Talk:Founding Fathers of the United States/Archive 2

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Archive 1 Archive 2 Archive 3

Church Fathers

The concept of Founding Fathers seems related to the notion of Church Fathers, i.e. the bishops who presided at the early synods and councils of the Christian Church. It might be of some value if anybody could verify whether such a link exists. ADM (talk) 03:58, 11 September 2009 (UTC)

Reference #15 - Vandlism


The link for reference #15 has been vandalized. The correct link is:

- Tom —Preceding unsigned comment added by Japhy4529 (talkcontribs) 14:04, 3 December 2009 (UTC)

 Done SADADS (talk) 14:07, 3 December 2009 (UTC)

William Cotter?

He's listed as one of the signers of the Constitution...but there seems to be no information about him. Does he even exist? The intertubes are turning up no information about him, and I can find no record of a street named after him in Madison, Wisconsin, which has or had streets named after ALL of the other signers at some point. (talk) 13:27, 21 January 2010 (UTC)

You are right, there seems to be no credible information about him. The wikilink on him links to a disambiguation page which lists three individuals by that name, none of whom could even theoretically be a signer of the Constitution, given the time period in which they lived. This might be case of clever and sneaky vandalism. I will unlink his name and put a "citation needed" tag next to it. If that does not produce reliably sourced info about him in the near future, then the name should be removed altogether.--JayJasper (talk) 14:48, 21 January 2010 (UTC)

Cotter is also not listed as a delegate to the Constitutional Convention at the National Archives site (, and he should definitely be removed from the list. I can't do it myself, however, because the page is semi-protected. Someone please remove his name from the list. (talk) 00:14, 22 January 2010 (UTC)

 Done Thanks for the observation, and for calling it to attention.--JayJasper (talk) 04:41, 22 January 2010 (UTC)

For the Founding Fathers page, it first states there were 38 men that signed the bill and then on the bottom you have 40 names listed for signatures

The correct info is this, 74 men were called to attend the Constitutional Convention, but only 55 showed, (nobody from Rhode Island) and 39 men ended up signing the US Constitution which was first called the Articles of Confederation until the Bill of Rights were added along with a few other amendments that were ratified into our US Constitution —Preceding unsigned comment added by JJBDCB (talkcontribs) 08:23, 9 February 2010 (UTC)

Other Founders

George Nicholas - Edmund Pendleton - Greyston - Randolf -

See Virginia Ratifying Convention 6-16-1788

Contributor - RichardTaylorAPP APP 6-16-1788 full day Convention —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:34, 14 February 2010 (UTC)

death graph

wtf is that? A bar chart should have both x and y axis clearly labelled. That is shoddy and unfit for any encyclopedia, even a sub-standard one like this. My 2 year old can do better. Fix it. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:08, 14 February 2010 (UTC)

Collective biography of the Framers of the Constitution: Political experience

I noticed about a year ago that President of the Continental Congress, Pierce Gaithe, was taken off of the wiki about this subject. There are many other sources that list him as being a president of said congress. I have tried to revise it personally, but because the wiki for this subject is on lockdown I cannot. I find it wholly unacceptable that a proud and noble ancestor of mine is being erased from history just because not much is known about him. This is censorship at its worst, and needs to be remedied.


I CONCUR. I too, am the descendant of Founding Father, Signer and Framer, JAMES WILSON of PA, another FORGOTTON FOUNDING FATHER. I am curious as to who is responsible for rewriting the history of the United States. Here are some FACTS about James Wilson: He had more education in the fields of Law and Politics than that of any other member of the Continental Congress or of the delegates to the Constitutional Convention; His 1774 pamphlet "Considerations on the Nature and Extent of the Legislative Authority of the British Parliament" was the major influence for Thomas Jefferson's Declaration of Independance TWO YEARS LATER IN 1776; Only one other delegate to the Constitutional Convention spoke more often than James Wilson; Appointed by G. Washington to serve on the Detail Commmittee which was tasked to produce the FIRST DRAFT of the Constitution and it was written in Wilson's handwriting (two drafts are located in Washington, D.C. and a third was recently found at the Historical Society of Pennsylvania); "WE THE PEOPLE" can be attributed to James Wilson; First Justice of the Supreme Court appointed by G. Washington and more qualified than John Jay for the Chief Justice position; Director of the First Bank of the United States; Served as Ambassador to France between the First and Second Continental Congress. No doubt James Wilson played a major role in the founding of the United States. However, as a sitting Justice of the Supreme Court he also became the first Law Professor at the Uni. of PA where he gave lectures on the law. These lectures were attended by many delegates including Geo. Washington. In 1798, Wilson found himself deep in debt as a result of land speculation. Several Founders had speculated in land in western PA and upstate NY. He died while in North Carolina having fled from creditors in the north, which could explain his being left out of the history books.

THIS TOO IS A WRONG NEEDING TO BE CORRECTED. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:28, 25 June 2010 (UTC)

Economic Classification Broom and Few are listed as being "small farmers" which brings to mind the image of a share cropper workings 5 to 20 acres on a small family farm. If you look at even the Wiki biographies of these individuals you will see that their farms were small only in relation to the large plantations of other Founding Fathers. If you track Broom for instance you will see that his family's farm was over 500 acres. This is a wealthy colonial by any definition of terms, especially compared to the indentured servants who created his wealth. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:33, 2 September 2010 (UTC)

Paul Revere

Paul Revere should be under the list of "other founders" —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:27, 3 March 2010 (UTC)

slave owners?

Which of the founding fathers were not slave owners? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:44, 3 June 2010 (UTC)

John Adams for one, I can't list the rest off the top of my head, but I pretty certain there were others. --THE FOUNDERS INTENT PRAISE GOOD WORKS 18:00, 26 August 2010 (UTC)
Don't think Sam Adams did either. Maybe the WP:HELPDESK would be a better place to ask. ~DC Let's Vent 18:12, 26 August 2010 (UTC)

hell —Preceding unsigned comment added by Lil-keg (talkcontribs) 13:32, 30 September 2010 (UTC)

Minor order issue

In the list of Declaration of Independence signers, John Penn is listed above Robert Treat Paine. (talk) 16:40, 22 October 2010 (UTC)

This Page in Spanish

I just created a basic version of this article on the Spanish version of Wikipedia, and I would like to connect this page to the Spanish version, but I can't because it's protected. Also, if anyone would be interested in helping make that page viable, I would highly appreciate your help. es:Padres_Fundadores_de_Los_Estados_Unidos —Preceding unsigned comment added by Howard Galt (talkcontribs) 21:49, 25 October 2010 (UTC)


This article, though accurate in points of fact, is entirely incomplete. It is wholly incorrect to label the majority of the founding father's to be 'deists', at least in a modern day understanding of the term. Each and every one of our founding father's was an enthusiastic proponent of the Bible, and almost exclusively Christian. It is historically irresponsible to leave this out. Even the least 'religious' of the founding fathers, Benjamin Franklin, made a clear and bold proposition to the council that each and every meeting begin first with prayer to the Lord God who had given them charge over a developing nation, when the practice had begun to languish. Even he acknowledged that God was the fundamental element! He was quoted as saying, "If not even a sparrow falls without His notice, is it possible to believe that a nation could rise without His aid?"

