Introduction to the Founding Fathers

By learning who the founding fathers are you get a better perspective of why they created the government they did. Their relationships to each other helped to obtain support for specific proposals since many of them knew each other before the Constitutional Convention. 

On February 21, 1787 The Continental Congress resolved to meet on the second Monday in May. A Convention of Delegates was created, who shall have been appointed by the states for the sole purpose of revising the Articles of the Confederation.


The original states with the exception of Rhode Island appointed 70 individuals to attend the Constitutional Convention. Several either did not accept the delegation or simply could not attend. A few of those were Richard Henry Lee, Patrick Henry, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Samuel Adams and John Hancock.


Consisting of 55 Delegates in attendance, only 39 of them actually signed the Constitution. The youngest of the Delegates was Jonathon Dayton who was 26 years old. The oldest Delegate was Benjamin Franklin at 81 years old. Benjamin Franklin so physically ill and weak that he had to be carried in. That is the dedication displayed of seeing this get done.

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Connecticut

Oliver Ellsworth

April 29, 1745~November 26, 1807 42 years old at the time of Constitutional Convention. Lived to 62 years

  • Lawyer
  • He coined the phrase “United States” instead of “National” when referring to the government they were creating.
  • Did not sign the Constitution but wrote “Letters of a Landholder” to promote the Constitution. He left the Convention in August
  • 1 of Connecticut’s first 2 Senators
  • 1796 appointed ad Chief Justice of the Supreme Court

William Samuel Johnson

1727~1819 60 years old at the time of Constitutional Convention. Lived to be 92 years

  •  Lawyer
  •  Was loyal to the British but also has loyalties to the new Colonies. He felt that a lot of the British laws and practices were unwise but had many ties back in Britain. 
  •  Very influential and popular delegate in the Convention. Never missed a session.
  •  President of Columbia College (1787~1800)

Roger Sherman

1721~ 1793 66 years old at the time of Constitutional Convention. Lived to be 93 years

  •  Business Owner
  •  Surveyor, Justice of the Peace, county Judge, Lawyer
  •  Treasurer of Yale College
  •  Associate judge of the Connecticut Supreme Court
  •  Mayor of New Haven
  •  U.S. House of Representatives
  •  Senator

Delaware

Richard Bassett

April 1745~1815 42 years old at the time of Constitutional Convention. Lived to be 70 years

  •  Lawyer
  •  Senator
  •  Governor
  •  Judge of U.S. Circuit Court, Appointed by President Adams

Gunning Bedford Jr.

1747~1812 40 years old at the time of Constitutional Convention. Lived to 65 years

  •  Graduated from College of New Jersey (later Princeton)
  •  Classmate of James Madison
  •  Lawyer
  •  Possible Aide to General Washington
  •  Prominent politician. Legislator on state council in Continental Congress. Attorney   General of Delaware
  • Drafted the Great Compromise
  •  Fought for equality for small states over large states
  •  Federal district judge

Jacob Broom

1752~1810 35 years of at the time of Constitutional Convention. Lived to 58 years old

  •  Farmer and Surveyor
  •  Merchant
  •  Real Estate Broker
  •  Prepared Maps for George Washington for the Battle of Brandy wine
  •  Assistant Burgess (governing body)
  •  Assessor
  •  Justice of the Peace
  •  Legislator 
  •  Never missed a Constitutional Convention session

John Dickinson

1732~1808 55 years old at the time of Constitutional Convention. Lived to 75 years

  •  Lawyer
  •  Prominent politician
  •  Conservative opponent of Benjamin Franklin’s
  •  Prominent opponent of the Stamp Act
  •  Championed colonial resistance
  •  Voted against Declaration of Independence
  •  Went into the military when his political career waned
  •  Came back to politics after a while to sign the Articles of Confederation
  •  Became President of Pennsylvania
  •  Resented Madison’s forcefulness but supported Ratification 
  •  Did not sign the Constitution but authorized George Read to sign for him

George Read

1733~1795 54 years at the time of the Constitutional Convention. Lived to be 65 years

  •  Lawyer
  •  Signed to Declaration of Independence
  •  Crown Attorney General
  •  Protested the Stamp Act
  •  Voted against Independence but supported Colonial Rights (the only signer to do so)
  •  Chaired the drafting committee at the Constitutional Convention
  •  Vice President of Delaware
  •  Signed Article of Confederation
  •  Judge in the Court of Appeals
  •  Small state champion
  •  Led the ratification of Delaware
  •  US Senator

