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Constitution Day: The Founding Fathers

Commemorating the signing of the U.S. Constitution on September 17, 1787.

Founding Fathers—Delegates to the Constitutional Convention

The Scene at the Signing of the Constitution, by Howard Chandler Christy, 1940
The Scene at the Signing of the Constitution, oil painting (reproduction) by Howard Chandler Christy, 1940. Courtesy of the Architect of the Capitol, Washington, DC. Retrieved from

There's been some debate about who should be included in the list of Founding Fathers. Most archival institutions use the delegates to the Constitutional Convention in 1787 as a general baseline for inclusion. Here are more resources about the Founding Fathers and the debate surrounding the idea of a founding generation of men and women.

  • Founding Fathers
    From the National Constitution Center, this site provides a brief history of the forming of the Founding Fathers. It also provides links to individual biographies for each member, excerpted from Carol Berkin's A Brilliant Solution: Inventing the American Constitution (Harcourt, 2002).
  • America's Founding Fathers
    From the National Archives and Records Administration's "Charters of Freedom" series, this site provides information about the Founding Fathers, including individual biographies and, in some cases, portraits of the individuals.
  • Founding Fathers
    From Encyclopædia Britannica, this article explores the idea of the Founding Fathers, with the following sections: (1) Introduction, (2) The debate, (3) The achievement, (4) The failure, (5) The explanations, (6) A diverse collective, and (7) Religion and posterity. (Written by Joseph J. Ellis; last updated 3-12-2014.)

Founding Fathers (Constitutional Convention Delegates)

Oliver Ellsworth
William Samuel Johnson
Roger Sherman

Richard Bassett
Gunning Bedford Jr.
Jacob Broom
John Dickinson
George Read

Abraham Baldwin
William Few
William Houstoun
William Leigh Pierce

Daniel Carroll
Daniel of St. Thomas Jenifer
Luther Martin
James McHenry
John Francis Mercer

Founding Fathers (Constitutional Convention Delegates)

Elbridge Gerry
Nathaniel Gorham
Rufus King
Caleb Strong

New Hampshire
Nicholas Gilman
John Langdon

New Jersey
David Brearley
Jonathan Dayton
William Churchill Houston
William Livingston
William Paterson

New York
Alexander Hamilton
John Lansing Jr.
Robert Yates

North Carolina
William Blount
William Richardson Davie
Alexander Martin
Richard Dobbs Spaight Sr.
Hugh Williamson

Founding Fathers (Constitutional Convention Delegates)

South Carolina
Pierce Butler
Charles Pinckney
Charles Cotesworth Pinckney
John Rutledge

George Clymer
Thomas Fitzsimons
Benjamin Franklin
Jared Ingersoll
Thomas Mifflin
Gouverneur Morris
Robert Morris
James Wilson

John Blair
James Madison
George Mason
James McClurg
Edmund Randolph
George Washington
George Wythe

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