The consequences of incomplete historical documentation have ravaged our country's morality, and the integrity of this country which was given to a Godly people by their Creator for the purposes of furthering the kingdom of Jesus Christ is mocked by it. It is not that this were a nation of rebels, caused into being by evolutionary law which blindly guided us to the status of an indestructable superpower. It is that this nation was deliberately sought out, by much prayer and meditation of the scriptures, by godly men who desired a 'city on a hill' to be a beacon of light to the world. Not only have we become a nation of barbarians, protecting the criminal and exploiting the innocent, killing our unborn and spending ourselves sick, dancing to mindless music constructed of pulses and grunts, and completely overtaken by sex and idolatry- but that we are this way, and fail to recognize the devestation in it! It all begins with the ability to remember... we must remember where we have come from, and why... it was not for this reason.

John Adams said that this constitution was written for a people who were inwardly governed by Jesus Christ, as the freedoms it allowed would be completely distorted otherwise... that democracy cannot WORK with a people who look to eachother for morality. Please, I implore you, with all concern for the country and our children's futures, for the sake of any individual who looks on this page fore information for a menial book report of integral information, include this necessary historical fact. It is not hard to verify; one need only read ANY of the original letters, documents, or even Webster's dictionary (1850 or before) to know it. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:04, 24 November 2010 (UTC)

This is a difficult issue since it is those to whom believing that the founders were not Christian it is important. Those who believe the founders were Christian have no need to prove otherwise given this belief has remain constant since the beginning. Given the significance of Christianity in early American history it would be difficult to believe that a coindidence occurred in which only deist and atheists formed the group in Philidephia that represented the citizens of the 13 colonies. I was never taught either way, yet only in contemporary times has it become an issue as more and more individuals (likely atheist) feel the need to prove the founders were not Christians. Typical is to trot out quotes from Jefferson, yet he wrote his own Bible that included quotes from Jesus Christ, so why do they attempt to remove Christ from Christianity? Anyway, this isn't a forum, so you need to present sources to support your point. --THE FOUNDERS INTENT PRAISE 14:25, 24 November 2010 (UTC)
the religion of the Founding Fathers is a far cry from 21st century evangelicals--many (like Franklin, Jefferson, Washington, Monroe, Adams) did not see Christ as divine, for example. Rjensen (talk) 15:47, 24 November 2010 (UTC)
In all this discussion of whether the founding fathers were Christian or Deist, perhaps it might be helpful to note that the 1783 Treaty of Paris, which formally ended the Revolutionary War, begins with this dedication: "In the name of the most holy and undivided Trinity." This is an entirely Christian statement, not in any way Deist. And (Rjensen) the Doctrine of the Trinity assumes that Christ is divine. If the American framers of the treaty (Benjamin Franklin, John Jay, John Adams) didn't believe it or accept it, why would they have made this dedication? Also, it might be noted that the marks of Deism that are used in some of the sources (specifically Note 15) of this article are not accurate. One of those supposed marks of Deism is avoidance of Communion. Yet avoidance of Communion was a very common practice in many 18th century English & American churches. It was one of the things John Wesley criticized within the Anglican Church, and Wesley's insistence on weekly communion earned he and his followers the slanderous name "Methodists." Anyone who actually knows religious history (as opposed to religious historical assumptions) knows that avoidance of Communion during this time period was typical of almost all English & American Christians, and does not qualify as a mark of Deism. The site "Deist Roots of America" actually states, "Belief in God + God Given Reason = Deism." This statement is entirely inaccurate. Anglicans & Episcopalians hold that Scripture, Tradition, and Reason should be used in all theological reflection; and Methodists hold that Scripture, Tradition, Experience, and Reason should be used in all theological reflection. I am a Methodist, and I am not a Deist, yet I believe in God and in God given reason. The definition of Deism by these sources is simply incorrect. Silmalel File:User Silmalel SigPic3.PNG 18:01, 17 January 2011 (UTC)

Can someone do a little independent research on this? Lambert(2003) hardly qualifies as a citation if we don't know what study it was referring to (it's certainly lacking in the reference section). According to the data provided by, which identified 204 individuals "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" Their religious affiliation were found as follows: Episcopalian/Anglican 88 54.7% Presbyterian 30 18.6% Congregationalist 27 16.8% Quaker 7 4.3% Dutch Reformed/German Reformed 6 3.7% Lutheran 5 3.1% Catholic 3 1.9% Huguenot 3 1.9% Unitarian 3 1.9% Methodist 2 1.2% Calvinist 1 0.6% TOTAL 204 This number far exceeds "49" given in the religion section. Which one is more accurate?

Also, to Rjensen's comment, we are trying to address "how many founding fathers identify themselves as Christians", not "how many founding fathers identify themselves as Evangelical Christians".mean (talk) 23:03, 12 February 2011 (UTC)

Incomplete #2

Hi, sorry I couldn't figure out how to respond to to thread...

Bascially, I found this quote very quickly in a surface search of the subject:

John Adams and John Hancock: We Recognize No Sovereign but God, and no King but Jesus! [April 18, 1775]

and to me it says a great deal about these men, and their veiws on Christ- if He were not divine (in their eyes) than He could not be King, because He would not be alive to reign. I think the inferences are quite clear when you look at the statements made about Jesus by the founding fathers, and frankly if they were Christian (which I will shortly provide quotes to verify) than it is fundamental that they believe Jesus was Lord, as this is the pillar on which CHRIST-ianity is held.

John Adams: “ The general principles upon which the Fathers achieved independence were the general principals of Christianity… I will avow that I believed and now believe that those general principles of Christianity are as eternal and immutable as the existence and attributes of God.” • “[July 4th] ought to be commemorated as the day of deliverance by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty.” –John Adams in a letter written to Abigail on the day the Declaration was approved by Congress

Samuel Adams: “ He who made all men hath made the truths necessary to human happiness obvious to all… Our forefathers opened the Bible to all.” [ "American Independence," August 1, 1776. Speech delivered at the State House in Philadelphia]

“ Let divines and philosophers, statesmen and patriots, unite their endeavors to renovate the age by impressing the minds of men with the importance of educating their little boys and girls, inculcating in the minds of youth the fear and love of the Deity… and leading them in the study and practice of the exalted virtues of the Christian system.” [October 4, 1790]

In Benjamin Franklin's 1749 plan of education for public schools in Pennsylvania, he insisted that schools teach "the excellency of the Christian religion above all others, ancient or modern."

In 1787 when Franklin helped found Benjamin Franklin University, it was dedicated as "a nursery of religion and learning, built on Christ, the Cornerstone."

