A report on United States Declaration of Independence

Thomas Jefferson, the principal author of the Declaration, as painted by Rembrandt Peale
The 13 states at the Declaration of Independence
The Assembly Room in Philadelphia's Independence Hall, where the Second Continental Congress adopted the Declaration of Independence
Writing the Declaration of Independence, 1776, an idealized depiction of Franklin, Adams, and Jefferson working on the Declaration was widely reprinted (by Jean Leon Gerome Ferris, 1900).
Portable writing desk that Jefferson used to draft and finalize the Declaration of Independence
"Declaration House", the reconstructed boarding house at Market and S. 7th Street in Philadelphia, where Jefferson wrote the Declaration
The opening of the original printing of the Declaration, printed on July 4, 1776, under Jefferson's supervision. The engrossed copy was made later (shown at the top of this article). The opening lines differ between the two versions.
English political philosopher John Locke (1632–1704)
The signed copy of the Declaration is now badly faded because of poor preserving practices in the 19th century. It is on display at the National Archives in Washington, D.C.
The Syng inkstand, which was used at both the 1776 signing of the Declaration and the 1787 signing of the U.S. Constitution, is on display in Philadelphia
On July 4, 1776, Continental Congress President John Hancock's signature authenticated the United States Declaration of Independence.
Johannes Adam Simon Oertel's painting Pulling Down the Statue of King George III, N.Y.C., ca. 1859, depicts citizens destroying a statue of King George after the Declaration was read in New York City on July 9, 1776.
William Whipple, signer of the Declaration of Independence, manumitted his slave, believing that he could not both fight for liberty and own slaves.
The Rotunda for the Charters of Freedom in the National Archives building
a new broadside
John Trumbull's famous 1818 painting is often identified as a depiction of the signing of the Declaration, but it actually shows the drafting committee presenting its work to the Congress.
United States two-dollar bill (reverse)
Congressman Abraham Lincoln, 1845–1846
Elizabeth Cady Stanton and her two sons (1848)

Pronouncement and founding document adopted by the Second Continental Congress meeting in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on July 4, 1776.

- United States Declaration of Independence

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Eastern North America in 1775. The Province of Quebec, the Thirteen Colonies on the Atlantic coast, and the Indian Reserve as defined by the Royal Proclamation of 1763. The border between the red and pink areas represents the 1763 "Proclamation line", while the orange area represents the Spanish claim.

American Revolution

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Ideological and political revolution that occurred in British America between 1765 and 1791.

Ideological and political revolution that occurred in British America between 1765 and 1791.

