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The surprising ages of the Founding Fathers on July 4, 1776
kottke.org ^ | August 13, 2013

Posted on 07/06/2014 8:35:05 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet

For the Journal of the American Revolution, Todd Andrlik compiled a list of the ages of the key participants in the Revolutionary War as of July 4, 1776. Many of them were surprisingly young:

Marquis de Lafayette, 18

James Monroe, 18

Gilbert Stuart, 20

Aaron Burr, 20

Alexander Hamilton, 21

Betsy Ross, 24

James Madison, 25

This is kind of blowing my mind...because of the compression of history, I'd always assumed all these people were around the same age. But in thinking about it, all startups need young people...Hamilton, Lafayette, and Burr were perhaps the Gates, Jobs, and Zuckerberg of the War. Some more ages, just for reference:

Thomas Jefferson, 33

John Adams, 40

Paul Revere, 41

George Washington, 44

Samuel Adams, 53

The oldest prominent participant in the Revolution, by a wide margin, was Benjamin Franklin, who was 70 years old on July 4, 1776. Franklin was a full two generations removed from the likes of Madison and Hamilton. But the oldest participant in the war was Samuel Whittemore, who fought in an early skirmish at the age of 80. I'll let Wikipedia take it from here:

Whittemore was in his fields when he spotted an approaching British relief brigade under Earl Percy, sent to assist the retreat. Whittemore loaded his musket and ambushed the British from behind a nearby stone wall, killing one soldier. He then drew his dueling pistols and killed a grenadier and mortally wounded a second. By the time Whittemore had fired his third shot, a British detachment reached his position; Whittemore drew his sword and attacked. He was shot in the face, bayoneted thirteen times, and left for dead in a pool of blood. He was found alive, trying to load his musket to fight again. He was taken to Dr. Cotton Tufts of Medford, who perceived no hope for his survival. However, Whittemore lived another 18 years until dying of natural causes at the age of 98.


TOPICS: Government; History; Politics; Reference
KEYWORDS: foundingfathers; g42; godsgravesglyphs; history; revolution; revolutionarywar; samuelwhittemore; thegeneral; therevolution
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Interesting.
1 posted on 07/06/2014 8:35:05 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

I had no idea! Why did I think they were all over 45? They were young upstarts. :) Brave, young upstarts.


2 posted on 07/06/2014 8:38:25 PM PDT by madison10
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

We need more Samuel Whittemores.....


3 posted on 07/06/2014 8:41:00 PM PDT by Bryan24 (When in doubt, move to the right..........)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
An amazing group of men & women. Giants among pygmies.

However I can guarantee that “Hamilton, Lafayette, and Burr were perhaps the Gates, Jobs, and Zuckerberg of the War” was not written by any right winger. Or even someone center right.

4 posted on 07/06/2014 8:43:39 PM PDT by Tupelo
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To: Bryan24

There won’t be Samuel Whittemores until we need Samuel Whittmores. That’s how this works.


5 posted on 07/06/2014 8:46:13 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet (The most dangerous man to any government is the man who is able to think things out for himself.)
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To: Tupelo

Agreed, unless he/she was trying to describe them to millennials.


6 posted on 07/06/2014 8:47:05 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet (The most dangerous man to any government is the man who is able to think things out for himself.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

They were quite highly educated for such young ages.


7 posted on 07/06/2014 8:50:01 PM PDT by TigersEye ("No man left behind" means something different to 0bama.)
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To: Bryan24

No kidding!


8 posted on 07/06/2014 8:50:19 PM PDT by Girlene (Hey NSA!)
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To: madison10

I second that pre conception!

the drawings and paintings wee see of these men portray them as being middle aged...so I Assumed....they were when their significant achievement was presented


9 posted on 07/06/2014 8:55:44 PM PDT by MeshugeMikey ( "Never, never, never give up". Winston Churchill ....Barack Hussein LaRaza Obama Bites)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Fascinating, Thanks!


10 posted on 07/06/2014 9:03:15 PM PDT by UnwashedPeasant (Don't nuke me, bro.)
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To: call meVeronica

Bump for the kids to read


11 posted on 07/06/2014 9:06:32 PM PDT by call meVeronica
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
Franklin was the oldest of the Signers, but Stephen Hopkins, aged 69, was only one year younger. About 5 other Signers were in their 60s.

Some of the Patriots listed were too young to be delegates to Congress in 1776 (the two youngest, both from South Carolina, were 26).

My grandfather's grandfather was 3 years old when the Treaty of Paris was signed in 1783. Not only did he do nothing to aid the Revolution, he never even left Europe.