And so on, and so forth. (talk) 03:26, 29 November 2010 (UTC)November 28th, 2010

The Adams-Hancock quote and 1787 Franklin quotes are fake. All the quotes reflect Deism. Anybody professing them today would be expelled from an evangelical church Rjensen (talk) 03:45, 29 November 2010 (UTC)

Stating something is 'fake' is a weak argument, especially given the hundreds of other forms of original documents that reflect like statements concerning the faith of these men. Nearly every memorial sone and mural in Washington DC reflect the Christian faith of the founders. But for arguments sake, supposing those few quotes were not verifiable (which they indeed are) and taking just this quote---Samuel Adams: “ He who made all men hath made the truths necessary to human happiness obvious to all… Our forefathers opened the Bible to all.” [ "American Independence," August 1, 1776. Speech delivered at the State House in Philadelphia] Which has never been disputed, I find it difficult to belive-- as a congregant in an Evangelical church-- that this sort of statement wqould get me 'expelled' for deistic worldview. Brooketo2881 (talk) 14:44, 29 November 2010 (UTC)Brooketo2881Brooketo2881 (talk) 14:44, 29 November 2010 (UTC) Nov 29th, 9:44am

the internet is full of fake quotes--they suddenly appear and are not linked to any RS. Perhaps Brooketo2881 belongs to a very tolerant church, but I suspect that most evangelical churches would expel any known Deist--like Ben Franklin, John Adams or Jefferson--who did not believe Christ was divine. Rjensen (talk) 14:56, 29 November 2010 (UTC)

John Adams was most certainly not a diest, as he has left a plethra of letters to and from his wife Abigail that indicate without any shadow of a doubt that he was a Christian with strong relationship to his faith in Jesus Christ. As for Ben Franklin and Thomas Jefferson I cannot comment as I have not looked deeply enough into their personal backgrounds to say; however, certainly Rev. Witherspoon (the only clergyman to sign the Declaration of Independance) was a devoted Presbyterian, and Sam Adams (known as the most vocal advocate for revolution) was undisputedly Christian as well. But even further back, all one need know that the country was found by Christians for Jesus is to read the Mayflower Compact, 1621, which states:

         "In the name of God, Amen. We, whose names are underwritten, the Loyal Subjects of our dread Sovereign Lord, King James, by the Grace of God, of England, France and Ireland, King, Defender of the Faith, e&. Having undertaken for the Glory of God, and Advancement of the Christian Faith, and the Honour of our King and Country, a voyage to plant the first colony in the northern parts of Virginia; do by these presents, solemnly and mutually in the Presence of God and one of another, covenant and combine ourselves together into a civil Body Politick, for our better Ordering and Preservation, and Furtherance of the Ends aforesaid; And by Virtue hereof to enact, constitute, and frame, such just and equal Laws, Ordinances, Acts, Constitutions and Offices, from time to time, as shall be thought most meet and convenient for the General good of the Colony; unto which we promise all due submission and obedience. In Witness whereof we have hereunto subscribed our names at Cape Cod the eleventh of November, in the Reign of our Sovereign Lord, King James of England, France and Ireland, the eighteenth, and of Scotland the fifty-fourth. Anno Domini, 1620." 

So clearly, the pilgrims (the term of which, by the way, was coined from a passage in Hebrews 11:13 stating--"These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth") were followers of Jesus Christ, even to founding a country specifically for His kingdom. The Mayflower Contract, by all rights and for all intended purposes, was our first Constitutional agreement. History must recall itself with all integrity of fact in order to be of any benefit to us. (talk) 03:39, 20 December 2010 (UTC)

Link change

Hi all,

I think it might be better to link 'the' (as written in the article, not 'a') "Declaration of Independence" to link to "/United_States_Declaration_of_Independence" as opposed to /Declaration_of_Independence

Thanks, Ian Clark —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:08, 23 January 2011 (UTC)

French founding fathers

Seems that there is little support for these additions. Could the user adding the information come up with a persuasive argument and a source for these inclusions?--Jojhutton (talk) 23:55, 12 March 2011 (UTC)

--> Please define "little support". Even a cursory review of the articles for the names recently added to the "Other Founders" list will reveal that the additions are exactly comparable and equivalent in historical importance - if not more so - to Marie-Joseph Paul Yves Roch Gilbert du Motier, whose name already appeared in this list prior to the addition of the accurate content that has been deleted impulsively and without review of the relevant historical facts. Deletion of historically relevant names on this list should be accompanied by a persuasive argument as to why they should be deleted.

First, read what consensus is. Also read WP:V, which is a core content policy. If three different people revert the names, its a pretty fair bet that it shouldn't be in the article. Also, wikipedia cannot be used as a source for other article per WP:CIRCULAR.--Jojhutton (talk) 02:19, 13 March 2011 (UTC)

Sammy Houston has not provided any WP:RS to support his claim that the French officials he has listed should be included in a list of founders of the United States. His reference to Lafayette already being on the list does not support his claim. Lafayette was in the service of the rebelling colonies and not at that time serving under French government authority. Sammy Houston is in clear violation of WP:3RR. Dwalrus (talk) 03:39, 13 March 2011 (UTC)

Criteria for 'Other founding fathers'?

There seems to be no consensus on criteria for a person's inclusion in this section. The result is an overly long list of names. I suggest that a minimum qualification for a 'Founding Father' is that his main accomplishments in service to the U.S. occurred during the founding period (from about 1765 to 1789). WCCasey (talk) 05:23, 28 April 2011 (UTC)

No, what you're calling for is original research, which we don't do. On Wikipedia, the only meaningful qualification for inclusion on the list is that a reliable source calls the guy a Founding Father. Anyone should feel free to remove any name from the list for which you cannot find support in a reliable source. Some, like Patrick Henry, should be easy to support. A few other names are dubious and will probably be removed. —Kevin Myers 01:16, 2 May 2011 (UTC)
I don't see why any OR is necessary; these names are all linked to bio articles. I'm willing, however, to support Kevin's proposed criterion. To try it out, I read the article on Ethan Allen, first name on the list. He is described as "one of the founders of the U.S. state of Vermont", but I didn't find the words 'Founding Father' anywhere. Should Allen be removed from the list? As for Patrick Henry, my opinion is that he qualifies as a Founder, but the statement to that effect in his bio is not sourced. Tag it? WCCasey (talk) 23:49, 30 June 2011 (UTC)

(Undent) I'm a bit skeptical about the sub-list of "other" founders. It includes a lot of people who were relatively unimportant, and omits people who seem equally important (e.g.omitting Paine Wingate). The sub-list includes:

  • Richard Allen
  • Egbert Benson
  • Richard Bland
  • Elias Boudinot
  • Cyrus Griffin
  • Michael Hillegas
  • William Jackson
  • Thomas Sim Lee
  • Philip Mazzei
  • Edmund Pendleton
  • William Rickman
  • Robert Smith

