Ages of Revolution: How Old Were They on July 4, 1776?

George Washingtion in 1776 and 1797

It’s a simple question — perhaps so basic that it’s been overlooked. How old were the key participants of the American Revolution?

Authors often reveal the age of a particular soldier, politician or other main character in books about the Revolution, but I routinely find myself wondering about their peers at the same time. As it turns out, many Founding Fathers were less than 40 years old in 1776 with several qualifying as Founding Teenagers and Twentysomethings. And though the average age of the signers of the Declaration of Independence was 44, more than a dozen of them were 35 or younger!

“We tend to see them as much older than they were,” said David McCullough in a 2005 speech. “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. We see the awkward teeth. We see the elder statesmen. At the time of the Revolution, they were all young. It was a young man’s–young woman’s cause.”

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. And I don’t recall ever stumbling upon such an appendix while researching my book, Reporting the Revolutionary War, 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.  If you spot any corrections or recommend any additions, let me know in the comments and I’ll continue modifying the list to make it more of a living resource. Looking for someone particular and don’t want to waste your time browsing? Hold down Ctrl+F (Command+F on a Mac) and use the “Find” feature of your web browser.

  • Andrew Jackson, 9
  • (Major) Thomas Young, 12
  • Deborah Sampson, 15
  • James Armistead, 15
  • Sybil Ludington, 15
  • Joseph Plumb Martin, 15
  • Peter Salem, 16*
  • Peggy Shippen, 16
  • Marquis de Lafayette, 18
  • James Monroe, 18
  • Charles Pinckney, 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*
  • John Laurens, 21
  • Benjamin Tallmadge, 22
  • Robert Townsend, 22
  • George Rogers 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
  • Anthony 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 Salomon, 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^
  • (Dr.) Thomas Young, 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^
  • George Mason, 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

*Evidence exists that this age is not precise, or only a birth year is known
^Signers of the Declaration of Independence (average signer age was 44)

Todd Andrlik

Todd Andrlik, founder and editor of Journal of the American Revolution (allthingsliberty.com), is curator, author and editor of Reporting the Revolutionary War: Before It Was History, It Was News (Sourcebooks, 2012), named Best American Revolution Book of the Year by the New York American Revolution Round Table. Featuring hundreds of high-definition color newspaper images and analysis from three dozen historians, the one-of-a-kind single volume lets readers experience the Revolution the way the colonists did—as it unfolded in their very own town newspapers. "This is 'you are there' history at its best," wrote American History magazine in its review. A full-time marketing and media professional, Andrlik has written or ghost-written thousands of published articles on various business topics. His history-related work has appeared in Patriots of the American Revolution, Huffington Post and Boston Globe as well as NPR, C-SPAN, CNN, Mount Vernon, American Revolution Center, Old State House and Fraunces Tavern Museum. Follow Todd on Twitter @RagLinen, and for more information, please visit beforehistory.com.

107 Comments

  • Reply August 8, 2013

    Larry Prelle

    You did not include the Father of the United States Navy.
    Commodore John Barry age 30.

    • Reply August 8, 2013

      Todd Andrlik

      Thanks, Larry. It looks like Barry’s birthday was March 25 (1745), which would make him 31 on July 4, 1776. He’s been added.

  • Reply August 8, 2013

    Publius

    There’s a good case made that Hamilton was actually 19 or so at the time.

    • Reply August 8, 2013

      Todd Andrlik

      Added an asterisk to bring any questions of exactness to the attention of future readers. It will be up to the reader to investigate and decide at that point. In any case, where a precise age is not available, my goal will be to include the “generally accepted” age on the list (along with the asterisk). Thank you!

  • Reply August 8, 2013

    dave

    Some are surprisingly older than i expected, some are younger, I didn’t think Jefferson was as young as 33 and Franklin as old as 70. Its also surprising how young British general Charles Cornwallis was. He is often portrayed in popular culture as an old man, but he was actually considered a rising star in the British army at the outbreak of war, officers like Howe, Clinton, and even Burgoyne were much older

  • Reply August 8, 2013

    Ed Schlinger

    Thanks Todd for doing the research & posting it. I think it’s AMAZING the number of teenagers – early twenties on that list. I know that there was a 16 year old militia man, Thomas Young, at Cowpens in January 1780.
    I guess that would make him about 12 years old on July 4, 1776.

