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Most U.S. Founding Fathers were age 40 and younger


UPI News Service, 08/18/2013 

Portraits of the U.S. founding fathers often portray them with white powdered wigs and many think they were older than the young men they were, an expert says.

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Todd Andrlik, founder and editor of Journal of the American Revolution and curator, author and editor of "Reporting the Revolutionary War: Before It Was History, It Was News," said most Founding Fathers were under age 40 in 1776 with several qualifying as Founding Teenagers and twentysomethings.

David McCullough said in a 2005 speech that Americans tend to see the Founding Fathers as much older than they were.

"Because we're seeing them in portraits by Gilbert Stuart and others when they were truly the Founding Fathers -- when they were president or chief justice of the Supreme Court and their hair, if it hadn't turned white, was powdered white," McCullough said. "At the time of the Revolution, they were all young. It was a young man's -- young woman's -- cause."

The average age of the signers of the Declaration of Independence was 44, but more than a dozen of them were 35 or younger, Andrlik said.

"A list of ages of important American Revolution characters seems elementary enough, and certainly easy to assemble, yet I wasn't able to find such a list anywhere I looked online," Andrlik said. "And I don't recall ever stumbling upon such an appendix while researching my book, so I figured I'd just make one."

This is a list of ages, from youngest to oldest, of key American Revolution participants, providing the precise age as of July 4, 1776 -- names with a this mark "^" indicates signers of the Declaration of Independence:

-- Andrew Jackson, 9.

-- Thomas Young, 12.

-- Deborah Sampson, 15.

-- James Armistead, 15.

-- Joseph Plumb Martin, 15.

-- Peter Salem, 16.

-- Peggy Shippen, 16.

-- Marquis de Lafayette, 18.

-- James Monroe, 18.

-- Henry Lee III, 20.

-- Gilbert Stuart, 20.

-- John Trumbull, 20.

-- Aaron Burr, 20.

-- John Marshall, 20.

-- Nathan Hale, 21.

-- Banastre Tarleton, 21.

-- Alexander Hamilton, 21.

-- Benjamin Tallmadge, 22.

-- Robert Townsend, 22.

-- George Rodgers Clark, 23.

-- David Humphreys, 23.

-- Gouveneur Morris, 24.

-- Betsy Ross, 24.

-- William Washington, 24.

-- James Madison, 25.

-- Henry Knox, 25.

-- John Andre, 26.

-- Thomas Lynch, Jr., 26^.

-- Edward Rutledge, 26^.

-- Abraham Woodhull, 26.

-- Isaiah Thomas, 27.

-- George Walton, 27^.

-- John Paul Jones, 28.

-- Bernardo de Galvez, 29.

-- Thomas Heyward, Jr., 29^.

-- Robert R. Livingston, 29.

-- John Jay, 30.

-- Tadeusz Kosciuszko, 30.

-- Benjamin Rush, 30^.

-- Abigail Adams, 31.

-- John Barry, 31

-- Elbridge Gerry, 31^

-- Casimir Pulaski, 31.

-- Wayne, 31.

-- Joseph Brant, 33.

-- Nathanael Greene, 33.

-- Thomas Jefferson, 33^.

-- Thomas Stone, 33^.

-- William Hooper, 34^.

-- Arthur Middleton, 34^.

-- James Wilson, 34^.

-- Benedict Arnold, 35.

-- Samuel Chase, 35^.

-- Thomas Knowlton, 35.

-- William Paca, 35^.

-- John Penn, 35^.

-- Hercules Mulligan, 36.

-- Andrew Pickens, 36.

-- Haym Solomon, 36.

-- John Sullivan, 36.

-- George Clymer, 37^.

-- Charles Cornwallis, 37.

-- Thomas Nelson, Jr., 37^.

-- Ethan Allen, 38.

-- Charles Carroll, 38^.

-- King George III, 38.

-- Francis Hopkinson, 38^.

-- Carter Braxton, 39^.

-- George Clinton, 39.

-- John Hancock, 39^.

-- Daniel Morgan, 39.

-- Thomas Paine, 39.

-- Patrick Henry, 40.

-- Enoch Poor, 40.

-- John Adams, 40^.

-- Daniel Boone, 41.

-- William Floyd, 41^.

-- Button Gwinnett, 41^.

-- John Lamb, 41.

-- Francis Lightfoot Lee, 41^.

-- Paul Revere, 41.

-- Thomas Sumter, 41.

-- Robert Morris, 42^.

-- Thomas McKean, 42^.

-- George Read, 42^.

-- John Dickinson, 43.

-- John Glover, 43.

-- Benjamin Edes, 43.

-- Samuel Huntington, 44^.

-- Richard Henry Lee, 44^.

-- Charles Lee, 44.

-- Francis Marion, 44.

-- Lord North, 44.

-- George Washington, 44.

-- Joseph Galloway, 45.

-- Robert Treat Paine, 45^.

-- Friedrich von Steuben, 45.

-- Richard Stockton, 45^.

-- Martha Washington, 45.

-- William Williams, 45^.

-- Josiah Bartlett, 46^.

-- Henry Clinton, 46.

-- Joseph Hewes, 46^.

-- William Howe, 46.

-- George Ross, 46^.

-- William Whipple, 46^.

-- Caesar Rodney, 47^.

-- John Stark, 47.

-- Mercy Otis Warren, 47.

-- William Ellery, 48^.

-- Horatio Gates, 48.

-- Artemas Ward, 48.

-- Oliver Wolcott, 49^.

-- Abraham Clark, 50^.

-- Benjamin Harrison, 50^.

-- Lewis Morris, 50^.

-- Lord Stirling, 50.

-- George Wythe, 50^.

-- Guy Carleton, 51.

-- John Morton, 51^.

-- Comte de Rochambeau, 51.

-- Lyman Hall, 52^.

-- James Rivington, 52.

-- Samuel Adams, 53^.

-- Comte de Grasse, 53.

-- John Witherspoon, 53^.

-- John Burgoyne, 54.

-- Johann de Kalb, 55.

-- Roger Sherman, 55^.

-- Thomas Gage, 56.

-- James Smith, 56^.

-- Israel Putnam, 58.

-- Comte de Vergennes, 58.

-- Lewis Nicola, 59.

-- George Germain, 60.

-- Philip Livingston, 60^.

-- George Taylor, 60^.

-- Matthew Thornton, 62^.

-- Francis Lewis, 63^.

-- John Hart, 65^.

-- Stephen Hopkins, 69^.

-- Benjamin Franklin, 70^.

-- Samuel Whittemore, 81.

The vast majority of the signers of the Declaration of Independence lived to their 50s and 60s, Johnson died at 92, Adams at age 90, while Franklin, Jefferson, Madison, Williamson and Wythe lived into their 80s.


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