These were founders? I plan to delete these people, and slap "citation needed" tags on the rest.Anythingyouwant (talk) 17:50, 24 August 2011 (UTC)

Might as well just do a JSTOR/Google Scholar search for each name in the list and cite as many as we can. After that initial pass, then we can reevaluate who belongs. NW (Talk) 02:18, 28 August 2011 (UTC)
I'm going to go ahead and get started with deletions. Robert Smith (cabinet) was the second United States Secretary of the Navy from 1801 to 1809 and the sixth United States Secretary of State from 1809 to 1811. I can't find any reference referring to him as a founding father or the like.Anythingyouwant (talk) 06:12, 8 September 2011 (UTC)
I'm also going to remove Michael Hillegas, who was the first Treasurer of the United States, up until 1789. I can't find Hillegas mentioned anywhere as a "framer" or "founder" or the like. The closest I get is that he is mentioned by Robert Wright and David Cowen in their book Financial founding fathers: the men who made America rich (University of Chicago Press, 2006). But Hillegas is not among the nine people identified in that book as financial founding fathers.Anythingyouwant (talk) 07:11, 8 September 2011 (UTC)
I think William Rickman is also an outlier here. He was a doctor who helped care for soldiers of the Revolutionary War, but I can't find any sources that say he rose to the level of a "founder" or the like.Anythingyouwant (talk) 08:19, 8 September 2011 (UTC)
I've installed a "seealso" for President of the Continental Congress. I'm going to remove the following because I can't find support for them being founders: Cyrus Griffin, Thomas Sim Lee, Thomas Pinckney, Peyton Randolph, and Arthur St. Clair.Anythingyouwant (talk) 10:50, 8 September 2011 (UTC)

Erroneous Statement in Article

The second paragraph, first sentence, "Most historians ....", is false. The source cited actually reads the opposite: "Most scholars identify as founding fathers the politicians, soldiers, jurists, and legislators who held leadership positions during the American Revolution, the Confederation period, and the early Republic. This category has two subsets .... First are the Signers .... Second are the Framers". [Bernstein, The Founding Fathers Reconsidered, first chapter, electronic edition, location 106.] Two paragraphs later, Bernstein writes, "Some have expanded the phrase to embrace ... Americans of the middling and common sorts who served in the [military] during the American Revolution, who voted for delegates to state conventions that were to ratify the Constitution, and who helped bring the new government into existence." [id., location 110.] However, Bernstein explicitly uses the more common definition of the founders, i.e. the Signers and the Framers, not "the middling and common sorts." Stephenrumson (talk) 21:56, 30 June 2011 (UTC)

With your ellipses in the quotations, it does not conflict. "politicians, soldiers, jurists, and legislators who held leadership positions during the American Revolution, the Confederation period, and the early Republic" would appear to be a larger group then the latter mentioned "two subsets" but much smaller than a definition including "Americans of the middling and common sorts" which he rejects. If it clearly said that it consists of "only two subsets", it would conflict and without the full text it is hard to say for certain. Rmhermen (talk) 23:32, 30 June 2011 (UTC)
I also see no conflict. There really is no hard and fast definition for "founding father"; it's been a vague term from the getgo, and it depends upon who you talk to and who you read as to the extent or limitation of the phrase's meaning. That's what I glean from the Bernstein source. Aside from that, I also liked the part about Abbs Adams and the "founding mothers of the USA". Anyway, due to the phrase's inherent vagueness, I really don't see a way to limit the extent of its meaning. The above conversation in the previous section calls for "criteria", and one editor said that "the only meaningful qualification for inclusion on the list is that a reliable source calls the guy a Founding Father." Good luck with that. In light of the realization that the term "founding father" has always had veiled meaning at best, the requirement for the described reliable source would probably wipe out most of the article. – Paine Ellsworth ( CLIMAX )  07:32, 1 July 2011 (UTC)

The conflict is that article states that "Most historians" include "ordinary citizens" in their definition of Founding Fathers. However, the sources cited by Bernstein do not include ordinary citizens. Bernstein later states that "Some" historians include ordinary citizens. The difference between "most" and "some" is huge. The consensus of academic historians, in fact, is that the Founders and Framers comprise a few hundred men, at most. Now, within that consensus, numerically small differences exist, but nothing approaching anything that warrants including ordinary men in the definition. Further, the three historians Bernstein cites for his "Some" historians statement are considered narrative and/or post-modern historians that research "ordinary" people during this era; their use of "founders" is largely rhetorical. About my text, my ellipses are only meant to make it easy to read. The first ellipses can be read in full in the article. Removing my second and third ellipses, the text reads: "This category has two subsets, each keyed to one of two founding images. First are the Signers, the delegates to the Second Continental Congress who in July 1776 in Philadelphia's State House (now called Independence Hall) declared American independence and revised and adopted Thomas Jefferson's draft of the Declaration of Independence. Second are the Framers, the delegates to the Federal Convention who met in the same building from May through September of 1787 and framed the Constitution of the United States." And third: "Some have expanded the phrase to embrace not only the usual cadre of elite white males but also Americans of the middling and common sorts who served in the militia or the Continental Army or Navy during the American Revolution, who voted for delegates to the state conventions that were to ratify the Constitution, and who helped bring the new government into existence." Stephenrumson (talk) 21:47, 4 July 2011 (UTC)

From the article: "to mean a larger group, including not only the Signers and the Framers but also all those who, whether as politicians, jurists, statesmen, soldiers, diplomats, or ordinary citizens, took part in winning American independence and creating the United States of America." You seem to be concentrating on the "ordinary citizens" part of the sentence while ignoring the "took part in winning...and creating" part. Someone like Haym Solomon who was not a soldier or judge or politician or statesman but a financier comes to mind. Rmhermen (talk) 14:49, 6 July 2011 (UTC)
The fact that some historians apparently encompass ordinary citizens in the term "Founders" comes as a surprise to me. I'm not disputing it, but I've always seen the term used to refer to leaders, only, such as signers of the Declaration and participants in the Constitutional Convention. So I've changed the word "most" to "some," since Stephenrumson tells us that the cited reference uses the word "some." NCdave (talk) 21:17, 9 July 2011 (UTC)


The article says, "Some of the more prominent Founding Fathers were anti-clerical or vocal about their opposition to organized religion, such as Thomas Jefferson... and Benjamin Franklin. However, other notable founders, such as Patrick Henry, were strong proponents of traditional religion. Several of the Founding Fathers considered themselves to be deists or held beliefs very similar to those of deists."

That is very misleading, in that it greatly understates the dominance of the Christian religion among the Founders and Framers:

1. Neither Jefferson nor Franklin were "vocal about their opposition to organized religion." Both were anti-clerical, and Jefferson (though he called himself a "true Christian") was noticeably heretical, but neither expressed opposition to organized religion. None of the 55 delegates to the Constitutional Convention did so, either.