Abraham Baldwin

1754~1807 33 years old at the time of Constitutional Convention. Lived to be 53 years

  •  Minister & Tutor at Yale
  •  Chaplain in the Continental Army
  •  Lawyer
  •  Helped resolve the small states vs. large state crisis
  •  Congressman (House of Representatives)
  •  Senator
  •  Supported Madison and Jefferson
  •  Helped to found Franklin College (University of Georgia)

William Few

1748~1828 39 years old at the time of Constitutional Convention. Lived to be 80 years

  •  Lawyer
  •  Surveyor
  •  General & Indian Commissioner
  •  Continental Congress
  •  One of the first State Senators
  •  Federal Judge
  •  Sat on several bank boards

William Houstoun

1755~1813 32 years old at the time of Constitutional Convention. Lived to be 58 years

  •  Educated in London
  •  Family was loyal to the Crown
  •  A zealous advocate of the Colonists
  •  Helped to settle a boundary dispute between Georgia & South Carolina

William Leigh Pierce

1740~1789 47 years old at the time of Constitutional Convention. Lived to be 49 years

  •  Very little is known of him
  •  Aide-de-Camp to General Nathaniel Greene
  •  Businessman
  •  Georgia House of Representatives
  •  Member of the Continental Congress
  •  Left the Convention early due to extreme business debt

Maryland

Daniel Carroll

1730~1795 57 years old at the time of Constitutional Convention. Lived to be 65 years

  •  Farmer
  •  Backed Independence
  •  Signed the Articles of Confederation
  •  Member of Continental Congress 
  •  Helped George Washington promote Patowmack Company to canalize the river   or trade
  •  Campaigned for Ratification
  •  US House of Representatives
  •  Washington named Carroll ad 1 of 3 Commissioner to survey & define the District of Columbia where Carroll owned a lot of land

Daniel of St. Thomas Jenifer

1723~1790 64 years old at the time of the Constitutional Convention. Lived to 66 years

  •  Never Married
  •  Justice of the Peace
  •  Boundary Commission
  •  Royal Governor Council
  •  Supported the Revolutionary movement
  •  President of Maryland Council of Safety
  •  President of State Senate
  •  Member of the Continental Congress
  •  State revenue and financial manager
  • Conservative Nationalist 

Luther Martin

1748~1826 39 years old at the time of the Constitutional Convention. Lived 78 years

  •  Lawyer
  •  Advocate of Independence
  •  Member of Patriot Committee
  •  Attorney General
  •  Vigorously prosecuted Loyalists 
  •  Became one of the largest law practices in the country
  •  Opposed a strong central government
  •  Ended up walking out of the Constitutional Convention
  •  Fought Ratification
  •  Was against a National Government
  •  Attorney General for 28 years

James McHenry

1753~1816 34 years old at the time of Constitutional Convention. Lived 62 years

  •  Studied medicine
  •  Military Surgeon
  •  Assigned to Valley Forge 
  •  Secretary to George Washington
  •  Quit medicine for politics
  •  Senator
  •  Member of Continental Congress
  •  Campaigned for the Constitution
  •  Secretary of War appointment by George Washington
  •  Loyal Federalists

John Francis Mercer

1759~1821 28 years old at time of Constitutional Convention. Lived 62 years

  •  Virginia House of Delegates
  •  Voted against Constitution
  •  Left the Convention early
  •  Maryland House of Delegates
  •  US House of Representatives
  •  Governor
  •  Left the Republicans to become a Federalist
  •  Did not sign the Constitution

Massachusetts

Gerry Elbridge

1744~1814 43 years old at the time of Constitutional Convention. Lived to 70 years

  •  Helped the Patriots by supporting the transportation of supplies to the colonists
  •  Served with Samuel Adams and John Hancock on the council of safety
  •  Raised troops and dealt with military logistics
  •  Continental Congress member
  •  Revolutionary agitators and wartime leader
  •  Feared political and military tyranny
  •  State legislator
  •  One of the most vocal delegates at the convention
  •  Chaired the Great Compromise
  •  Refused to sign the Constitution
  •  Opposed Ratification
  •  Flip flopped multiple times in support or opposition of the Constitution
  •  Where the term “Gerrymandering” comes from

Nathaniel Gorham

1738~1796 49 years old at the time of Constitutional Convention. Lived to be 58 years

