09 December 2023

Ages of the "founding fathers" on July 4, 1776

Marquis de Lafayette, 18
James Monroe, 18
Gilbert Stuart, 20
Aaron Burr, 20
Alexander Hamilton, 21
Betsy Ross, 24
James Madison, 25
Thomas Jefferson, 33
John Adams, 40
Paul Revere, 41
George Washington, 44
Samuel Adams, 53
Benjamin Frankllin, 70

Via Kottke, where there is a fascinating story about 80-year-old combatant-but-not-founding-father Samuel Whittemore.


  1. Hamilton was 19. There is a controversy about when he was born. Great stuff though!

  2. It's odd on the list at Journal of the American Revolution, George Washington is marked as a non-signer. I don't think that's correct.
    My trying to find how much infant mortality shifted the white male life expectancy in 1776 proved fruitless. I did see if you reached 60 you'd probably see 75, but it's hard to believe it shifted the expectancy 15 years.

  3. People grew up a lot faster in the 18th century. I think Franklin was managing a printing shop at something like 15 years old. But we sure are making progress!!!

  4. Washington did not sign the Declaration of Independence. He was off fighting the war.

  5. Yes I found out where Washing to was and how he got a letter and copy dated the 6th and read it to his troops on the 9th while the Hessian mercenarys were landing on Staten Island. But it wouldn't let me post it when I came back.


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