Eastern North America in 1775. The Province of Quebec, the Thirteen Colonies on the Atlantic coast, and the Indian Reserve as defined by the Royal Proclamation of 1763. The border between the red and pink areas represents the 1763 "Proclamation line", while the orange area represents the Spanish claim.
New borders drawn by the Royal Proclamation of 1763
Notice of the Stamp Act 1765 in a colonial newspaper
Letter III of John Dickinson's Letters from a Farmer in Pennsylvania, published in the Pennsylvania Chronicle, December 1767
On June 9, 1772, the Sons of Liberty burned HMS Gaspee, a British customs schooner in Narragansett Bay
The December 16, 1773 Boston Tea Party, led by Samuel Adams and Sons of Liberty, has become a mainstay of American patriotic lore.
A 1774 etching from The London Magazine depicts Prime Minister Lord North, author of the Boston Port Act, forcing the Intolerable Acts down the throat of America, whose arms are restrained by Lord Chief Justice Mansfield, and a tattered "Boston Petition" lays trampled on the ground beside her. Lord Sandwich pins down her feet and peers up her robes; behind them, Mother Britannia weeps while France and Spain look on
Join, or Die, a political cartoon attributed to Benjamin Franklin was used to encourage the Thirteen Colonies to unite against British rule
Johannes Adam Simon Oertel's painting Pulling Down the Statue of King George III, N.Y.C., circa 1859
The British fleet amassing off Staten Island in New York Harbor in the summer of 1776, depicted in Harper's Magazine in 1876
The Staten Island Peace Conference in September 1776 depicted in a drawing by Alonzo Chappel
Washington crossing the Delaware on December 25–26, 1776, depicted in Emanuel Leutze's 1851 painting
Hessian troops hired out to the British by their German sovereigns
The 1781 siege of Yorktown ended with the surrender of a second British army, marking effective British defeat.
Treaty of Paris by Benjamin West portrays the American delegation about to sign the 1783 Treaty of Paris (John Jay, John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Henry Laurens, W.T. Franklin). The British delegation refused to pose and the painting was never completed
Last page of the 1783 Treaty of Paris, ending the Revolutionary War
Robert Morris statue honoring American founding father and financier Robert Morris at Independence National Historical Park in Philadelphia
The September 17, 1787 signing of the United States Constitution at Independence Hall in Philadelphia depicted in Howard Chandler Christy's 1940 painting, Scene at the Signing of the Constitution of the United States
Portrait of Alexander Hamilton, first Secretary of the Treasury
Samuel Adams points at the Massachusetts Charter, which he viewed as a constitution that protected the people's rights, in this c. 1772 portrait by John Singleton Copley
Patriots tar and feather Loyalist John Malcolm depicted in a 1774 painting
George III as depicted in a 1781 portrait
Thomas Paine's pamphlet Common Sense, published in January 1776
Mercy Otis Warren published poems and plays that attacked royal authority and urged colonists to resist British rule
Louis XVI King of France and Navarre
Friedrich Wilhelm von Steuben was a former Prussian army officer who served as inspector general of the Continental Army during the American Revolutionary War. He is credited with teaching the Continental Army the essentials of military drill and discipline beginning at Valley Forge in 1778, considered a turning point for the Americans.
Thayendanegea, a Mohawk military and political leader, was the most prominent indigenous leader opposing the Patriot forces.
The painting Crispus Attucks (c.1943), by Herschel Levit depicts Attucks who is considered to be the first American to die for the cause of independence in the Revolution
An African-American soldier (left) of the 1st Rhode Island Regiment, widely regarded as the first Black battalion in U.S. military history
The American Revolution was part of the first wave of the Atlantic Revolutions, an 18th and 19th century revolutionary wave in the Atlantic World
A Lexington, Massachusetts memorial to Prince Estabrook, who was wounded in the Battle of Lexington and Concord and was the first Black casualty of the Revolutionary War
This postage stamp, which was created at the time of the bicentennial, honors Salem Poor, who was an enslaved African-American man who purchased his freedom, became a soldier, and rose to fame as a war hero during the Battle of Bunker Hill.
British Loyalists fleeing to British Canada as depicted in this early 20th century drawing
A 1976 United States Bicentennial logo commemorating the American Revolution's 200th anniversary
A five-dollar banknote issued by the Second Continental Congress in 1775.

The Continental Congress declared British King George III a tyrant who trampled the colonists' rights as Englishmen, and they pronounced the colonies free and independent states on July 4, 1776.

John Adams by Gilbert Stuart c. undefined 1800–1815

John Adams

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American statesman, attorney, diplomat, writer, and Founding Father who served as the second president of the United States from 1797 to 1801.

American statesman, attorney, diplomat, writer, and Founding Father who served as the second president of the United States from 1797 to 1801.

John Adams by Gilbert Stuart c. undefined 1800–1815
Adams's birthplace now in Quincy, Massachusetts
Boston Massacre of 1770 by Alonzo Chappel
John Trumbull's Declaration of Independence depicts the Committee of Five presenting its draft to Congress. Adams is depicted in the center with his hand on his hip.
The Assembly Room in Philadelphia's Independence Hall, where the Second Continental Congress adopted the Declaration of Independence
Adams frequently clashed with Benjamin Franklin over how to manage French relations.
Treaty of Paris by Benjamin West (Adams in front).
Adams – 1785 Mather Brown Portrait
Portrait of Adams by John Trumbull, 1793
Portrait of George Washington by Gilbert Stuart, 1795. Washington rarely consulted Vice President Adams, who often felt marginalized and overshadowed by Washington's prestige.
1796 presidential election results
President's House, Philadelphia. Adams occupied this Philadelphia mansion from March 1797 to May 1800.
A political cartoon depicts the XYZ Affair – America is a female being plundered by Frenchmen. (1798)
Thomas Jefferson, Adams's vice president, attempted to undermine many of his actions as president and eventually defeated him for reelection.
Alexander Hamilton's desire for high military rank and his push for war with France put him into conflict with Adams.
1800 presidential election results
John Marshall, 4th Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court and one of Adams's few dependable allies
John Adams, c. 1816, by Samuel Morse (Brooklyn Museum)
Tombs of John and Abigail Adams (far) and John Quincy and Louisa Adams (near), in family crypt at United First Parish Church
Peacefield - John Adams' Home
Thoughts on Government (1776)
John Adams by Gilbert Stuart (1823). This portrait was the last made of Adams, done at the request of John Quincy.