  •  Colonial Legislator
  •  Backed the Whig party
  •  Member of Massachusetts board of war 
  •  House of Representatives
  •  Member of upper and lower houses of legislature
  •  Judge of County Court of Common Pleas
  •  Member of Governor’s Council
  •  Member of Continental Congress
  •  Influential in the Constitutional Convention and sat on 3 committees
  •  Lost everything through a bad real estate deal

Rufus King

1755~1827  32 years old at the time of Constitution Convention. Lived to be 72 years

  •  Lawyer
  •  Member Massachusetts Legislature
  •  Continental Congress member
  •  Brilliant speaker
  •  Early opponent of slavery
  •  Attended every session of the Convention
  •  Leading figure in National Caucus
  •  One of the first U.S. Senators
  •  Minister to Great Britain
  •  Ran for Vice President and was defeated
  •  Ran for President and lost to Monroe

Caleb Strong

1-9-1745~11-7-1819 42 years old at the time of Constitution Convention. Lived to be 74 years

  •  Lawyer
  •  County attorney
  •  Missed signing the Constitution due to returning home for a family illness
  •  Campaigned strongly for Ratification
  •  Senator
  •  Helped frame the Judiciary Act
  •  Defeated Gerry Elbridge for Governor

New Hampshire

Nicholas Gilman

1755-1814 32 years old at the time of Constitution Convention. Lived 58 years

  •  Fought in the war for Independence
  •  Continental Congress member
  •  Member of House of Representatives
  •  Member of New Hampshire Legislature
  •  State Treasurer

John Langdon

1741~1819 46 years old at the time of Continental Convention. Lived 78 years

  •  Merchant
  •  Vigorously supported the Revolution
  •  Participated in seizing British munitions
  •  Member of Continental Congress
  •  Colonel in the militia
  •  Strong military career
  •  Speaker of New Hampshire legislature
  •  President of New Hampshire
  •  Significant role in the Constitutional Convention

New Jersey

David Brearly

1745~1790 42 years old at the time of Constitutional Convention. Lived 45 years

  •  Lawyer
  •  Avid Revolutionary supporter
  •  British arrested him for high treason but Patriots freed him
  •  Colonel in the militia New Jersey Chief Justice
  •  Washington appointed him as Federal District Judg
  •  Mason

Jonathon Dayton

1760~1824 27 years old at the time of Constitutional Convention. Lived 63 years

  •  Entered Continental Army and saw a lot of action. Was Captured and held prisoner
  •  Lawyer
  •  Member US House of Representatives
  •  Speaker of the House
  •  Senator
  •  Indicted for Treason
  •  250,000 acres owned by Jonathon Dayton became the city of Dayton, Ohio

William C. Houston

1746~1788 41 years at the time of Constitutional Convention. Lived 42 years

  •  Layer
  •  Calvinist, he opposed Angelican leaders
  •  Left law to become a farmer
  •  Came out of retirement to enter Congress and when the Revolution started, he commanded the New Jersey militia as Brigadier General
  •  First Governor of New Jersey
  •  Active with anti-slavery movement

William Paterson

42 years old at the time of Constitutional Convention. Lived 60 years

  •  Tin goods manufacturer
  •  Merchant New Jersey Vanguard Patriot
  •  Legislative Council
  •  Attorney General
  •  Co-authored “Paterson Plan” US Senator
  •  Helped draft Judiciary Act
  •  Governor
  •  Associate Justice of Supreme Court

New York

Alexander Hamilton

30 years old at the time of Constitutional Convention. Lived 47 years.

  •  Highly intelligent
  •  Captain during the war
  •  Became Lieutenant Colonel
  •  General Washington’s aide-de-camp and close confidant
  •  Lawyer
  •  Member Continental Congress
  • Urged calling of the Constitutional Convention
  •  Extreme Nationalist
  •  Felt the Constitution was deficient
  •  Collaborated with the Federalist writings
  •  Secretary of Treasury (Pivotal in developing a sound financial government)
  •  Conflicted with Madison and Jefferson
  •  Was shot by Aaron Burr in a dual over remarks made by Hamilton

John Lansing Jr.

