The term “Founding Fathers” is commonly used to refer to the group of influential political movers and shakers from early American History. While a small group of names have been popularized over the years following the Founding Era, there were roughly 250 men who could be considered a “Founding Father”. These men lived during the periods of the Revolution, the War for Independence, and the early Republic and significantly contributed to the creation of what would arguably become the greatest Republic in human history.
Obviously included in this group were the 204 unique statesmen who did one or more of the following:
- signed the Declaration of Independence
- signed the Articles of Confederation
- attended the Constitutional Convention of 1787
- signed the Constitution of the United States of America
- served as Senators in the First Federal Congress (1789-1791)
- served as U.S. Representatives in the First Federal Congress
Other statesmen (at times overlapping with the above group) that should qualify were the members of the various Continental Congresses, including the 14 different men who served as President of Congress (Hancock and Randolph both served twice), various state governors, senators and representatives, ministers/diplomats to foreign countries, and the initial members of the United States Supreme Court.
Additionally, there were several men who deserve to be considered Founders due to the significance of their contributions to the creation of the “the American system”. This group consists of prominent military leaders, ministers, orators, authors and pamphleteers who may not have served in any type of position within the civil government.
Below is a list of several of the most famous Founding Fathers. Each of these individuals has a dedicated profile page on this site featuring a short biography and collection of relevant quotations. Simply click on any name that is hyper-linked (highlighted/underlined) to visit the page for that particular Founder. For a more complete list of the roughly 250 individuals who can be considered a Founding Father, many of whom also have dedicated profile pages, please head over to the following page.
John Adams, John Quincy Adams, Samuel Adams, Charles Carroll, Samuel Chase, Benjamin Franklin, Alexander Hamilton, Patrick Henry, John Jay, George Mason, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, Benjamin Rush, Joseph Story, Charles Thomson, George Washington,