The Founding Fathers are often quoted and honored in American society, but they are so idolized that we don’t really see them as people anymore. They each have some pretty fun facts about them that are mostly unknown. Here’s what some people first thought of when asked about the founding fathers.
Sarah Wilson, sophomore
Q: Tell me what you know about James Madison.
A:I really don’t know anything about him.
Q: Make something up. Guess.
A: He signed the Declaration of Independence.
Madison never signed the Declaration, but he did write the Bill of Rights. Madison’s party affiliations were very indecisive. He wrote the Federalist papers with Hamilton and Jay, but changed his mind and joined Jefferson with the Democratic-Republicans. Once he became president much later and got in the War of 1812, he decided that strong government and armies were good (mostly because he needed a strong army at the moment). He switched back to Federalist ideals near the end of his presidency, leaving his colleagues confused.
Samantha Pham, junior
Q: Tell me what you know about Benjamin Franklin.
A: He had a kite. Wasn’t he kinda like a scientist? He was part of the signing of four important American Documents.
Benjamin Franklin was a scientist, known for his Key and the Kite experiment. He put a key on a kite to test conductive power, and flew the kite in the storm. He got really happy when he was struck by lightning. Franklin had a strong moral code that he himself was exempt from. He slept around in France a lot once his wife died. Franklin was the oldest founding father, and was sort of like the grandpa of the founders that has ideas you don’t really listen to, such as his idea to have the national bird be a turkey.
Kim Taylor (Choir Teacher)
Q:Tell me what you know about John Adams.
A: I don’t know anything about John Adams.
Q: Take a guess.
A: He was a founding father.
Adams was one of the most criticized presidents of the time period, but how he got to presidency is pretty interesting. He and Jefferson were just the best of friends, just having a good time being pals, until they ran against each other for presidency. Then they weren’t friends anymore, and started the very first smear campaign. They just roasted each other in the press and in person, and didn’t reconcile until much later. Near the end of their lives, they decided to become best pals again, and wrote each other like 200 letters.
Katie Mackenzie, English Teacher
Q: Who is your favorite founding father?
A: George Washington?
Q: What do you know about George Washington?
A: He was the first president.
Washington set the precedent for presidency in America. He showed people how to take office, and how to go home. After eight years of service, Washington was done, and simply went home. Also, when Hamilton had his affair publically exposed, Washington sent Hamilton a wine cooler to let him know that they were still pals.
Dean Bottorff, senior
Q:Who is your favorite founding father?
A: Ummmm… 2Pac
Q: Okay. Tell me what you know about Thomas Jefferson.
A: He owned a lot of slaves. Probably slept with a couple of them.
Jefferson was the third president, but didn’t want that achievement on his tombstone. He was very particular about what his tombstone should say. "...on the faces of the Obelisk the following inscription, & not a word more:
Here was buried
Author of the Declaration of American Independence
of the Statute of Virginia for religious freedom
& Father of the University of Virginia”
Jefferson also wanted his tombstone to be made out of coarse and cheap stone so that nobody would steal it.
Miranda Thomson, senior
Q: Who is your favorite founding father?
A: Alexander Hamilton.
Q: Why is he your favorite?
A: Because he was super smart, but he couldn’t keep his mouth shut. Guy had no tact. Straight up died because he couldn’t shut up. He published his own scandal! It wasn’t even gonna be an issue! You kinda gotta respect that. Also, what kind of guy agrees to go to a duel when you singlehandedly ruined the career of said dueling opponent. He didn’t even shoot at the duel. He just showed up out out of honor. He was like “I’ll make an appearance!” It was his last appearance. He had no chill at all. He was the least chill of all the founding fathers. What a guy. I love it.
Yes, Alexander Hamilton was killed in a very avoidable duel because he was talking too much smack. He was also known for honesty, being very openly critical of others and himself, hence the self-published pamphlet describing his own affair. There’s not much else to add here, except that during the revolutionary war it was custom to decorate your powder horn with carvings of your battle achievements. Unless you’re Hamilton, in which case you carve a unicorn onto your power horn.