He assisted Jefferson in drafting the Declaration of Independence in 1776.

Portrait by Rembrandt Peale, 1800

Thomas Jefferson

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American statesman, diplomat, lawyer, architect, philosopher, and Founding Father who served as the third president of the United States from 1801 to 1809.

American statesman, diplomat, lawyer, architect, philosopher, and Founding Father who served as the third president of the United States from 1801 to 1809.

Portrait by Rembrandt Peale, 1800
Thomas Jefferson's Coat of Arms
Wren Building, College of William & Mary where Jefferson studied
House of Burgesses in Williamsburg, Virginia, where Jefferson served 1769–1775
Jefferson's home Monticello in Virginia
Jefferson's daughter Martha
U.S. Declaration of Independence – 1823 facsimile of the engrossed copy
Governor's Palace, Governor Jefferson's residence in Williamsburg
Independence Hall Assembly Room where Jefferson served in Congress
Portrait of Thomas Jefferson while in London in 1786 at 44 by Mather Brown
Thomas Jefferson in 1791 at 48 by Charles Willson Peale
1796 election results
Jefferson in 1799 at 57, painted by Charles Peale Polk
1800 election results
President Thomas Jefferson Peale 1805 Reproduction
Barbary Coast of North Africa 1806. Left is Morocco at Gibraltar, center is Tunis, and right is Tripoli.
The 1803 Louisiana Purchase totaled 827,987 sqmi, doubling the size of the United States.
Corps of Discovery, October 1805 (by Charles Marion Russell, 1905)
map
Black Hoof, leader of the Shawnee, accepted Jefferson's Indian assimilation policies.
1804 Electoral College vote
1802 portrait of Aaron Burr by John Vanderlyn
HMS Leopard (right) firing upon USS Chesapeake
A political cartoon showing merchants dodging the "Ograbme", which is "Embargo" spelled backwards (1807)
Portrait of Jefferson by Gilbert Stuart, 1821.
The University of Virginia, Jefferson's "Academical Village"
In 1804, Abigail Adams attempted to reconcile Jefferson and Adams.
Lafayette in 1824, portrait by Ary Scheffer, hanging in U.S. House of Representatives
Jefferson's gravesite
Thomas Jefferson at age 78. Portrait by Thomas Sully hanging at West Point, commissioned by Faculty and Cadets, 1821.
The Jefferson Bible featuring only the words of Jesus from the evangelists, in parallel Greek, Latin, French and English
Jefferson by Gilbert Stuart in 1805
Treasury Secretary Alexander Hamilton, national bank proponent and Jefferson's adversary
Jefferson's 1795 Farm Book, page 30, lists 163 slaves at Monticello.
Jefferson depicted as a rooster, and Hemings as a hen
Virginia State Capitol, designed by Jefferson (wings added later)
Mount Rushmore National Memorial (left to right): George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln
Jefferson Memorial, Washington, D.C.
Thomas Jefferson Memorial Statue, by Rudulph Evans (1947)
Jefferson on the $2 bill
alt=Commemorative stone erected at Thomas Jefferson's birthplace in Shadwell, Virginia, on April 13, 1929.|Jefferson's Birthplace
Albert Gallatin Jefferson's Treasury economic architect Stuart 1803

The principal author of the Declaration of Independence, Jefferson was a proponent of democracy, republicanism, and individual rights, motivating American colonists to break from the Kingdom of Great Britain and form a new nation.

