"Founding Fathers" is a phrase often applied vaguely to support debate on interpretation of U.S. constitutional law. We speak of the character and intent of the Founding Fathers... but there is no strong consensus among historians to specify a canonical list of Founding Fathers.

The National Archive and Records Administration (NARA) focuses on the 55 delegates to the 1787 Constitutional Convention (or Federal Convention), which resulted in the 1788 Constitution. It's well worth noting that, of the 55 delegates, only 39 actually signed the Constitution. Other sources also consider the signers of the 1776 Declaration of Independence and the 1781 Articles of Confederation to be "Founding Fathers".

John Jay, William Livingston's son-in-law, helped supply George Washington's army with cannon, held high positions in the Continental Congress and Supreme Court, and rubbed shoulders with many of the signers of the Declaration of Independence and Constitution. More than that, he lent his thoughts to The Federalist Papers, which is in ways a more important document than the Constitution it discusses. So, even though his "John Hancock" isn't on the Constitution, I've elected to include him below.


  Who                           From  Signed         has w/u
  • John Jay NY yes
  • Abraham Clark NJ DOI
  • Arthur Middleton SC DOI
  • Benjamin Harrison VA DOI yes
  • Benjamin Rush PA DOI yes
  • Button Gwinnett GA DOI yes
  • Caesar Rodney DE DOI yes
  • Carter Braxton VA DOI
  • Charles Carroll of Carrollton MD DOI
  • Edward Rutledge SC DOI
  • Francis Hopkinson NJ DOI yes
  • George Ross PA DOI
  • George Taylor PA DOI
  • George Walton GA DOI
  • George Wythe VA DOI
  • James Smith PA DOI
  • John Adams MA DOI yes
  • John Hart NJ DOI
  • John Morton PA DOI
  • Joseph Hewes NC DOI
  • Lewis Morris NY DOI
  • Lyman Hall GA DOI
  • Matthew Thornton NH DOI
  • Philip Livingston NY DOI nodeshell
  • Richard Stockton NJ DOI
  • Robert Treat Paine MA DOI
  • Samuel Chase MD DOI
  • Stephen Hopkins RI DOI yes
  • Thomas Jefferson VA DOI yes
  • Thomas Lynch, Jr. SC DOI
  • Thomas Nelson, Jr. VA DOI
  • Thomas Stone MD DOI
  • William Floyd NY DOI
  • William Hooper NC DOI
  • William Paca MD DOI
  • William Whipple NH DOI
  • William Williams CT DOI
  • Roger Sherman CT DOI, AOC
  • Elbridge Gerry MA DOI, AOC yes
  • Francis Lewis NY DOI, AOC
  • Francis Lightfoot Lee VA DOI, AOC
  • John Hancock MA DOI, AOC yes
  • John Penn NC DOI, AOC
  • John Witherspoon NJ DOI, AOC
  • Josiah Bartlett NH DOI, AOC
  • Oliver Wolcott CT DOI, AOC
  • Richard Henry Lee VA DOI, AOC yes
  • Samuel Adams MA DOI, AOC yes
  • Samuel Huntington CT DOI, AOC
  • Thomas Heyward, Jr. SC DOI, AOC
  • Thomas McKean DE DOI, AOC
  • William Ellery RI DOI, AOC
  • Robert Morris PA DOI, AOC, CON
  • Benjamin Franklin PA DOI, CON yes
  • James Wilson PA DOI, CON
  • George Clymer PA DOI, CON
  • George Read DE DOI, CON
  • Andrew Adams CT AOC
  • Cornelius Harnett NC AOC
  • Daniel Roberdeau PA AOC
  • Edward Langworthy GA AOC
  • Edward Telfair GA AOC
  • Francis Dana MA AOC
  • Henry Laurens SC AOC
  • Henry Marchant RI AOC
  • James Duane NY AOC
  • James Lovell MA AOC
  • John Banister VA AOC
  • John Collins RI AOC
  • John Hanson MD AOC yes
  • John Harvie VA AOC
  • John Mathews SC AOC
  • John Walton GA AOC
  • John Wentworth, Jr. NH AOC
  • John Williams NC AOC
  • Jonathan Bayard Smith PA AOC
  • Joseph Reed PA AOC
  • Nathaniel Scudder NJ AOC
  • Nicholas Van Dyke DE AOC
  • Richard Hutson SC AOC
  • Samuel Holten MA AOC
  • Thomas Adams VA AOC
  • Titus Hosmer CT AOC
  • William Clingan PA AOC
  • William Duer NY AOC
  • William Henry Drayton SC AOC
  • Daniel Carroll MD AOC, CON
  • Gouverneur Morris NY AOC, CON
  • John Dickinson DE AOC, CON
  • Abraham Baldwin GA CON
  • Alexander Hamilton NY CON yes
  • Charles Cotesworth Pinckney SC CON
  • Charles Pinckney SC CON
  • Dan of St. Thomas Jennifer MD CON
  • David Brearley NJ CON
  • George Washington VA CON yes
  • Gunning Bedford, Jr. DE CON
  • Hugh Williamson NC CON
  • Jacob Broom DE CON
  • James Madison, Jr. VA CON yes
  • James McHenry MD CON
  • Jared Ingersoll PA CON
  • John Blair VA CON
  • John Langdon NH CON
  • John Rutledge SC CON
  • Jonathan Dayton NJ CON
  • Nathaniel Gorham MA CON
  • Nicholas Gilman NH CON
  • Pierce Butler SC CON
  • Richard Bassett DE CON
  • Richard Dobbs Spaight NC CON
  • Rufus King MA CON
  • Thomas Fitzsimons PA CON
  • Thomas Mifflin PA CON
  • William Blount NC CON
  • William Few GA CON
  • William Jackson CON
  • William Livingston NJ CON nodeshell
  • William Paterson NJ CON yes
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