2. The phrase "anti-clerical or vocal about their opposition to organized religion" strangely lumps together many Protestants, such as Methodists and Congregationalists (who were and are anti-clerical), with non-Christians. It sounds as though the writer doesn't know the difference.

3. The 2nd sentence makes it sound as though "proponents of traditional religion" were a mere faction, with representation at best comparable to those who were in "opposition to organized religion." In fact, the vast majority of the Founders & Framers were practicing Christians.

4. The 2nd sentence also suggests that the whole spectrum of "organized religion" was was represented. That is not the case. The only organized religion professed by any of the signers of any of the founding documents was Christianity. A few Jews also had some level of prominence: Isaac Franks, Haym Salomon & Francis Salvador. No other "organized religion" had any representation at all.

5. The claim that "several of the Founding Fathers considered themselves to be deists or held beliefs very similar to those of deists" is false unless you use a rather broad definition of the term "Founding Fathers." It was true of none of the delegates to the Constitutional Convention. The most prominent men who fit that description were Thomas Paine and Ethan Allen, neither of whom signed any of the key founding documents. Franklin, who came to his faith late in life, is sometimes included in such lists, but he was a vocal Christian by the time of the Constitutional Convention. Jefferson is also often accused of being a Deist, but he was a regular churchgoer, and he called himself a Christian. NCdave (talk) 00:49, 10 July 2011 (UTC)

Archive 1 has a discussion of this subject. Rmhermen (talk) 00:52, 10 July 2011 (UTC)

Signers of the declaration of Indepence

I counted your list and you have 57 names, but all the other sources say there are 56 names. So who is extra? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:44, 24 December 2011 (UTC)

I believe that is Charles Thomson, secretary. Rmhermen (talk) 06:04, 24 December 2011 (UTC)

Andrew Jackson?


He was a teen during the war. --Earthbatslast (talk) 00:59, 27 November 2012 (UTC)

yes seriously. It was a young man's war. Jackson was in Congress when Washington was president. Rjensen (talk) 01:11, 27 November 2012 (UTC)

Multicultural view

I added a multicultural view from an article by Thurgood Marshall in Ebony Magazine (September, 1987). African Americans, women, and Indians were excluded from suffrage. Cmguy777 (talk) 17:41, 13 March 2013 (UTC)

I was going by the source article in Ebony Magazine and yet my edit was deleted. Am I to view that Wikipedia is excluding Thurgood Marshall a Supreme Court Justice from an article on the Founding Fathers? Cmguy777 (talk) 17:47, 13 March 2013 (UTC)

Blacks gained suffrage in 1870. Women gained suffrage in 1920. Indians gained suffrage in 1924. Asians gained suffrage in the 1940's and 1950's. Cmguy777 (talk) 17:53, 13 March 2013 (UTC)

For the record here was my edit:
  • "Many founding fathers were slave owners and the Constitution adopted in 1787 protected slavery while excluding African American, female, and Indian suffrage.[2]
  1. ^
  2. ^ Marshall (September, 1987), The Real Meaning of the Constitutional Bicentennial, Ebony Magazine, p. 64
What states allowed suffrage for blacks, women, or Indians in 1789? Cmguy777 (talk) 23:01, 13 March 2013 (UTC)

Here is information on African American voting.

  • "At the time of the ratification of the Articles of Confederation, all free native-born inhabitants of the States of New Hampshire, Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, and North Carolina, though descended from African slaves, were not only citizens of those States, but such of them as had the other necessary qualifications possessed the franchise of electors, on equal terms with other citizens."[1] Cmguy777 (talk) 23:11, 13 March 2013 (UTC)
  1. ^ Curtis, Benjamin Robbins (Justice). "Dred Scott v. Sandford, Curtis dissent". Legal Information Institute at Cornell Law School. Archived from the original on 8 July 2012. Retrieved 16 April 2008. 

Here is a good faith compromise edit:

  • "Although free African Americans with property could vote in several states, slaves, women, and Indians were federally excluded from suffrage at the time of the adoption of the U.S. Constitution in 1787." [1][2] Cmguy777 (talk) 23:24, 13 March 2013 (UTC)
  1. ^ Curtis, Benjamin Robbins (Justice). "Dred Scott v. Sandford, Curtis dissent". Legal Information Institute at Cornell Law School. Archived from the original on 8 July 2012. Retrieved 16 April 2008. 
  2. ^ Marshall (September, 1987), The Real Meaning of the Constitutional Bicentennial, Ebony Magazine, p. 64
Alternative version:
  • "Although the Constitition adopted in 1787 federally excluded slaves, Indians, and women suffrage, freed blacks owning property in several states could vote." Cmguy777 (talk) 04:52, 14 March 2013 (UTC)
we don't use popular magazine articles when solid scholarship is so plentiful. The 1787 Constitution did not mention women, for example, and certainly did not exclude them from voting. The suffrage issue simply was not a major or minor topic for the Founding Fathers and has no place in this article. Nor does the 18-year-old vote, for that matter. Rjensen (talk) 08:38, 14 March 2013 (UTC)
Agree that redefining suffrage was not of the least importance to the Founding Fathers. Binksternet (talk) 16:16, 14 March 2013 (UTC)

I thought "No taxation without representation" was the montra of the American Revolution. The Founding Fathers were not repesented in Parliament. Isn't Democracy founded on voting rights? If suffrage was not an issue for the Founding Fathers then what were they really fighting for? Cmguy777 (talk) 15:07, 14 March 2013 (UTC)

Democracy was not the issue either. it was republicanism versus rule by inherited elite (kings & dukes) who used corruption as their tool. Rjensen (talk) 15:15, 14 March 2013 (UTC).

The Constitution stated that Representatives would be elected by population with human property, or slaves, counting as 3/5 person. Weren't the Representatives voted into office directly by persons who owned property? Cmguy777 (talk) 15:22, 14 March 2013 (UTC)

Founding Fathers and slavery

I added that many Founding Fathers owned African American Slaves and that the Constitution sanctioned slavery. Cmguy777 (talk) 15:02, 14 March 2013 (UTC)

Slavery section proposal

I believe a slavery segment would be good for the article. Not to discuss slavery in general, but rather, to show where the division was between the Founding Fathers and slavery that resulted in the 3/5 compromise at the 1787 Constitutional Convention. Any objections? Cmguy777 (talk) 15:54, 14 March 2013 (UTC)

The other issue would be containment of slavery. Freehling points out that the Founding Fathers contained slavery, somewhat with the North West Ordinance and the Abolition of the slave trade. Many states were abolishing slavery and Virginia allowed slave masters to set their slaves free. Cmguy777 (talk) 16:27, 14 March 2013 (UTC)

Potential edit:

