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

It is difficult to recapture the intensity of excitement felt by Americans in 1776 over the prospect of forming new republican governments. It is a work, said Thomas Jefferson, of the most interesting nature and such as every individual would wish to have his voice in. Even the business of the Continental Congress was stifled because so many delegates — including Jefferson — left for home to take part in the paramount activity of erecting the new state governments. Constitutions, remarked Francis Lightfoot Lee, employ every pen. ... Nothing — not the creation of [the] confederacy, not the Continental Congress, not the war, not the French alliance — in the years surrounding the Declaration of Independence engaged the interests of Americans more that the framing of these governments.

Gordon S. Wood
The Creation of the American Republic, 1776—1787 (1969)