33 years old at the time of Constitutional Convention. Lived 75 years

  •  Lawyer
  •  Wealthy
  •  Military Secretary to General Philip Schulyer
  •  New York Assembly
  •  Speaker of Assembly
  •  Confederate Congress
  •  Opposed a new Constitution
  •  Supreme Court member
  •  Chief Justice
  •  Chancellor of New York
  •  Died mysteriously, body was never found

Robert Yates

1738~1801 49 years old at the time of Constitutional Convention. Lived 63 years

  •  Lawyer
  •  Radical Whig member
  •  New York Supreme Court
  •  Chief Justice
  •  Leader of Anti-Federalists
  •  Opposed the Constitution

North Carolina

William Blount

38 years old at the time of Constitutional Convention. Lived 63 years

  •  Paymaster in North Carloina forces
  •  North Carolina legislature
  •  Reluctantly signed the Constitution
  •  Washington appointed Blount as Governor of the territory South of the River Ohio
  •  Superintendent of Indian Affairs for the Southern Department
  •  Helped define Tennessee
  •  Attempted to secure Florida and Louisiana for the British. President Adams learned about the action and impeached Blount and dismissed him.

William Richard Davie

31 years old at the time of the Constitutional Convention. Lived 64 years

  •  Lawyer
  •  Colonel in the military
  •  Commissary General for General Nathaniel Greene
  •  Respected lawyer
  •  Strong Constitution supporter
  •  Chief founder of University of North Carolina
  •  Governor of North Carolina
  •  Appointed Brigadier General by President John Adams

Alexander Martin

1740~1807 47 years old at the time of the Constitutional Convention. Lived 67 years

  •  Merchant
  •  Justice of the Peace
  •  Deputy King’s attorney
  •  Judge of Salisbury District
  •  Member House of Commons
  •  Lieutenant Colonel 2nd Continental Regiment
  •  Promoted to Colonel
  •  North Carolina Senate (Speaker)
  •  Not a strong supporter of the Constitution

Richard Dobbs Spaight Jr.

1758~1802 29 years old at the time of Constitutional Convention. Lived 44 years

  •  Born in North Carolina, Orphaned, sent to Ireland, Graduated Glasgow University
  •  Aide to the state militia commander
  •  Legislator
  •  Speaker
  •  Continental Congress member
  •  Attended every session of the Convention
  •  Killed in a duel by Federalist John Stanley

Hugh Williamson

1735~1819 52 years old at the time of Constitutional Convention. Lived 83 years

  •  Presbyterian Preacher
  •  Professor of mathematics
  •  Doctor of medicine
  •  Member of American Philosophical Society 
  •  He warned the British councilors that the colonies would rebel if the British didn’t change their policies
  • Close friends with Benjamin Franklin
  •  He gave Franklin the letters of Massachusetts Royal Governor Thomas Hutchinson to his lieutenant Governor that further alienated the colonies from Britain
  •  Became surgeon general of the state troops
  •  Legislator
  •  Member of Continental Congress
  •  Served on 5 committees at the Conventions
  •  Member of House of Representatives

Pennsylvania

George Clymer

1739~1813 48 years old at the time of Constitutional Convention. Lived 74 years

  •  Merchant
  •  Orphan raised by his uncle
  •  One of the first to recommend Independence
  •  Supported the Revolution
  •  Headed Patriot meetings
  •  Member of Continental Congress
  •  US House of Representatives
  •  Negotiated a treaty with Cherokee & Creek Indians in Georgia

Thomas Fitzsimmons

1741~1811 46 years old at the time of Constitutional Convention. Lived 70 years

  •  Merchant
  •  Supported Whigs
  •  Militia Commander
  •  Supported militia forces in many ways
  •  Strong Nationalist
  •  3 term US Representative
  •  A prolific businessman, he urged retaliation against French and British interference with American shipping
  •  Championed re-charter of First United States Bank
  •  Founders of Bak of North America
  •  Director of Insurance Company of North America
  •  President Philadelphia Chamber of commerce
  •  Philanthropist

Benjamin Franklin

1076~1790 81 years old at the time of Constitutional Convention. Lived 84 years

  •  Self-educated
  •  Benjamin secretly wrote 14 essays to his older brothers newspaper New England Courant
  •  Worked as a printer
  •  Published The Pennsylvania Gazette
  •  Wrote “Poor Richards Almanac”
  •  Philanthropic supporter of libraries hospitals, educational institutions
  •  Interested in science
  •  Legislator
  •  Postmaster
  •  Congressman
  •  Spokesman in London for American Rights
  •  Member Continental Congress
  •  Committee member that drafted the declaration of Independence
  •  Commissioner to France
  •  Negotiated the Treaty of Paris with John Jay & John Adams that ended the War of Independence
  •  President of the Supreme Executive Council of Pennsylvania
  •  Strong supporter of Abolishing slavery