  • "Many Founding Fathers, including George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and James Madison used slave labor on their respected planatations, farms, or estates. The Constitution agreed to in 1787, sanctioned the system of slavery by counting slaves, or "human property", as 3/5 person in apportioning representation and a fugitive slave clause to capture and return runaway slaves. The Founding Fathers, however, did make signifigant efforts to contain slavery. Many Northern states had adopted legislation to end slavery after the American Revolution. Thomas Jefferson in 1784 proposed to ban slavery in all the Western Territories, having failed to pass Congress by one vote. Following Jefferson's plan Congress did ban slavery in the North West Ordinance of 1787. The African slave trade was banned in several states and finally in 1807, President Jefferson signed into law federally banning the international slave trade. Cmguy777 (talk) 18:40, 14 March 2013 (UTC)
ok. note that all the states abolished the INTERNATIONAL slave trade by 1800 but SCarolina reopened it. Rjensen (talk) 18:54, 14 March 2013 (UTC)

Thanks Rjensen. I plan on using the Freehling source, since he tends to be the most neutral with the Founders. Yes. I can mention all states abolished the International slave trade. I need to find out when the Northern states banned slavery or legislated gradual emancipation. Cmguy777 (talk) 19:13, 14 March 2013 (UTC)

Final draft:

  • Many Founding Fathers, including George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and James Madison used slave labor on their respected plantations, farms, or estates. [1] The Constitution agreed to in 1787, sanctioned the system of slavery by counting slaves, or "human property", as 3/5 person in apportioning representation and a fugitive slave clause to capture and return runaway slaves.Cite error: A <ref> tag is missing the closing </ref> (see the help page).

The Founding Fathers, however, did make important efforts to contain slavery. Many Northern states had adopted legislation to end or significantly reduce slavery after the American Revolution.[2] Thomas Jefferson in 1784 proposed to ban slavery in all the Western Territories, having failed to pass Congress by one vote.[2] Following Jefferson's plan Congress did ban slavery in the North West Ordinance of 1787.[2] The international slave trade was banned in all states except South Carolina by 1800. Finally in 1807, President Jefferson signed into law a federally enforced ban on the international slave trade throughout all the United States and territories.[3] President Jefferson, in 1804, however, allowed the domestic expansion or diffusion of slavery into the Louisiana Territory.[4] Cmguy777 (talk) 20:36, 14 March 2013 (UTC)

  1. ^ Wright, William D. (2002). Critical Reflections on Black History. West Port, Connecticut: Praeger Publishers. p. 125. 
  2. ^ a b c Freehling, William W. (February, 1972). "The Founding Fathers and Slavery". The American Historical Review. 77 (1): 87.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  3. ^ Freehling, William W. (February, 1972). "The Founding Fathers and Slavery". The American Historical Review. 77 (1): 88.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  4. ^ Freehling, William W. (February, 1972). "The Founding Fathers and Slavery". The American Historical Review. 77 (1): 85.  Check date values in: |date= (help)

I believe a section on slavery is better then a segment. Cmguy777 (talk) 20:45, 14 March 2013 (UTC)

I suggest a shorter version of the opening: "Many Founding Fathers, including George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and Benjamin Franklin owned slaves. The Constitution of indirectly mentioned of slavery by counting slaves as 3/5 person in apportioning representation and including a fugitive clause to capture and return runaway slaves." Rjensen (talk) 20:47, 14 March 2013 (UTC)

That sounds good. Thanks Rjensen. Cmguy777 (talk) 21:24, 14 March 2013 (UTC)

I believe the Slaves and slavery section looks great. Thanks for your help and cooperation Rjensen. I believe this will help in better understanding the Founding Fathers and may correct any misinterpretations or any biases positive or negative. Cmguy777 (talk) 21:34, 14 March 2013 (UTC)

Edit request

Please add to the subsection on "Other founders" the following person: [[Abigail Adams]], wife and mother of presidents.<ref name="guide" />

She is included in Encyclopaedia Britannica. Founding fathers: the essential guide to the men who made America[1] (talk) 09:05, 13 May 2013 (UTC)

Done198.228.196.247 (talk) 10:57, 14 May 2013 (UTC)

I suggest removal of the slavery non sequitur added by Cmguy777 in the opening paragraph. The information is covered in bullet point 3, and while slavery in a shockingly important subject and should be included in the article, it diffuses focus of the article in the opening paragraph. FWIW (talk) 18:25, 23 June 2013 (UTC)

The French

Should the French be mentioned as part of the "Founding Fathers", particularly Rochambeau, Lafayette, and Count Duex-Ponts? Cmguy777 (talk) 17:37, 28 February 2013 (UTC)

Well, it is tempting to do this given the allegiance during the war, but I think most people believe the founders are those who conceived the revolution and constructed our new nation via the founding documents. --THE FOUNDERS INTENT PRAISE 01:03, 1 March 2013 (UTC)
Maybe a definition of "Founding Fathers" needs to be given. This would clarify the issue. Thanks.Cmguy777 (talk) 16:30, 13 March 2013 (UTC)
I tend to agree. I think you posed a very good question-- one that I never even considered until now. But while the French were critical in helping us achieve victory in the Revolutionary War, they didn't actually play any direct role in the drafting of the the Constitution, at least as far as I'm aware. I think this is a question that should be put before a few historians who specialize in this period and see what they think. Though I know more about this than most Americans (sadly, that's not saying much), the more I think about your question, the more I realize that I am woefully unqualified to answer it. Sir kris (talk) 13:21, 27 June 2013 (UTC)

In reading the lede, there could be room for mentioning other people, including women, in the article. Cmguy777 (talk) 16:39, 13 March 2013 (UTC)

Thomas Paine should be mentioned with the French as important figures. Thomas Paine was never a citizen of the United States. He was an Englishman, - which is on the original cover of Common Sense. Thomas Paine never gave that up, and moved back to England after the war. Paine was kicked out of England (it's unclear to me without looking it up if he then lost his British citizenship or was just kicked out) and moved to France, helping them in their war there. Towards the end of his life, he moved back to the United States with his french mistress and children, but was a non-naturalized immigrant - he never became naturalized before his death. So Thomas Paine should be listed with important French figures - they aren't founders because they weren't citizens, but they're important top the history - and he's also part of French history. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:16, 12 April 2013 (UTC)

Removal of Unsourced Claim

I removed an unsourced paragraph making the very dubious and harmful claim that nearly all of the founding fathers were devout Protestants. I was unable to find any credible sources to substantiate this claim via a Google search. It also contradicts what we were taught in school regarding the prevalence of Deism among the nation's founders. I judged this claim to be potentially very harmful because it directly pertains to a number of highly contentious and far-reaching political debates happening throughout the country. In fact, my attention was drawn to this after reading a posting that cited the unsourced paragraph in this article as its sole source and drew a number of conclusions, many of which verifiably false, from it. Regardless of how any of us feels about these issues, we should all at least be able to agree that it's not Wikipedia's mission to influence public policy by including unsourced, original research in its articles.