Clockwise from left: Continental infantry at Redoubt 10, Yorktown; Washington rallying the broken center at Monmouth; USS Bonhomme Richard capturing HMS Serapis

American Revolutionary War

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The American Revolutionary War (April 19, 1775 – September 3, 1783), also known as the Revolutionary War or American War of Independence, secured American independence from Great Britain.

The American Revolutionary War (April 19, 1775 – September 3, 1783), also known as the Revolutionary War or American War of Independence, secured American independence from Great Britain.

Clockwise from left: Continental infantry at Redoubt 10, Yorktown; Washington rallying the broken center at Monmouth; USS Bonhomme Richard capturing HMS Serapis
Proclamation Line of 1763 (Green line) plus territorial cessions up to 1774
British North America, 1777
post-1763 concessions to Britain
from France (green) and Spain (yellow)
British troops leave Boston, prior to the Battle of Lexington and Concord, April 19, 1775
British regulars and Provincial militia repulse an American attack on Quebec, December 1775
Sgt. Jasper raising the fort's flag,
Battle of Sullivan's Island, June 1776
An American company on line, Battle of Long Island, August 1776
British forced Hudson River narrows to isolate Fort Washington, November 1776
Iconic 1851 painting of Washington Crossing the Delaware
In September 1777, fearing a British Army attack on the revolutionary capital of Philadelphia, American patriots moved the Liberty Bell to this Allentown, Pennsylvania church, where the Liberty Bell was successfully hidden under the church's floor boards until the June 1778 British departure from Philadelphia. Today, inside the Zion United Church of Christ in Allentown, the Liberty Bell Museum commemorates the Liberty Bell's successful nine month hiding there.
Charles, comte de Vergennes
French Foreign Minister negotiated
Franco-American treaties Feb 1778
French Adm. d'Estaing's joint expedition with US Gen. Sullivan at Newport, Rhode Island Aug 1778
365x365px
General Washington commanding the Continental Army
Image of various Continental Army uniforms
Sir Thomas Gage, British Commander, 1763–1775
Sir William Howe, British Commander, 1775–1778
Sir Henry Clinton, British Commander, 1778–1782
Hessian troops surrender after Battle of Trenton, December 1776
Loyalist militia routed by Patriot militia at Kings Mountain withdrew into South Carolina. Victory raised American morale.
Nancy Morgan Hart single-handedly captured six Loyalist soldiers who had barged into her home to ransack it.
1975 Stamp commemorating Salem Poor, Black Patriot cited for bravery at Bunker Hill
Copy of smock issued to Black Loyalists in 1776
Continental soldiers, one from the 1st Rhode Island Regiment, left
Col. Joseph Brant, GB led Iroquois Mohawk in war
Col. Joseph Cook, US Iroquois Oneida in war
Treaty of Paris by Benjamin West portrays the American mission of (left–right) John Jay, John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, William Temple Franklin, secretary (in red), and Henry Laurens
Military Governors and Staff Officers in British North America and West Indies 1778 and 1784
Washington enters New York City at British evacuation, November 1783
Revolution headstones for Saratoga, mass graves
U.S. motto Novus Ordo Seclorum, "A New Age Now Begins"
alt=Scene from the Second Virginia Convention, Patrick Henry giving his speech, "Give me liberty or give me death!"|Patrick Henry, 2nd Virginia Convention "Give me liberty or give me death!"
upright=.3|alt=Scene from the First Continental Congress, George Washington appointed as Commander-in-Chief for the new Continental Army besieging Boston.|July 1775, Independence Hall, Philadelphia
alt= Sail warships at sea with full sail; in the center middle ground, the US ship; in the background, four French warships in a haze giving it a cannon salute with gunpowder; small boats also in the water in the middle ground.|USS Ranger, Capt. Jones. France gives the US flag its first foreign salute
alt= A sail warship at sea flying a US flag.|USS Alliance, Capt. Barry won the last engagement
alt=1763 Proclamation Line of 1763 by George III to limit colonial western settlement. The Province of Quebec lies north of the Ohio River, west of Lake Erie and the west boundary of Pennsylvania. The Indian Reserve lies west of modern Roanoke Virginia, generally following the Eastern Continental Divide.|The 1763 Royal Proclamation set the western boundary for the 13 Colonies
alt="1768 Boundary Line Treaty Map" for Iroquois Six Nations and tributary tribes north of Fort Stanwix and the Ohio River; and for Cherokee and Creeks south of the Ohio River and west of modern Roanoke, Virginia, the purple line 1768 "Treaty of Hard Labor", is west of the Eastern Continental Divide, the green line for the previous 1763 "King's Proclamation".|The 1768 Indian treaties: Iroquois west of the red line, Cherokees west of the purple
150th anniversary of American independence. Issue of 1926
150th anniversary of Saratoga
150th anniversary
150th anniversary of Yorktown

