The Founding Fathers of our Nation

The Founding Fathers of Our Nation

These days, when doing a background check on the Founding Fathers of America, some really interesting things come up.  These men were prominent members of their communities. They were considered wealthy or well-to-do. They were certainly in good standing and had a very real presence. Their stories will be forever told in history. Their brave acts set the precedence of how American politics today. They are the reason Americans are a people free from any oppression. 

The term “Founding Fathers” was first uttered in 1912 by Ohio Republican Senator, Warren G Harding, and used many more times in his presidential inaugural speech in 1921.  But they were so much more than just “Founding Fathers.” It started, with these brave men, taking a very real risk with their lives, to stand up and fight for the right to be a self-governing people. On July 2, 1776, the Continental Congress voted 12-0, (New York abstained until July 15), on Richard Henry Lee’s resolution that the United Colonies had a right to be free and independent States. July 4, 1776, the day we celebrate, was when a heavily edited draft of the Declaration of Independence, written by Thomas Jefferson, was adopted. July 8, 1776, it was publicly accepted in Philadelphia. August 2, 1776, a copy of the Declaration was presented to Congress and most of the 56 men signed it that day. To sign this Declaration was an act of treason against England and her King, George III. Their punishment could mean death. To absolve America from England was so dangerous, that the signers of the Declaration were kept secret for six months. During the war that followed, most of the signers lived. Two became Presidents; some became Vice Presidents, Senators and Governors. Nine died before feeling the independence they were fighting for. Five were taken prisoner by the British. Eighteen lost everything, including their families. Two were fathers of sons that were killed or taken by the British. “Our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred Honor,” those last words in the Declaration were more than just pretty words to them. They risked everything for freedom, and America owes them a great debt today.  

John Adams was born in 1735 in the Massachusetts Bay Colony. He was a Harvard educated lawyer, the first Vice President, and the second President of the United States. He was considered more a philosopher than a politician. In 1826, he died on his farm in Quincy.

Samuel Adams was born 1722 in Boston Massachusetts. His father was a Deacon and a brewer. He was a cousin to John Adams. After graduating from Harvard with an Art degree he went into private business until it went under, and joined politics full-time. He wrote the Declaration of Colonial Rights, and he and some other Boston representatives got England to rescind a set of laws raising taxes in the Colonies. All but one: The Tea Act, which led to the Boston Tea Party. He was a one of four representatives to the First Continental Congress, and served again to the Second Continental Congress. He was governor of Massachusetts from 1793-1797. He died in 1803 at his home in Boston. 

William Dawes was born in Boston Massachusetts in 1745. He was a tanner by trade and active in the Boston Militia. He was ordered to ride to Lexington in 1775 to warn John Hancock and John Adams of the British intention to have them arrested. He arrived the same time as Paul Revere. In 1774 he was instrumental in saving four Boston cannons from British hands. He died in Marlborough Massachusetts in 1799.

Benjamin Franklin was born in 1706 in Boston Massachusetts. He was an author, inventor, scientist, and politician. He invented the lightening rod, formed the first public library, fire department, and was the first postmaster general in the United States. He secured French alliance that helped make American Independence possible. He was the US Minister to Sweden, and France, and the sixth President of the Supreme Executive Council of Pennsylvania. He died in 1790 in Philadelphia. His funeral was attended by 20,000 people. 

John Hancock was born in 1737 in Quincy Massachusetts. He was a casual friend with John Adams. He was a merchant, statesmen, and one of the wealthiest men in the thirteen colonies. He was the President of the Second Continental Congress and the first man to sign the Declaration of Independence. The British accounted him a smuggler after it was said he “illegally” unloaded wine from his ship, the Liberty, so he could bypass paying taxes. His signature is so recognizable that it termed the phrase “John Hancock” to mean sign your name. He died in 1793 in his hometown of Quincy Massachusetts. 

Thomas Jefferson was born in 1743 in Shadwell Virginia, and was the third President of the United States. Major events during his presidency were the Lewis and Clark Expedition and the Louisiana Purchase. He was a Yeoman Farmer, and State Legislator, and the Governor of Virginia. He is most noted as the author of the Declaration of Independence. He died in 1826 in Charlottesville Virginia.

Thomas Paine was born in England in 1737 and was a stay-maker, inventor, and philosopher. He was educated when there was no organized educational system. He moved to the Colonies when he was 37. He anonymously wrote the pamphlet Common Sense which was an immediate success, and The Age of Reason which was a revolt against organized religion. He died in 1809 in New York City.  Was the first person the say,” United States of America.”

Dr Samuel Prescott was born 1751 in Charlestown Massachusetts. He was on his way home form courting his fiancé when he ran into Paul Revere and William Dawes on their journey to warn Concord that the British were trying to take over a store of munitions. He decided to join them as well, and after evading capture by jumping a fence, while Dawes and Revere were detained, made it to Concord and dispatched his warning. Later, he became a surgeon in the Continental Army and then became a privateer. He died in 1777 in Canada after being captured. 

Paul Revere was born in Boston Massachusetts in 1734. He was a silversmith and a part-time dentist. He was a prominent craftsman in his town. He helped organize the Intelligence Alarm System to keep an eye on the British army. He fought in the Seven Year War, produced political engravings, and was heavily involved in the Sons of Liberty. Paul Revere is most famous for his midnight run to Concord to warn the town that the British were coming. He was dispatched from Boston to Lexington to warn John Hancock and John Adams that they were endanger of being arrested by the British. He was arrested before making it to Concord. He died in 1818 in Boston Massachusetts.

George Washington born 1731 in the Colony of Virginia is considered THE Father of America. He was a commander in the Continental army, and in 1776 he lost New York, forced the British to leave Boston, and crossed the Delaware River in New Jersey, in freezing weather, surprising the British, resulting in victory at Saratoga and Yorktown. He was awarded the first Congressional Gold Medal. After the war he settled in his home at Mount Vernon, wanting nothing more than to continue being a planter. Instead he reluctantly became the First President of the United States. He was the only president in history to receive 100 percent of the votes. He served a second term as President before finally retiring to his farm with great relief. In 1799, after looking after his farm, and staying in wet clothes for too long, he caught pneumonia and died. He is considered the greatest President the United States has ever had.