wife by the name of Deborah Read. The two were married for 44 years, but that wasn't enough for Franklin. For powerful men in the colonial era, having a mistress wasn't uncommon, but the sheer number of conquests Franklin amassed was staggering. He seemed to particularly like French women, having affairs with Anne-Louise Brillon de Jouy, Madame Foucault, Mademoiselle Le Veillard, Comptesse Houdetot, and others.
Even as he grew older, his sexual appetite would not be quelled as he continued affairs with countless women. Franklin openly admitted to his dalliances, writing in his autobiography that "the hard-to-be-governed passion of my youth had hurried me frequently into intrigues with low women that fell in my way."
Gouverneur Morris passed after succumbing to complications related to sticking a whale bone into his urethra. A longtime sufferer of gout and possibly prostate cancer, Morris was having a difficult time urinating and tried to use the whale bone as a catheter. It didn't work.
Benjamin Franklin often expressed his belief that older women were the best option when looking for a worthwhile sexual partner. In his paper Advice to a Young Man on the Choice of a Mistress, Franklin wrote about how older women were both more grateful to catch the eye of a younger man and more experienced when it came to getting down and dirty.
He went on to write, "regarding what is below the Girdle, it is impossible... to tell an old one from a young one."