Fighting began on April 19, 1775, followed by the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776.

Thirteen Colonies

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The Thirteen Colonies, also known as the Thirteen British Colonies, the Thirteen American Colonies, or later as the United Colonies, were a group of British colonies on the Atlantic coast of North America.

The Thirteen Colonies, also known as the Thirteen British Colonies, the Thirteen American Colonies, or later as the United Colonies, were a group of British colonies on the Atlantic coast of North America.

The Thirteen Colonies (shown in red) in 1775, with modern borders overlaid
Thirteen Colonies of North America: Dark Red = New England colonies. Bright Red = Middle Atlantic colonies. Red-brown = Southern colonies.
1584 map of the east coast of North America from the Chesapeake Bay to Cape Lookout, drawn by the English colonial governor, explorer, artist, and cartographer John White. Jamestown, the first permanent English settlement, was established here in 1607.
The 1606 grants by James I to the London and Plymouth companies. The overlapping area (yellow) was granted to both companies on the stipulation that neither found a settlement within 100 mi of each other. The location of early settlements is shown. J: Jamestown; Q: Quebec; Po: Popham; R: Port Royal; SA: St. Augustine.
New Netherland: 17th-century Dutch claims in areas that later became English colonies are shown in red and yellow. (Present U.S. states in gray.) The English colonies of New York (NY), New Jersey (NJ), Pennsylvania (PA) and Delaware (DE) are referred to as the 'middle colonies'.
Territorial changes following the French and Indian War; land held by the British before 1763 is shown in red, land gained by Britain in 1763 is shown in pink
Join, or Die. by Benjamin Franklin was recycled to encourage the former colonies to unite against British rule.
Map of the Thirteen Colonies (red) and nearby colonial areas (1763–1775) just before the Revolutionary War
Map of higher education in the 13 Colonies immediately prior to the American Revolution.

Founded in the 17th and 18th centuries, they began fighting the American Revolutionary War in April 1775 and formed the United States of America by declaring full independence in July 1776.

Benjamin Franklin by Joseph Duplessis, 1778

Benjamin Franklin

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Benjamin Franklin by Joseph Duplessis, 1778
La scuola della economia e della morale sketch of Franklin, 1825
Benjamin Franklin (center) at work on a printing press. Reproduction of a Charles Mills painting by the Detroit Publishing Company.
William Franklin (1730-1813), son of Benjamin Franklin
Franklin's The General Magazine and Historical Chronicle (January 1741)
Robert Feke's 1748 painting of Franklin
This Join, or Die by Franklin urged the colonies to join the French and Indian War (Seven Years' War). It later served as a symbol of colonial freedom during the American Revolution.
In 1751, Franklin co-founded Pennsylvania Hospital in Philadelphia, one of the first hospitals in the United States (depicted in this engaving by William Strickland, 1755)
Seal of the College of Philadelphia
Sketch of the original Tun Tavern
First U. S. postage stamp, issue of 1847, honoring Benjamin Franklin.
Pass, signed by Postmaster General Benjamin Franklin, gave William Goddard the authority to travel as needed to investigate and inspect postal routes and protect the mail.
Pennsylvania colonial currency printed by Franklin and David Hall in 1764
Franklin in London, 1767, wearing a blue suit with elaborate gold braid and buttons, a far cry from the simple dress he affected at the French court in later years. Painting by David Martin, displayed in the White House.
John Trumbull depicts the Committee of Five presenting their work to the Congress.
Franklin, in his fur hat, charmed the French with what they perceived as rustic New World genius.
While in France, Franklin designed and commissioned Augustin Dupré to engrave the medallion Libertas Americana, minted in Paris in 1783.
Franklin's return to Philadelphia, 1785, by Jean Leon Gerome Ferris
Gouverneur Morris signs the Constitution before Washington. Franklin is behind Morris. Painting by Hintermeister, 1925.
Franklin's grave, Philadelphia
Benjamin Franklin Drawing Electricity from the Sky c. 1816 at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, by Benjamin West
Franklin and Electricity vignette engraved by the BEP (c. 1860)
An illustration from Franklin's paper on "Water-spouts and Whirlwinds"
A bust of Franklin by Jean-Antoine Houdon, 1778
Voltaire blessing Franklin's grandson, in the name of God and Liberty, by Pedro Américo, 1889–90
Benjamin Franklin by Hiram Powers
Dr Richard Price, the radical minister of Newington Green Unitarian Church, holding a letter from Franklin
Franklin bust in the Archives Department of Columbia University in New York City
Glass harmonica
Franklin on the Series 2009 hundred dollar bill
Marble memorial statue, Benjamin Franklin National Memorial
commemorative stamps
Life-size bronze statue of Benjamin Franklin (seated with cane) in the National Constitution Center, Philadelphia

