The 9 Most Underrated Founding Fathers

Have you heard of these guys?

  1. 1

    Benjamin Rush

    This is a name some of us might have actually heard, well, those of us who study the American Revolution, which isn't most of us...Rush was born in 1746 in the then-colony of Pennsylvania; he has numerous accolades under his belt, as you could expect of a founding father: He was a physician, teacher, social advocate, politician and the founder of Dickinson College. Rush signed the Declaration of Independence, attended the Continental Congress and was Surgeon General of the Continental Army. Perhaps he's not as well-remembered due to his criticism of George Washington...

  2. 2

    Button Gwinnett

    Gwinnett was a British-born American who had some serious contributions to the American Revolution.He was a representative of Georgia in the Continental Congress, a signatory of the Declaration of Independence and even the provisional President of Georgia in 1777. Button Gwinnett was killed in a duel by a rival, Lachlan McIntosh, following a dispute after a failed invasion of East Florida, which was under Spanish control at the time. During his service in the Continental Congress, Gwinnett was a candidate for a brigadier general position to lead the 1st Regiment in the Continental Army, but lost out to Lachlan McIntosh...well, we all know how that worked out.

  3. 3

    Patrick Henry

    Patrick Henry is definitely a more well-known name, though, he's really only remembered for his speech where he exclaims: "Give me liberty or give me death!"Henry was an American-born attorney, planter, and politician who became known as an orator during the movement for independence. He served as the first and sixth post-colonial Governor of Virginia, from 1776 to 1779 and from 1784 to 1786. He was a leader of the anti-Federalists and opposed ratifying the U.S. Constitution for fears that it endangered the rights of individuals as well as the states.

  4. 4

    Thomas Paine

    A Technical Timothy might not call him a founding father per se, but Paine is probably the single most influential writer of the movement for American Independence.Paine was an English-American political activist, philosopher, political theorist and revolutionary. He authored the two most influential pamphlets–"Common Sense" and "The American Crisis"–and he inspired the rebels in 1776 to declare independence from Britain. His ideas reflected Enlightenment-era rhetoric of transnational human rights. He has been called "a corsetmaker by trade, a journalist by profession, and a propagandist by inclination." Go read Common Sense; it is, perhaps, the single most important read for an American citizen.

  5. 5

    John Jay

    John Jay definitely gets a little love, but not much. He is most famous for being the first Chief Justice of the United States.Jay also served as the president of the Continental Congress from 1778 to 1779, an honorific position with little power and no connection to the current presidency. He was an Ambassador to Spain, a negotiator of the Treaty of Paris by which Great Britain recognized American independence, and Secretary of Foreign Affairs, helping to fashion United States foreign policy. His major diplomatic achievement was to negotiate favorable trade terms with Great Britain in the Jay Treaty in 1794.

  6. 6

    Samuel Adams

    Yes, that's right. Chances are you only know his name from the beer that shares his name! Samuel Adams was an Massachusetts statesman, and political philosopher. He was a leader of the movement that became the American Revolution, and one of the architects of the principles of American republicanism that shaped the political culture of the United States. He was a second cousin to President John Adams, helped guide the Continental Congress towards the Declaration of Independence in 1776 and he helped draft the Articles of Confederation and the Massachusetts Constitution. Dude got around!

  7. 7

    Alexander Hamilton

    Alexander Hamilton was an influential interpreter and promoter of the U.S. Constitution, as well as the founder of the nation's financial system, the Federalist Party, the United States Coast Guard and The New York Post newspaper. Yes, most of us know his name, but did you know he did ALL of that? As the first Secretary of the Treasury, Hamilton was the main author of the economic policies of the George Washington administration. He took the lead in the funding of the states' debts by the Federal government, as well as the establishment of a national bank, a system of tariffs, and friendly trade relations with Britain. He advocated for a strong central government led by a vigorous executive branch, a strong commercial economy, plus a strong military. This was challenged by Virginia agrarians Thomas Jefferson and James Madison who formed a rival party. Of course, no one likes the finance guy, even though he's basically the reason the U.S. survived its infancy.

  8. 8

    James Madison

    I can already hear you saying "but, wait, how can someone who was the President be underrated?" Guess again.James Madison was a statesman, a member of the Continental Congress and later served as the fourth President of the United States from 1809 to 1817. He is hailed as the "Father of the Constitution" for his pivotal role in drafting and promoting the United States Constitution and the Bill of Rights. DUDE WROTE THE U.S. CONSTITUTION. I'll just leave that there.Aside from his presidency, he was a leader in the House of Representatives as well as Secretary of State during the Jefferson administration, after breaking with the Federalists in 1791 and forming the Democratic-Republicans with Thomas Jefferson.

  9. 9

    Roger Sherman

    Heard of this guy? Me neither. Roger Sherman is the single most underrated founding father of the United States of America. Roger Sherman was born in Massachusetts and made his way as a lawyer and statesman. He served as the first mayor of New Haven, Connecticut, and served on the Committee of Five that drafted the Declaration of Independence, and was also a representative and senator in the new republic. He is the only person to have signed all four great state papers of the U.S.: the Continental Association, the Declaration of Independence, the Articles of Confederation and the Constitution. Mic drop!

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