Jared Ingersoll

1749~1822 38 years old at the time of Constitutional Convention. Lived 73 years

  •  Lawyer
  •  When the Revolution began he left for London to study law, he did not support the Revolution
  •  During his 2 years in London, he shed his loyalist ideals
  •  Continental Congress member
  •  Never missed a session of the Convention
  •  Attorney General of Pennsylvania
  •  U.S. District Attorney
  •  Judge of Philadelphia District Court

Thomas Mifflin

1744~1800 43 years old at the time of Continental Convention. Lived 56 years

  •  Prosperous Businessman
  •  Member Continental Congress
  •  Major in Continental Army
  •  Aide-de-Camp to Washington
  •  Quartermaster General
  •  Colonel
  •  General 
  •  Saw many battles & skirmishes
  •  Sat on Congressional board of War
  •  Succeeded Franklin as President of Supreme Executive Council

Gouverneur Morris

1752~1816 35 years old at the time of Continental Constitution. Lived 64 years

  •  His brother signed the Declaration of Independence
  •  Privately tutored
  •  Los a leg in a carriage accident
  •  Lawyer
  •  Supported Whig Party
  •  Legislator
  •  Member Continental Congress
  •  Signed Articles of Confederation
  •  Close friend of Washington
  •  Superintendent of Finance for the U.S.
  •  Leading figure of the Constitutional Convention
  •  Made 173 speeches (substantive)
  •  He drafted the Constitution
  •  Washington appointed him as minister to France to replace Jefferson
  •  Chairman to the Erie Canal Commission

Robert Morris

1734~1806 53 years old at the time of Constitutional Convention. Lived 73 years

  •  Owned a well-known shipping and banking firm
  •  Fought the Stamp Act
  •  Imported arms and ammunition for the Revolutionaries
  •  Pennsylvania public Safety board
  •  Legislator
  •  Continental Congress member
  •  Voted against Independence
  •  Worked closely with general Washington
  •  Financed the war
  •  Became Super-intendent of France
  •  Had to get creative to finance the war
  •  Organized the Bank of North America the first government Incorporated bank in the United States
  •  Became a Senator
  •  Arrested for his extensive debt
  •  Went bankrupt

James Wilson

1741(2)~1797(8) 46 (47) years old at the time of the Constitutional Convention. Lived 56 (57) years

  •  Lawyer
  •  Whig leader
  •  Continental Congress member
  •  Signed the Declaration of Independence
  •  Advocate General for France
  •  Defended Loyalists and sympathizers
  •  Radical Constitutionals attacked him during food shortages
  •  Director of bank of North America
  •  Associated Justice of Supreme Court
  •  Severely in debt

South Carolina

Pierce Butler

1744~1822 43 years old at the time of the Constitutional Convention. Lived 77 years

  •  Major in His Majesty’s 29th Regiment
  •  Sent to Boston to quell disturbances
  •  Farmer
  •  Member of Whig party
  •  Elected to assembly in 1778
  •  Adjuctant General in south Carolina military
  •  Lost most everything in the War of Independence
  •  Continental Congress member
  •  Outspoken Nationalist
  •  Senator

Charles Pinckney

1746~1825 41 years old at the time of Constitutional Convention. Lived 67 years

  •  Wealthy lawyer
  •  Lieutenant in the Revolutionary War
  •  Prisoner of war
  •  Had a controversial role in the Convention 
  •  Youngest of the delegation & influential
  •  Ranked among the leaders in the Convention
  •  Governor of South Carolina
  •  Thomas Jefferson’s campaign manager
  •  Minister to Spain
  •  Facilitated the acquiescence of Louisiana to the United States from France
  •  Legislator
  •  Member of House of Representatives

Charles Cotsworth Pinckney

41 years old at the time of Constitutional Convention. Lived 79 years

  •  Lawyer
  •  Attorney General
  •  Provincial Congress
  •  Royal militia officer
  •  Rose to Colonel
  •  Prisoner of war
  •  Legislator & Senator
  •  Minister to France
  •  Vice president & presidential nominee

John Rutledge

1739-1800 48 years old at the time of Constitutional Convention. Lived 60 years

  •  Lawyer
  •  Member of Provincial Assembly
  •  Provincial Attorney General
  •  Member Continental Congress
  •  President lower House legislature
  •  South Carolina Governor
  •  Member Continental Congress
  •  Attended all the sessions of the Constitutional Convention and was influential
  •  Associate justice of Supreme court
  •  Chief Justice South Carolina Supreme Court