Benjamin Franklin ( – April 17, 1790) was an American polymath who was active as a writer, scientist, inventor, statesman, diplomat, printer, publisher, and political philosopher. Among the leading intellectuals of his time, Franklin was one of the Founding Fathers of the United States, a drafter and signer of the United States Declaration of Independence, and the first United States Postmaster General.

Articles of Confederation

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Agreement among the 13 original states of the United States of America that served as its first frame of government.

Agreement among the 13 original states of the United States of America that served as its first frame of government.

1977 13-cent U.S. Postage stamp commemorating the Articles of Confederation bicentennial; the draft was completed on November 15, 1777
The Act of the Maryland legislature to ratify the Articles of Confederation, February 2, 1781
Preamble to Art. V, Sec. 1
Art. V, Sec. 2 to Art. VI
Art. VII to Art. IX, Sec. 2
Art. IX, Sec. 2 to Sec. 5
Art. IX, Sec. 5 to Art. XIII, Sec. 2
Art. XIII, Sec. 2 to signatures

Congress then created three overlapping committees to draft the Declaration, a model treaty, and the Articles of Confederation.

1876 Currier & Ives printing of Washington being promoted to commanding general

Second Continental Congress

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Meeting of delegates from the Thirteen Colonies in America that united in the American Revolutionary War.

Meeting of delegates from the Thirteen Colonies in America that united in the American Revolutionary War.

1876 Currier & Ives printing of Washington being promoted to commanding general
John Trumbull's 1819 painting, Declaration of Independence, depicting the five-man drafting committee presenting the Declaration of Independence to Congress
South facade of Independence Hall (formerly the Pennsylvania Statehouse), Philadelphia, principal meeting site of the Second Continental Congress
1977 13-cent U.S. Postage stamp commemorating the Articles of Confederation bicentennial; the draft was completed in York (formerly York Town), Pennsylvania on November 15, 1777
A five-dollar banknote issued by the Second Continental Congress in 1775.

All thirteen colonies were represented by the time the Congress adopted the Lee Resolution which declared independence from Britain on July 2, 1776, and the congress agreed to the Declaration of Independence two days later.

Declaration of Independence, an 1819 painting by John Trumbull, depicts the Committee of Five (John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, Roger Sherman, and Robert Livingston) presenting their draft to the Second Continental Congress on June 28, 1776

Founding Fathers of the United States

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The Founding Fathers of the United States, or simply the Founding Fathers or Founders, were a group of American revolutionary leaders who united the Thirteen Colonies, led the war for independence from Great Britain, and crafted a framework of government for the new United States of America during the later decades of the 18th century.

The Founding Fathers of the United States, or simply the Founding Fathers or Founders, were a group of American revolutionary leaders who united the Thirteen Colonies, led the war for independence from Great Britain, and crafted a framework of government for the new United States of America during the later decades of the 18th century.

