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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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