Under God in the Pledge
Pros and Cons
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The term "Founding Fathers" is an inexact term that usually references the 56 signers of the 1776 Declaration of Independence and the 55 delegates to the 1787 US Constitutional Convention. The term has also been applied to Supreme Court justices who served from 1789 to 1795, commanding soldiers in the American Revolution, early government office holders, authors of key Revolutionary-era literature, and delegates to the early Continental Congresses and the 1789 Philadelphia Convention. Some 115 American Revolution-era figures are considered "Founding Fathers."

The US National Archives and Records Administration describes the "Founding Fathers" in a document titled "The Founding Fathers: A Brief Overview":

"In terms of religious affiliation, the men mirrored the overwhelmingly Protestant character of American religiouslife at the time and were members of various denominations. Only two...were Roman Catholics."

"35 were lawyers or had benefited from legal training...13 individuals were businessmen, merchants, or shippers...six were major land speculators...11 speculated in securities on a large scale...12 owned or managed slave-operated plantations or large farms...two were small farmers...9 received a substantial part of their income from public office...[and] three had retired from active economic endeavors."

"Some men held advanced and honorary degrees...[two] were scientists...[Two] were physicians...[one] a university president...[one] a minister, [three or more] had studied theology but had never been ordained."

"A Considerable number of the men were born into leading families...Others were self-made men who had risen from humble beginnings...Most of the delegates were natives of the 13 colonies. Only eight were born elsewhere...many of them had moved from one state to another...Most of the delegates married and raised children...[but] four were...lifelong bachelors."


List of Founding Fathers of the United States of America

Name (alphabetical)
State
Declaration of Independence Signatory (1776)
Constitutional Convention Delegate (1787)
Early Supreme Court Justice (1789-1795)
1
Massachusetts
X
2
Samuel Adams
Massachusetts
X
3
Ethan Allen*
Vermont
* Early American Revolutionary commander
4
Abraham Baldwin
Georgia
X
5
Josiah Bartlett
New Hampshire
X
6
Richard Bassett
Delaware
X
7
Gunning Bedford, Jr.
Delaware
X
8
John Blair
Virginia
X
X
9
Richard Bland*
Virginia
* Delegate to the Continental Congress (1774-1775)
10
Carter Braxton
Virginia
X
11
David Brearly (Brearley)
New Jersey
X
12
Jacob Broom
Delaware
X
13
Pierce Butler
South Carolina
X
14
Charles Carroll of Carrollton
Maryland
X
15
Daniel Carroll
Maryland
X
16
Samuel Chase
Maryland
X
17
Abraham Clark
New Jersey
X
18
George Clinton*
Virginia
* American Revolutionary soldier, Governor of New York (1801-1804), and US Vice President under Thomas Jefferson and James Madison (1805-1812)
19
George Clymer
Pennsylvania
X
X
20
William Cushing
Massachusetts
X
21
William R. Davie
North Carolina
X
22
Jonathan Dayton
New Jersey
X
23
John Dickinson
Delaware
X
24
William Ellery
Rhode Island
X
25
Oliver Ellsworth (Elsworth)
Connecticut
X
X
26
William Few
Georgia
X
27
Tomas Fitzsimons (FitzSimons; Fitzsimmons)
Pennsylvania
X
28
William Floyd
New York
X
29
Pennsylvania
X
X
30
Elbridge Gerry
Massachusetts
X
X
31
Nicholas Gilman
New Hampshire
X
32
Nathaniel Gorham
Massachusetts
X
33
Button Gwinnett
Georgia
X
34
Lyman Hall
Georgia
X
35
New York
X
36
John Hancock
Massachusetts
X
37
Benjamin Harrison
Virginia
X
38
John Hart
New Jersey
X
39
Virginia
* Commander in the American Revolution, and Governor of Virginia (1776-1779, 1784-1786)
40
Thomas Heyward, Jr.
South Carolina
X
41
Joseph Hewes
North Carolina
X
42
William Hooper
North Carolina
X
43
Stephen Hopkins
Rhode Island
X
44
Francis Hopkinson
New Jersey
X
45
William Houston
Georgia
X
46
William C. Houston
New Jersey
X
47
Samuel Huntington
Connecticut
X
48
Jared Ingersoll
Pennsylvania
X
49
James Iredell
North Carolina
X
50
New York
X
51
Virginia
X
52
Daniel of St. Thomas Jenifer
Maryland
X
53
William Samuel Johnson
Connecticut
X
54
Rufas King
Massachusetts
X
55
John Lansing, Jr.
New York
X
56
John Langdon
New Hampshire
X
57
Richard Henry Lee
Virginia
X
58
Henry Lee III*
Virginia
* Soldier in the American Revolution, and Governor of Virginia (1791-1794)
59
Francis Lewis
New York
X
60
Francis Lightfoot Lee
Virginia
X
61
Philip Livingston
New York
X
62
Robert R. Livingston*
New York
* Member of the Committee of Five that drafted the Declaration of Independence (recalled by his state before he could sign it), US Secretary for Foreign Affairs, and US Minister to France
63
William Livingston
New Jersey
X
64
Thomas Lynch, Jr.
South Carolina
X
65
Virginia
X
66
John Marshall*
Virginia
* Fourth US Supreme Court Justice (1801-1835)
67
Alexander Martin
North Carolina
X
68
Luther Martin
Maryland
X
69
Virginia
X
70
James McClurg
Virginia
X
71
James McHenry
Maryland
X
72
Thomas McKean
Delaware
X
73
John F. Mercer
Maryland
X
74
Arthur Middleton
South Carolina
X
75
Thomas Mifflin
Pennsylvania
X
76
James Monroe*
Virginia
* Fifth US President (1817-1825)
77
John Morton
Pennsylvania
X
78
Gouverneur Morris
Pennsylvania
X
79
Lewis Morris
New York
X
80
Robert Morris
Pennsylvania
X
X
81
Thomas Nelson, Jr.
Virginia
X
82
William Paca
Maryland
X
83
Robert Treat Paine
Massachusetts
X
84
Virginia
* American Revolutionary author
85
William Paterson (Patterson)
New Jersey
X
86
John Penn
North Carolina
X
87
William L. Pierce
Georgia
X
88
Charles Cotesworth Pinckney
South Carolina
X
89
Charles Pinckney
South Carolina
X
90
Edmund J. Randolph
Virginia
X
91
Peyton Randolph*
Virginia
* First President of the Continental Congress (1774-1775)
92
George Read
Delaware
X
X
93
Ceasar Rodney
Delaware
X
94
George Ross
Pennsylvania
X
95
Benjamin Rush
Pennsylvania
X
96
Edward Rutledge
South Carolina
X
97
John Rutledge
South Carolina
X
X
98
Roger Sherman
Connecticut
X
X
99
James Smith
Pennsylvania
X
100
Richard Stockton
New Jersey
X
101
Richard Dobbs Spaight
North Carolina
X
102
Thomas Stone
Maryland
X
103
Caleb Strong
Massachusetts
X
104
George Taylor
Pennsylvania
X
105
Matthew Thornton
New Hampshire
X
106
George Walton
Georgia
X
107
Virginia
X
108
William Williams
Connecticut
X
109
Hugh Williamson
North Carolina
X
110
James Wilson
Pennsylvania
X
X
X
111
William Whipple
New Hampshire
X
112
John Witherspoon
New Jersey
X
113
Oliver Wolcott
Connecticut
X
114
George Wythe
Virginia
X
X
115
Robert Yates
New York
X

 

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