Politicians

American

  • John AdamsSigner of the Declaration of Independence, diplomat, second President
  • John Quincy AdamsDiplomat, senator, sixth President, congressman
  • Samuel AdamsBoston revolutionary leader, signer of the Declaration of Independence
  • Charles Carroll of CarrolltonSigner of the Declaration of Independence, senator
  • George ClintonSoldier, politician, NY governor, vice president
  • John DickinsonLawyer, politician, writer, signer of the Declaration of Independence
  • William EllerySigner of the Declaration of Independence from RI
  • Benjamin FranklinPhiladelphia printer, writer, scientist, inventor, diplomat to France
  • William FranklinRoyal Governor of NJ, Loyalist, son of Benjamin Franklin
  • Elbridge GerrySigner of the Declaration of Independence, vice president under Madison
  • Alexander HamiltonWashington’s aide-de-camp, lawyer, Secretary of the Treasury
  • John HancockMerchant, signer of the Declaration of Independence, MA governor
  • Patrick HenryLawyer, orator, VA governor
  • Thomas HutchinsonLast Royal Governor of MA
  • Ralph IzardFinancier, Continental congressman, U.S. senator
  • John JayLawyer, diplomat, Continental congressman, first Chief Justice
  • Thomas JeffersonLawyer, polymath, drafter of the Declaration of Independence, third President
  • Henry LaurensMerchant, planter, slave trader, president of Continental Congress
  • Arthur LeeDiplomat to France, Continental congressman
  • Francis Lightfoot LeeVA politician, signer of the Declaration of Independence
  • Richard Henry LeeVA revolutionary, signer of the Declaration of Independence, senator
  • Philip LivingstonNY merchant, signer of the Declaration of Independence
  • Robert R. LivingstonNY lawyer, politician, signer of the Declaration of Independence
  • James MadisonConstitutionalist, congressman, Secretary of State, fourth President
  • John MarshallSoldier, lawyer, politician, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court
  • George MasonPolitician, author, political philosopher, Anti-Federalist
  • James MonroeSoldier, lawyer, VA governor, diplomat, fifth President
  • Gouverneur MorrisMerchant, financier; helped draft then stylized the Constitution
  • Robert MorrisSigner of the Declaration of Independence, “Financier of the Revolution”
  • James Otis, Jr.Lawyer, politician, Boston revolutionary
  • Charles PinckneySoldier, Constitutional Convention delegate, South Carolina governor
  • Charles Cotesworth PinckneyLawyer, soldier, delegate to the Constitutional Convention
  • Edmund RandolphLawyer, VA governor, Constitutional Convention delegate
  • Peyton RandolphLawyer, VA politician, first president of Continental Congress
  • George ReadLawyer, signer of the Declaration of Independence, senator for DE
  • John RutledgeSC governor, second Chief Justice of the Supreme Court
  • Roger ShermanLawyer and politician from CT; signer of the Declaration of Independence
  • Richard StocktonLawyer, signer of the Declaration of Independence
  • James WilsonLawyer, signer of the Declaration of Independence, Supreme Court justice
  • George WytheLawyer, teacher, scholar, signer of the Declaration of Independence

British

French

For all their artistic and philosophical brilliance, the Greeks were failures at politics; Hamilton, in the Federalist, expressed horror and disgust at the distractions with which they were agitated. The Romans captured the American imagination because they had done what the Americans themselves hoped to do — sustain an extensive republic over a course of centuries. So the society of Revolutionary War officers called themselves Cincinnati; president, congress, and senate were all Roman terms. But the Roman example was also cautionary, for when they lost their virture, they slid into empire. When Franklin said, in response to a question from Eliza Powel, that the constitutional convention had produced a republic, if you can keep it, he and she would have remembered that the Romans had failed to keep theirs.

Richard Brookhiser
Founding Father: Rediscovering George Washington (1996)