Monday, April 19, 2010
Mark in Spokane from American Creation, has written a post ranking the Founding Fathers. My list is more exhaustive; instead of the usual suspects, a more thorough investigation will send the popular names down the list.
Brian Tubbs said...
"I agree with your choice of GW to top the list. I don't see frankly how anyone could dispute that."
I can't see George Washington in the top three! He was more of a leader, and figurehead, rather than expositor of Founding principles.
Here is my list:
1) Roger Sherman. Sherman and Hamilton could be interchangeable, however, Sherman is the only man to sign all four governing documents of the Republic; The Continental Association of 1774; The Declaration of Independence; The Articles of Confederation; and The Federal Constitution. He was on the drafting board for the Declaration of Independence, presented the Great Compromise of 1787, resulting in a Senate and House of Representatives, was on the Committee which formed the First Amendment, and was a professor of religion at Yale. He served on many committees and held the most offices of anyone. He was also loved by everyone. Thomas Jefferson described Roger Sherman as "a man who never said a foolish thing in his life."
2) John Marshall. Presidents can head a governmental department for a maximum of eight years. Marshall led the Judicial Branch for thirty-four years! His decisions shaped our law for one-hundred years. He established the principal of Judicial Review, the power to strike down laws that violate the Constitution. He ended the Revolutionary War as a full Colonel, fighting at: Great Bridge, Brandywine, Germantown, and Monmouth. Some of his posts include: Minister to France, Secretary of State, Secretary of War, and finally Chief Justice. Marshall also ratified the Constitution.
3) Alexander Hamilton. Our financial system is from his mind. Revolutionary Captain, head of the storming party at Yorktown, Secretary of the Treasury, main expositor of the Constitution, etc.
4) James Madison. He helped draft the Constitution, however, was not the principal author, as some claim him to be. That title should go to Charles Pinckney. He was also President and Secretary of State.
5) George Washington. Although not college educated, he was the leader of the new nation. A fearless General, who James Monroe said, "If not for his leadership, the Convention would have adjourned unsuccessfully." Surprisingly, he had many enemies.
6) John Adams. A strong patriot; was President, Vice-President, signed the Bill of Rights, and Declaration of Independence.
7) John Jay. Mr. Jay's work for our nation is un-paralled. He would have signed the Declaration of Independence, but was busy writing the Constitution of New York. He served as President of the Continental Congress, Dec. 10, 1778, till he resigned September 28, 1779, to become Minister to Spain. He convinced Spain to give us $170,000 dollars for the revolution. Jay was one of the men who signed the Treaty of Paris on June 23, 1782. Was Secretary of State from 1784-1790. In 1789 Washington offered him any post in the Cabinet, he chose Chief Justice, a post he held until 1795. He was also Governor of New York, and the man behind the Jay Treaty.
8) Samuel Adams. The "Father of the Revolution." The British pardoned only two men during the Revolution; Samuel Adams and John Hancock. His circular letter of 1768 led to the Boston Massacre of 1770. That tells us he was the main instigator of the fight, and if captured, would certainly have been hung. He organized the Boston Tea Party, signed the Declaration, helped draft the Articles of Confederation, and ratified the Constitution.
9) John Dickinson. The "Penman of the Revolution" What Samuel Adams did by action, Dickinson employed with the pen. He gave the colonists the legal justification to break from Great Britain. Upon receiving news of his death, President Thomas Jefferson recognized him as being "among the first of the advocates for the rights of his country when assailed by Great Britain" whose "name will be consecrated in history as one of the great worthies of the revolution." He was the principal author of our first Constitution, that lasted from 1777 to 1790. He was the most famous man in the colonies, who would have wrote the Declaration of Independence had he not been for reconciliation. Dickinson was the Governor of two states.
10). Benjamin Franklin. Apparently, Franklin was a great Diplomat, who procurred vital assistance from the French. A strong supporter of liberty.
Thomas Jefferson was a relatively small player, especially regarding the Constitution and Bill of Rights. His treatment of Washington should not be ignored. He lied about the formation of the Declaration of Independence, writing, "I took from no other sources." However, he most definitely used Mason's Declaration of Rights.