Constitutional Law Center > Documents > Founding Fathers

FOUNDING FATHERS

The Printer
This tenth son of a soap and candlemaker rose to fame in the printing business. At the time, his Poor Richard's Almanac was the second most popular publication in the colonies. In subsequent years, as a diplomat, he helped secure the assistance of the French during the War of Independence, and later negotiated the Treaty of Paris which ended that war.

Read about Benjamin Franklin.


The Banker
Born in the British West Indies, this poor merchant's son arrived in the colonies to pursue his studies. During the Revolution, he left school to join the army, eventually ending up on General Washington's staff. In peace, he served in the Continental Congress, co-authored the Federalist Papers, and organized the nation's finances as the Secretary of Treasury.

Learn about Alexander Hamilton.


The Surveyer
This Commander in Chief of the Continental Army enjoyed a brief stint as a surveyer before embarking on a military career. After leading his forces to victory in the War of Independence, he briefly retired to his estate at Mount Vernon.

He re-emerged a few years later to preside over the Constitutional Convention. Following the ratification of the Constitution, the electoral college unanimously chose him as the first President. After serving two terms, he grew weary of politics and declined the popular call for another four years. In his Farewell Address, he urged his countrymen to forswear party spirit and sectional differences.

Read more about George Washington.

Other Presidents:
James Madison


Other Delegates
With the exception of Rhode Island, the original states collectively appointed 70 individuals to the Constitutional Convention. However, a number did not accept or could not attend, including Richard Henry Lee, Patrick Henry, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Samuel Adams, and John Hancock.

Only 39 of the 55 delegates who attended signed the Constitution. For a short biography of each of the Founding Fathers who were delegates to the Constitutional Convention, select a name or state below. The asterisk (*) identifies those delegates who did not sign the Constitution.

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