12 posted on 07/06/2014 9:08:50 PM PDT by Verginius Rufus
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Jefferson would have been too young to be President when he wrote the Declaration of Independence. Wow.


13 posted on 07/06/2014 9:09:05 PM PDT by Anitius Severinus Boethius (www.wilsonharpbooks.com - Eclipse, the sequel to Bright Horizons is out! Get it now!)
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To: TigersEye

Nathaniel Green was an amazing story. A brilliantly self-educated man (as many of them were) who taught himself math, metallurgy, law, and most impressively, war.

He was only 33 years old in 1775.


14 posted on 07/06/2014 9:15:32 PM PDT by rlmorel ("A nation, despicable by it"s weakness, forfeits even the privilege of being neutral." A. Hamilton)
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To: Anitius Severinus Boethius

Despite what you may have heard, he didn’t write it by himself.


15 posted on 07/06/2014 9:15:37 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet (The most dangerous man to any government is the man who is able to think things out for himself.)
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To: Bryan24
We need more Samuel Whittemores.....

No, We need more James Madison's!!!!!

16 posted on 07/06/2014 9:20:59 PM PDT by fedupjohn (America...Designed by Geniuses...Now inhabited by Idiots..Palin 2016...)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

So what? Does that take away the point of my post? Does that change his age in any way?


17 posted on 07/06/2014 9:31:38 PM PDT by Anitius Severinus Boethius (www.wilsonharpbooks.com - Eclipse, the sequel to Bright Horizons is out! Get it now!)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Thanks for this post, 2nd Div. It takes some of us a while to catch on. I did not know of Whittemore. Should have, being a keen observer of US History and all. But now I’ve got him in my top 5 All-American Badasses along with the likes of Audie Murphy, Sgt York, Ernest Evans and Arthur MacArthur.


18 posted on 07/06/2014 9:47:07 PM PDT by Migraine (Diversity is great -- until it happens to YOU..)
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To: Anitius Severinus Boethius
Not at all. I just wanted to remind everyone that he was on the committee to write the Declaration of Independence and Congress later revised it, he is not the sole author.
19 posted on 07/06/2014 9:49:49 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet (The most dangerous man to any government is the man who is able to think things out for himself.)
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To: Bryan24
We need more Samuel Whittemores.....

Absolutely!

20 posted on 07/06/2014 9:51:51 PM PDT by wastedyears (I'm a pessimist, I say plenty of negative things. Consider it a warning of sorts.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Whitmore is frickin’ AWESOME!!

God bless him! Like another poster said-—we need men like him today!

Never again will I ever think I’m “too old” to take on the likes of the scum that are tearing our country down today.

Inspired!


21 posted on 07/06/2014 9:51:52 PM PDT by Thorliveshere (Minnesota Survivor)
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To: Thorliveshere

Sorry, so excited, I misspelled Whittemore.


22 posted on 07/06/2014 9:52:23 PM PDT by Thorliveshere (Minnesota Survivor)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet; GeronL; Slings and Arrows

23 posted on 07/06/2014 10:10:30 PM PDT by a fool in paradise (The new witchhunt: "Do you NOW, . . . or have you EVER , . . supported traditional marriage?")
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To: madison10

Because young people their age today act like morons.


24 posted on 07/06/2014 10:14:14 PM PDT by BunnySlippers (I LOVE BULL MARKETS . . .)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

The desire for freedom knows no age. Hamilton was a federalist through and through and should the stupidity of youth


25 posted on 07/06/2014 10:23:07 PM PDT by Nifster
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To: madison10

Why did I think they were all over 45?


Alinsky’s “Rules for Radicals” calls for “freezing and defining” the enemy. Those who hate our country have been allowed to paint false pictures.

We need to spread the truth. Shine a light so the cockroaches run back into the darkness.


26 posted on 07/06/2014 10:25:25 PM PDT by Rides_A_Red_Horse (Why do you need a fire extinguisher when you can call the fire department?)
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To: madison10
I had no idea! Why did I think they were all over 45? They were young upstarts. :) Brave, young upstarts.

Same thing for Jesus and the Apostles.

Jesus was 30 when he began His mission. Most of the Apostles were under 30. I think Peter was a little older, but not much.

Mary was 15 when she was visited by the angel Gabriel.

27 posted on 07/06/2014 10:39:22 PM PDT by Slyfox (When progressives ignore moral parameters, they also lose the natural gift of common sense.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

This shows how accomplished people can be without television.


28 posted on 07/06/2014 10:39:43 PM PDT by Moonman62 (The US has become a government with a country, rather than a country with a government.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet; Anitius Severinus Boethius
Despite what you may have heard, he didn’t write it by himself.

