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 voracious sexual appetites, and tend to strange 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 death. 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!
Benjamin Franklin Had an Insatiable Sexual Appetite
Franklin, like any upstanding man in colonial times, 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 torrid 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."
Alexander Hamilton Had a Very Public Affair
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. Turns out, Maria was married and when her husband returned, he demanded money from Hamilton in exchange for keeping quiet. As smart as Hamilton was, he was at least dumb enough to continue the affair.
A pattern was established that went like this: Maria's husband would leave, Maria would invite Hamilton over to have sex, Maria's husband would return and demand money, Hamilton would pay. Repeat. The blackmail got so serious that eventually Hamilton had to announce the affair to the public (or else face career suicide), and sadly, this had the consequence of embarrassing not only Hamilton, but his wife as well.
Gouverneur Morris Died Sticking a Whale Bone in His Penis
Gouverneur Morris died a rather strange death after succumbing to complications related to sticking a whale bone into his urethra. A long time 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 Preferred Older Women
Benjamin Franklin knew how to woo women, and his tips and advice to other men regarding the opposite sex reveal just how accepting he was when it came to his conquests. In fact, he 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 talks about how older women are both more grateful to catch the eye of a younger man and are more experienced when it comes to getting down and dirty. He goes on to say, "regarding what is below the Girdle, it is impossible... to tell an old one from a young one."