Virginia

James Madison

1751~1836 36 years old at the time of Constitutional Convention. Lived 85 years

  •  Privately educated
  •  Frail & sickly as a youth, studied law & theology
  •  Local & state politician
  •  Framed Virginia Constitution
  •  Virginia House of Delegates
  •  One of the younger Delegates at the Convention
  •  Guiding force behind Mount Vernon Conference
  •  Attended Annapolis Convention
  •  Pre-eminent figure at the Convention
  •  Madison’s Virginia Plan was the basis for the Constitution
  •  Took the floor more than 150 times
  •  His journal of the Convention is the best single record of the Constitution Convention
  •  Along with John Jay & Alexander Hamilton, Madison wrote a series of essays known as the Federalist Papers
  •  U.S. House of Representatives Madison help frame the Bill of Rights
  •  Madison & Jefferson founded the Democratic-Republican Party
  •  Wrote the Virginia Resolutions
  •  Secretary of State
  •  1880 Madison was elected President 
  •  Monroe’s foreign policy advisor

George Mason

1725~1792 62 years old at the time of Constitutional Convention. Lived 67 years

  •  One of the richest planters in Virginia
  •  Justice of Fairfax County Court
  •  Virginia House of Burgesses
  •  Wrote Virginia’s Declaration of Rights which Jefferson modeled Declaration of Independence & Madison modeled the Constitutional Bill of Rights 
  •  Did not sign the Constitution
  •  Reason he would not sign:

  1.  House of Representatives did not represent the Nation
  2.  The Senate was too powerful
  3.  The Federal Judiciary would destroy the State’s Judiciary, render justice unattainable, and enable the rich to oppress the poor. He concluded that the new government was destined to become a monarchy or fall into the hands of a corrupt, oppressive aristocracy

James McClurg

1746~1823 41 years old at the time of Constitutional Convention. Lived 77 years

  •  Doctor of medicine
  •  Surgeon in the state militia
  •  Professor anatomy & Medicine
  •  Eminent physician in Virginia
  •  President State Medical Society
  •  Did not sign the Constitution
  •  Virginia’s executive Council

Edmund Randolf

1753~1813 34 years old at the time of the Constitutional Convention. Lived 60 years

  •  Lawyer
  •  Aide-de-camp to Washington
  •  Virginia’s youngest Constitution member
  •  Mayor of Williamsburg
  •  Attorney General
  •  Governor of Virginia
  •  Presented the Virginia Plan at the Constitution Convention as a model for the new government. This plan proposed a strong central government with three branches, Legislative, Executive, and Judicial.
  •  Did not sign the Constitution
  •  Was supportive of amendments
  •  Attorney General for United States
  •  Senior Council for Aaron Burr

George Washington

1732~1799 55 years old at the time of Constitution Convention. Lived 67 years

  •  Privately educated
  •  Surveyor
  •  Began his military career as a major 
  •  1754 promoted to Lieutenant Colonel then Colonel
  •  Resigned his commission and returned to Mount Vernon
  •  Returned to the military as Colonel to aide General Braddock
  •  Resigned again and returned to Mount Vernon
  •  Plantation owner
  •  Sat on Virginia House of Burgesses
  •  Became a Whig leader
  •  Resentful of British commercial restrictions. Washington represented Virginia in the First and Second Congresses
  •  Appointed as Commander in chief of the Continental Army. Over-coming obstacles he fashioned a well-trained disciplined army
  •  Won the battle of Yorktown in 1781
  •  Washington denounced a military take over of the government, including the plan to appoint him as King
  •  Resigned his commission and again returned home
  •  Dissatisfied with National Progress under the articles of Confederation, Washington advocated a stronger government
  •  Encouraged by friends, Washington presided over the Constitutional Convention
  •  1788 the electoral college unanimously voted Washington as the first President
  •  Washington did many things to strengthen Government authority
  •  Laid the cornerstone to the Capital
  •  Pushed to seek a third term and gave his “Fair well Address” 1796
  •  When he died, he emancipated his slaves

George Wythe

1726~1806 61 years old at the time of the Constitution Convention. Lived 80 years

  •  Had very little formal education
  •  Lawyer at 20 years old
  •  Colonial attorney General
  •  House O Burgesses
  •  Mayor of Williamsburg
  •  One of the first to express a separate nationhood for the colonies
  •  Signed the Declaration of Independence
  •  Speaker of the Virginia House of Delegates
  •  Judge
  •  Loved teaching taught some oft the first college-trained lawyers
  •  Did not sign the Constitution
  •  Likely poisoned by his grand-nephew and heir.