Despite what you may have heard, yes, he did. The only real changes were things removed, like his "vehement Phillipic against negro slavery." There was only one significant addition, which was Lee's resolution: That these United Colonies are, and of right ought to be, Free and Independent States.

Jefferson wrote the Declaration. Period.

29 posted on 07/06/2014 10:49:38 PM PDT by FredZarguna (Das ist nicht nur nicht richtig, es ist nicht einmal falsch!)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

today, people are still considered ‘children’ until they are 26


30 posted on 07/06/2014 10:49:59 PM PDT by sten (fighting tyranny never goes out of style)
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To: FredZarguna

I’ll tell that to Ben and John.


31 posted on 07/06/2014 10:58:08 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet (The most dangerous man to any government is the man who is able to think things out for himself.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Frickin Americans.

Take a lickin and keep on tickin....


32 posted on 07/06/2014 11:13:18 PM PDT by Vendome (Don't take life so seriously-you won't live through it anyway-Enjoy Yourself ala Louis Prima)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Go ahead and tell them. They didn’t make anything but very slight corrections, and they did not change the language. Please feel free to cite just ONE reputable historian who supports your contention.


33 posted on 07/06/2014 11:20:16 PM PDT by FredZarguna (Das ist nicht nur nicht richtig, es ist nicht einmal falsch!)
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To: FredZarguna

I’m not arguing, I’m just going by my recollections from various and sundry history texts and other books I’ve read since I was 5 years old.


34 posted on 07/06/2014 11:22:05 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet (The most dangerous man to any government is the man who is able to think things out for himself.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet; Anitius Severinus Boethius

While Madison was a key player on the committee drafting The Constitution, he was most influential in the drafting and revision, getting to the final document.

More importantly, he alone drafted The Bill of Rights, ensuring each man was treated equally under the law and ensuring the injuries suffered under the King, the Parliament and henchmen could never have any imprimatur and excuse for abuse of God given rights.


35 posted on 07/06/2014 11:22:32 PM PDT by Vendome (Don't take life so seriously-you won't live through it anyway-Enjoy Yourself ala Louis Prima)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
Here's what John has to say in his own words:

I was delighted with its high tone and the flights of oratory with which it abounded, especially that concerning Negro slavery, which, though I knew his Southern brethren would never suffer to pass in Congress, I certainly never would oppose. There were other expressions which I would not have inserted if I had drawn it up, particularly that which called the King tyrant. I thought this too personal, for I never believed George to be a tyrant in disposition and in nature; I always believed him to be deceived by his courtiers on both sides of the Atlantic, and in his official capacity, only, cruel. I thought the expression too passionate, and too much like scolding, for so grave and solemn a document; but as Franklin and Sherman were to inspect it afterwards, I thought it would not become me to strike it out. I consented to report it, and do not now remember that I made or suggested a single alteration.

36 posted on 07/06/2014 11:26:41 PM PDT by FredZarguna (Das ist nicht nur nicht richtig, es ist nicht einmal falsch!)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
Here's what John says about Ben and the rest of the committee:

We reported it to the committee of five. It was read, and I do not remember that Franklin or Sherman criticized anything. We were all in haste. Congress was impatient, and the instrument was reported, as I believe, in Jefferson's handwriting, as he first drew it.

37 posted on 07/06/2014 11:28:46 PM PDT by FredZarguna (Das ist nicht nur nicht richtig, es ist nicht einmal falsch!)
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To: FredZarguna
Jefferson began his work on June 11 and toiled in seclusion writing a number of drafts. After presenting his final draft, the committee further revised the document and submitted it to the Continental Congress on June 28.

Who wrote the Declaration of Independence?

Although we know Thomas Jefferson as the true author, the Second Continental Congress initially appointed five people to draw up a declaration. The committee included Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, Roger Sherman, Robert Livingston and Thomas Jefferson. Jefferson was then given the task of writing a draft for the Declaration of Independence, which from June 11 to June 28 he worked on. Before he presented the Declaration to the Continental Congress, he showed it to John Adams and Benjamin Franklin; they made revisions. He presented the draft to Congress on July 1, 1776 and more revisions were made. On the fourth of July the delegates met in what we know today as Independence Hall, but back then was known as the Pennsylvania State House, and approved the Declaration. John Hancock, the President of the Continental Congress signed the declaration along with Charles Thomson and it was sent to John Dunlap’s print shop for printing.