Declaration of Independence, an 1819 painting by John Trumbull, depicts the Committee of Five (John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, Roger Sherman, and Robert Livingston) presenting their draft to the Second Continental Congress on June 28, 1776
Signature page of the Treaty of Paris of 1783 that was negotiated on behalf of the United States by John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, and John Jay
The Albany Congress of 1754 was a conference attended by seven colonies, which presaged later efforts at cooperation. The Stamp Act Congress of 1765 included representatives from nine colonies.
Portraits and autograph signatures of the framers and signers of the Declaration of Independence.
Scene at the Signing of the Constitution of the United States, by Howard Chandler Christy (1940)
Benjamin Franklin, an early advocate of colonial unity, was a foundational figure in defining the US ethos and exemplified the emerging nation's ideals.
Robert R. Livingston, member of the Committee of Five that drafted the Declaration of Independence.
Alexander Hamilton served as Washington's senior aide-de-camp during most of the Revolutionary War; wrote 51 of the 85 articles comprising the Federalist Papers; and created much of the administrative framework of the government.
John Jay was president of the Continental Congress from 1778 to 1779 and negotiated the Treaty of Paris with Adams and Franklin.
James Madison, called the "Father of the Constitution" by his contemporaries
Peyton Randolph, as president of the Continental Congress, presided over creation of the Continental Association.
Richard Henry Lee, who introduced the Lee Resolution in the Second Continental Congress calling for the colonies' independence from Great Britain
John Hancock, president of the Continental Congress, renowned for his large and stylish signature on the United States Declaration of Independence
John Dickinson authored the first draft of the Articles of Confederation in 1776 while serving in the Continental Congress as a delegate from Pennsylvania, and signed them late the following year, after being elected to Congress as a delegate from Delaware.
Henry Laurens was president of the Continental Congress when the Articles were passed on November 15, 1777.
Roger Sherman, a member of the Committee of Five, the only person who signed all four U.S. founding documents.
Robert Morris, president of Pennsylvania's Committee of Safety and one of the founders of the financial system of the United States.
George Washington and his valet slave William Lee, by John Trumbull, 1780
Death age of the Founding Fathers
Abigail Adams, close advisor to her husband John Adams
George Mason, author of the 1776 Virginia Declaration of Rights and co-father of the United States Bill of Rights
First Continental Congress at prayer, by T. H. Matteson, 1848

In addition, Signers of the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution are widely credited with the nation's founding, while other scholars include all delegates to the Constitutional Convention whether they signed the Constitution or not.

In this c. 1772 portrait by John Singleton Copley, Adams points at the Massachusetts Charter, which he viewed as a constitution that protected the peoples' rights.

Samuel Adams

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American statesman, political philosopher, and a Founding Father of the United States.

American statesman, political philosopher, and a Founding Father of the United States.

In this c. 1772 portrait by John Singleton Copley, Adams points at the Massachusetts Charter, which he viewed as a constitution that protected the peoples' rights.
While at Harvard, Adams boarded at Massachusetts Hall.
The Old South Meeting House (1968 photo shown) was Adams's church. During the crisis with Great Britain, mass meetings were held here that were too large for Faneuil Hall.
Anne Whitney, Samuel Adams, bronze and granite statue, 1880, located in front of Faneuil Hall, which was the home of the Boston Town Meeting
Paul Revere's 1768 engraving of British troops arriving in Boston was reprinted throughout the colonies.
Samuel Adams as he looked in 1795 when he was Governor of Massachusetts. The original portrait was destroyed by fire; this is a mezzotint copy.
This iconic 1846 lithograph by Nathaniel Currier was entitled "The Destruction of Tea at Boston Harbor"; the phrase "Boston Tea Party" had not yet become standard.
Adams as portrayed by Paul Revere, 1774. Yale University Art Gallery.
In John Trumbull's Declaration of Independence, Adams is seated to the viewer's right of Richard Henry Lee, whose legs are crossed in the front row.
Samuel Adams grave marker in the Granary Burying Ground

He helped guide Congress towards issuing the Continental Association in 1774 and the Declaration of Independence in 1776, and he helped draft the Articles of Confederation and the Massachusetts Constitution.