Furthermore, I also noticed that at least one of the sources in that section has one link that leads to a 404 and two other links to general material about Deism that doesn't actually substantiate what the reference claims. I believe that the entire "Religion" section should be re-visited and cleaned-up. I have a feeling there may be more incongruous sourcing in and around there. I'll try to set aside some time to look at it in more detail and add the appropriate templates. Sir kris (talk) 13:10, 27 June 2013 (UTC)

Instead of simply removing information that you find dubious, just add a request for citations. That allows others to look for and add the citations at another time.--JOJ Hutton 13:41, 27 June 2013 (UTC)
An unsourced claim in an article can and should be removed if no verifiable source can be found to substantiate it. The citation needed tag is used to mark an uncited claim to undergo this verification. If the verification has already been performed and no substantiation can be found, removal of the uncited material is the prescribed action. Sir kris (talk) 22:09, 4 August 2013 (UTC)
It isn't uncited. The very first words are Lambert (2003). You just look at the bottom of the page for the entry by Lambert written in 2003. Then you go to a library and read it. Rmhermen (talk) 14:38, 27 June 2013 (UTC)
I read it a few years ago back in college and it does not substantiate the claim in question. The other sources mentioned, as I alluded to in my initial comment, came up 404 and otherwise unverifiable. If you want to re-add that section, you'll need to include some kind of reliable source to substantiate it. I have not been able to find a single one so I removed it in accordance with Wikipedia's policies. I will revert any further attempts to re-add that unless a verifiable source is included.
Oh and this has nothing to do with any sort of debate. I wasn't actually participating in that discussion I alluded to. I was merely a spectator with no dog in that particular fight. If the claim is accurate, source it and I'll be more than happy to leave it at that. Sir kris (talk) 22:09, 4 August 2013 (UTC)
the material by Lambert is valuable and non-controversial. It identifies what denominational connection each person had -- it does not discuss anyone's theology or private beliefs. Lambert is a leading expert on the subject with numerous well-received books vetted by leading publishers like Princeton University Press. Rjensen (talk) 23:23, 4 August 2013 (UTC)
Actually, that's not accurate. The material, as you just alluded to yourself, does not assert-- properly sourced or otherwise-- claims with regard to the founding fathers' individual theological affiliations. Put simply, the source does not match the claims in the content that cites it. Furthermore, the claims you're making in that paragraph are very much controversial! Whether the founding fathers were Christians, Deists, Atheists, etc? That's a very heated topic and one for which there is, unfortunately, relatively little data to moderate. For example, some of the founding fathers were members of England's official church, though many historians believe that many of them were only members because it was expected of them back home and there are indications that at least some of them renounced that affiliation when the colonies broke away from England. Evidence also suggests that 'Deist' was frequently used as a somewhat covert label for 'Atheist', since the latter term tended to carry a rather harsh stigma with it. But again, the data is really hazy on this and we have to be careful not to make representations that have not been corroborated.
If you can locate a reliable source that backs-up the claims in that paragraph, post a link here and I'll take a look. I'd be more than happy to re-add it if you can show me a verifiable source that actually substantiates the content in question. Until then, I'm re-applying the removal on the grounds stated above. Sir kris (talk) 05:34, 7 August 2013 (UTC)
You need to get "support" for its removal. So far you are the only one who appears to want this paragraph removed. Just because you don't want it in there or that you don't think its sourced is irrelevant. Do not continue to remove it without talk page support.--JOJ Hutton 11:42, 7 August 2013 (UTC)
I don't see why a footnote cannot be inserted identifying the pages in Lambert's book that are relied upon.Anythingyouwant (talk) 16:44, 7 August 2013 (UTC)
That's not required for unsourced material, JOJ. And Anythingyouwant is absolutely right. Even page numbers would at least give us a basis upon which to discuss why OP believes that it supports the section. According to Wikipedia's rules, unsourced sections can be removed at an editor's discretion. In this case, mine. Find me a verifiable source-- any source-- that backs-up this claim and I'll leave it be. Otherwise, I have no intention of backing down. Sir kris (talk) 23:03, 11 August 2013 (UTC)
That being said, I'll compromise (for now) and go along with Anythingyouwant's approach of adding the citation needed tag. That'll serve as a short-term solution, at least. However, those of you who want that in there, I'd strongly advise you to use this time to get that sourced! I'll leave it be for a few months so you have plenty of time with which to do that. If it's still unsourced by the end of the year, I'll renew my insistance that the unsourced content be removed. I think that's a reasonable compromise, yes? Sir kris (talk) 23:10, 11 August 2013 (UTC)

Citation needed

Per WP:Cite:

A full citation fully identifies a reliable source and, where applicable, the place in that source (such as a page number) where the information in question can be found. For example: Rawls, John. A Theory of Justice. Harvard University Press, 1971, p. 1. This type of citation is usually given as a footnote, and is the most commonly used citation method in Wikipedia articles.


A short citation is an inline citation that identifies the place in a source where specific information can be found, but without giving full details of the source – these will have been provided in a full bibliographic citation either in an earlier footnote, or in a separate section. For example: Rawls 1971, p. 1. This system is used in some articles; the short citations may be given either as footnotes, or as parenthetical references within the text.

As far as I can tell, the material in question does not have a full cite and does not have a short cite either, because no "place" in the source is provided. So, I will insert "citation needed" tags.Anythingyouwant (talk) 05:41, 8 August 2013 (UTC)

"many historians believe that many of them were only members because it was expected of them back home" indeed, some people belonged to a church because it was expected of them. Yes, same as today. But WHAT church did they belong to is the question here. Rjensen (talk) 00:00, 9 August 2013 (UTC)
No, actually, that's not the question. The question is regarding the individual religious beliefs (or lack thereof) of the founding fathers, *not* what religious organizations, including churches, they participated in at any given time. If you want to change the scope of the section from "Religion" to something like "Church Membership", then I might be able to work with you on that. Sir kris (talk) 23:10, 11 August 2013 (UTC)


I dont get the point of the second paragraph. Are you a bigot? Why is if important to bring up slavery so early in the discussion? The founders were ultimately very critical of slavery and eventually eliminated it. At our founding, every nation on earth had slavery but none existed in such a state of conflict over a subject which was the norm of the time. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:16, 30 December 2013 (UTC)


Is there a special reason why the founding fathers are referred to as "Signers" rather than "Signatories", which seems more appropriate. (talk) 15:01, 2 January 2014 (UTC)

Because that's what we call them. When I type "signers of the declaration" into Google, I get links from the U.S. National Park Service and the Society of Descendants of the Signers... But when I change it to Signatories I get a number of links from the UK and Ireland. May be some BE/AE difference here. Rmhermen (talk) 16:20, 2 January 2014 (UTC)