38 posted on 07/06/2014 11:37:06 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet (The most dangerous man to any government is the man who is able to think things out for himself.)
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To: Bigg Red

mark


39 posted on 07/06/2014 11:42:51 PM PDT by Bigg Red (31 May 2014: Obamugabe officially declares the USA a vanquished subject of the Global Caliphate.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
Read what Adams wrote. Neither he nor Franklin made any revisions.

Jefferson's draft as it appeared when it was reported out of committee still exists. The committee did not revise the document, just as Adams reported.

The Congress did NOT revise the document except exactly as I have told you. They removed parts, and they added nothing except Lee's Resolution.

Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence ENTIRELY ON HIS OWN. The Congress removed some parts, largely for political reasons. An editor is not an author.

You have been corrected, by one of the original committee members in his own words, and if you still think some hack grade-school book you read when you were a kid knows more than John Adams -- who claimed he added nothing and took nothing out, nor did Franklin nor Sherman -- or you think your hack historian knows more about it than Thomas Jefferson who claimed authorship -- and whose claims to authorship have never been challenged by any serious historian, you may remain in your ignorance.

40 posted on 07/06/2014 11:57:07 PM PDT by FredZarguna (Das ist nicht nur nicht richtig, es ist nicht einmal falsch!)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

It’s not that they were so young, but rather that 20 year olds used to be grown ups.


41 posted on 07/07/2014 3:29:23 AM PDT by SampleMan (Feral Humans are the refuse of socialism.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

I’ve always assumed they much older.


42 posted on 07/07/2014 4:00:33 AM PDT by Pajamajan ( Pray for our nation. Thank the Lord for everything you have. Don't wait. Do it today.??)
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To: madison10
Why did I think they were all over 45?

Because they like to wear those powdered white wigs!
In those days, maturity, experience and wisdom is honored. Today, everyone is trying to pretend to be 19 forever. Goldie Hawn is scary.
43 posted on 07/07/2014 4:13:03 AM PDT by Dr. Sivana ("If you're litigating against nuns, you've probably done something wrong."-Ted Cruz)
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To: Dr. Sivana

Actually, that was pretty rare for colonists.

As for the view that they were old, I think that is mainly the fault of portraits. Not because they were inaccurate, but many times they were painted much later in life. Henry Knox looks very old in his most known pix, but he was only about 25 when it ll started.

Worse, it seems even our media have perpetuated what the portraits started. Movies and shows, and even documentaries, often use oldsters to represent these people. Washington is the worst offended, perpetually shown as old and white haired. But he was only about 51 when the war officially ended! He was only 69 when he died.


44 posted on 07/07/2014 5:34:15 AM PDT by the OlLine Rebel (Common sense is an uncommon virtue.)
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To: BunnySlippers; madison10

That was going to be my reply. “Young” is relative. Then they had been working on farms, in the family trade since very young. They were not “young” as we think of it today.


45 posted on 07/07/2014 5:35:07 AM PDT by ican'tbelieveit
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To: the OlLine Rebel
Actually, that was pretty rare for colonists.

George Washington kind of sets the tone, though.
46 posted on 07/07/2014 6:15:46 AM PDT by Dr. Sivana ("If you're litigating against nuns, you've probably done something wrong."-Ted Cruz)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
Whittemore was in his fields when he spotted an approaching British relief brigade under Earl Percy, sent to assist the retreat. Whittemore loaded his musket and ambushed the British from behind a nearby stone wall, killing one soldier. He then drew his dueling pistols and killed a grenadier and mortally wounded a second. By the time Whittemore had fired his third shot, a British detachment reached his position; Whittemore drew his sword and attacked. He was shot in the face, bayoneted thirteen times, and left for dead in a pool of blood. He was found alive, trying to load his musket to fight again. He was taken to Dr. Cotton Tufts of Medford, who perceived no hope for his survival. However, Whittemore lived another 18 years until dying of natural causes at the age of 98.

If you are looking for a description of a badass, this is it.

47 posted on 07/07/2014 6:23:15 AM PDT by Disambiguator (#cornedbeef)
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To: Dr. Sivana

He didn’t wear wigs generally.

At best he powdered his hair, but certainly not much in war.


48 posted on 07/07/2014 6:42:43 AM PDT by the OlLine Rebel (Common sense is an uncommon virtue.)
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To: Migraine

Migrane - please tell why you have Arthur MacArthur. I take it you mean the father and not the brother of Doug?


49 posted on 07/07/2014 9:04:46 AM PDT by 7thson (I've got a seat at the big conference table! I'm gonna paint my logo on it!)
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To: rlmorel
That makes him one of the 'old guys.' lol

Amazing men, amazing times.

50 posted on 07/07/2014 9:22:17 AM PDT by TigersEye ("No man left behind" means something different to 0bama.)
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