I second the previous complaint regarding the second paragraph. Though many of the Founding Fathers were indeed slaveowners, this is not the correct location in this article for such information and seems randomly interjected. This information would be much more appropriate under section 2.2 (Occupations and Finances), or 2.4 (Demographics). Furthermore it is factually incorrect to state that 'the Constitution adopted in 1787 sanctioned the system of slavery". Slavery was never mentioned in the Constitution ratified at this time. The first mention of slavery in the Constitution occurred with the passage of the 13th Amendment at the close of the American Civil War. The Constitution as ratified in 1787 did not 'sanction' slavery, nor did it abolish it, it was by design mum regarding the issue, as the Founders were well aware of how contentious it was. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:12, 4 January 2014 (UTC)

Actually the Constitution mentions slavery at least three times. Rmhermen (talk) 05:01, 4 January 2014 (UTC)


It would be good if someone would list names of the Founding Fathers in to the lead. -- (talk) 20:54, 7 March 2014 (UTC)

There are already several mentioned - and any entire section listing them all: List of the Founding Fathers. Rmhermen (talk) 22:28, 7 March 2014 (UTC)

Mostly all ethnically Celtic

Can it be pointed out that most all of the founding fathers are ethnic Celts who wanted to have freedom from the "Germanic" monarchy of England/Britian? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:00, 21 March 2014 (UTC)

no, First it needs a reliable secondary source. Rjensen (talk) 07:34, 22 March 2014 (UTC)

2nd Paragraph

The second paragraph of this article should be relocated. When read in sequence, paragraphs one, three and four follow one another logically. However, the second paragraph is inappropriately placed in the article and due to its clumsy interjection, disrupts the flow of the rest of the introductory content. The information it provides is not germane to the introduction portion of the article as owning slaves was neither a singular nor defining achievement of the men referenced in this article to be the 'Founding Fathers' and the term 'Founding Fathers' was not coined to draw attention to those mens' participation in the practice of slaveholding. The 'Founding Fathers' were so categorized for their having founded a new sovereign nation, the United States of America and its first government. Though the Constitution tacitly mentions slavery, the second paragraph could as logically say 'Many of the Founders were Freethinkers and codified the separation of church and state in the Constitution'. Or by the standards of the current second paragraph, the intro could state 'Many of the Founding Fathers wore wigs' or Many of the Founding Fathers did not own slaves', all equally true, and all equally irrelevant to this part of the article. The information in the second paragraph should be moved to a more appropriate location. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:30, 28 January 2014 (UTC)

I have removed that paragraph from the introduction for the reasons you stated. Drdpw (talk) 07:18, 24 April 2014 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 30 July 2014

Demographics heading should spell Alexander Martin's surname correctly (not Martieno). (talk) 04:28, 30 July 2014 (UTC)

 Done.--JayJasper (talk) 20:18, 30 July 2014 (UTC)

Broadly and narrowly

The lead use of "refers broadly" and "more narrowly" doesn't work well because the second sentence does not cover a subset, nor a family of subsets. The first excludes anyone not yet a leader, or not yet allied with the patriots, during the war. Perhaps it would be an improvement to say "commonly refers" and "Alternatively, it refers" or "Commonly, too, it refers". Either one fits what we now say in the lead. (--and complements any remarks, below or elsewhere, that the Framers are "commonly" this or that, with Founders sometimes considered to encompass them, sometimes recognized or emphasized to be distinct, sometimes simply equated.)

--P64 (talk) 17:06, 4 June 2015 (UTC)

Died in duels and died youngest

Beside the bar graph of ages at death, we identify the three who died in their 90s by name; report the numbers who died in their 80s, 70s, down to 40s; and close by naming three who died in duels. This suggests that the latter are those three who died in their 30s as shown by the graph. But the unfortunate duelists all died in their 40s. We should identify the three who died in their 30s.

Who were they? --P64 (talk) 17:12, 4 June 2015 (UTC)

The editor who created the table is still active: User:Wylve. You could try asking if he still has the data he used. Rmhermen (talk) 17:36, 4 June 2015 (UTC)

"Other Founders"

Accidentally reversed when trying to respond to edit, apologies for that...In any case, the subsection "Lists of the Founding Fathers" appears to have five categories: Signers of the Constitutional Association (1774), Signers of the Declaration of Independence, Signers of the Articles of Confederation (1777), Delegates to the 1787 Constitutional Convention, and Other Founders.

Four men (Richard Bland, Patrick Henry, John Jay, and Edmund Pendleton) appear both in at least one of the first four lists and in the "Other Founders" list. The latter list is described as "individuals are also referred to in cited reliable sources as having been fathers or founders of the United States". It seems to me that that description would imply that they did not fit in any of the previous four categories; I'm not sure why that edit was reversed.

Bartletforgallifrey (talk) 02:59, 4 July 2015 (UTC)

Attendant but non-signatories

We should have way of including those who attended the founding meetings but did not sign the documents. We already include the non-signers of the Constitution in the statistical section counts. Rmhermen (talk) 05:48, 9 February 2016 (UTC)

Thomas Paine

I would argue that by any reasonable standard, Thomas Paine more than qualifies as a Founding Father. His two pamphlets were critical to shifting public opinion towards the revolutionary cause, and the sociopolitical views he espoused were hugely influential upon the Declaration of Independence. As John Adams wrote -- ""Without the pen of the author of Common Sense (Paine), the sword of Washington would have been raised in vain." So unless someone can convince me otherwise, I'm going to add Paine to the list. Bricology (talk) 20:58, 14 April 2016 (UTC)

Paine is already listed in the Other founders section.  Stick to sources! Paine  01:57, 24 April 2016 (UTC)

Image of John Jay

Minard38 (talk) 14:57, 22 March 2017 (UTC)Minard38 (talk) 13:47, 22 March 2017 (UTC) I am confused by the continued removal of an image of John Jay on the Founding Fathers page given that Jay is one of the seven most prominent Founding Fathers of the United States. I have tried to add supplemental information to adequately reflect Jay's proper place among his peers. The Editors of the Selected Papers of John Jay at Columbia University are equally confused by the deletions. They and Pulitzer Prize winner Joseph Ellis (who recently wrote the Quartet and highlighted Jay's contributions in concert with Hamilton, Washington and Madison) and many other academics already referenced on the page including Joanne Freeman and Richard Bernstein agree that Jay merits attention as already indicated in the introduction of the page, "Historian Richard B. Morris in 1973 identified the following seven figures as the key Founding Fathers: John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Alexander Hamilton, John Jay, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and George Washington.[4]

Since Jay is already mentioned in the article many times and is listed in the extensive chart I thought it appropriate to add his image to go with the existing images of Washington, Franklin, Adams and the other individuals who are illustrated. Thanks for any light that can be shed on this omission. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Minard38 (talkcontribs) 14:21, 22 March 2017 (UTC)

I think the dispute is not the presence of the image but the prominence of it. I don't think adding it to other images in the Founding Fathers list section would draw any complaints. Rmhermen (talk) 16:01, 22 March 2017 (UTC)

Thank you for your prompt response! I did try placing the image in several different places including as you suggested in line with the other Founding Fathers. I will try again - thank you for your understanding and encouragement!Minard38 (talk) 16:14, 22 March 2017 (UTC)

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