    • Reply August 9, 2013

      Todd Andrlik

      Good stuff, Ed. Thomas Young, age 12, has been added. Thanks!

  • Reply August 8, 2013

    Libbet Terrell

    George Leonard of Lenox, MA, 27
    Edward Cole of Swansea MA (became Warren, RI), 25

    • Reply August 9, 2013

      Todd Andrlik

      Thanks for the suggestions. I am not familiar with George Leonard or Edward Cole. Are they major characters in the Revolution, or well known through modern histories of the era? In case they’re lineage, I need to draw the line somewhere and can’t include every distant relative. Hope you understand.

  • Reply August 8, 2013

    Rc

    Joseph Warren died the year before

    • Reply August 8, 2013

      Todd Andrlik

      Hilarious! I totally laughed out loud when I read your comment. You’re absolutely right and I will remove him. For the record, had Warren lived beyond Bunker Hill he would have been 35 on July 4, 1776. But he didn’t.

  • Reply August 8, 2013

    Mike Barbieri

    Slow day(s) at work, Todd?

    The age question is something I looked at for the unit on which I based my thesis and found some interesting statistics. Of the 60% of the men whose ages I found, 30% joined the unit in their teens. Two of the serjeants were 17 when they held that rank. What makes that a bit more special is that these teen-agers led missions to watch the Brits around Montreal for several days.

  • Reply August 9, 2013

    Ty

    What about Thomas McKean?

  • [...] As David McCulloch observed once, we tend to see them as older than they were. Todd Andrlik at The Journal of the American Revolution posted the ages of dozens of Revolutionary War figures people on that day. They range from 15 [...]

  • Reply August 9, 2013

    Herb Huston

    Samuel Whittemore, who has been under consideration to be named the official state hero of Massachusetts (Deborah Sampson is the
    heroine), was born on July 27, 1696 (some sources say 1694). He performed an extraordinary act of soldiering on April 19, 1775.

    • Reply August 9, 2013

      Todd Andrlik

      Thanks! Added, but be careful about Whittemore and what’s fact vs fiction. I recommend you search his name on Boston1775.net.

  • Reply August 9, 2013

    Melissa Marsh

    The Marquis de Lafayette was only 18? Incredible. I had no idea he was that young.

    This is a fascinating list. Thanks for compiling it, Todd.

    • Reply August 9, 2013

      Todd Andrlik

      Thanks, Melissa! Funny how ages help humanize the Revolution for us. In the case of Lafayette, it helps us better reflect on the father-son-like relationship he had with Washington.

  • Reply August 9, 2013

    Jarad

    What about Stephen Hopkins from Rhode Island??? He should have been around 69. How can you not love this guy?

    In the summer of 1776, with worsening palsy in his hands, Hopkins signed the Declaration of Independence while holding his right hand with his left, saying, “my hand trembles, but my heart does not.”

  • Reply August 9, 2013

    Publius

    Hercules Mulligan, 36?
    John Lamb, 41?

  • Reply August 9, 2013

    Publius

    Abraham Woodhull, 26?
    Robert Townsend, 23?

  • Reply August 10, 2013

    Gene Procknow

    Suggest adding Dr. Thomas Young, an early Son of Liberty in Boston and physician in the Continental Army hospital. He was best known for suggesting the name of Vermont and for his deist views. He was 45 on July 4th 1776.

    • Reply August 11, 2013

      Todd Andrlik

      Thank you. We have a Thomas Young on the list already, of Cowpens fame, so I’ll think about how to distinguish the two. Good stuff.

  • Reply August 11, 2013

    steven paul mark

    Suggesting”

    William Washington – 24
    Tadeusz Kosciuszko – 30
    Andrew Pickens – 36
    Enoch Poor – 40
    Thomas Sumter – 41
    John Glover – 43
    John Stark – 47
    William Alexander, Lord Stirling – 50
    Andrew Jackson -

    • Reply August 11, 2013

      steven paul mark

      I included Andrew Jackson who was 9 years old in 1776. At age 13, he became a courier for the militia, eventually being captured by the British.

    • Reply August 11, 2013

      Todd Andrlik

      Great additions. Thank you, SPM!

  • Reply August 11, 2013

    Kaerla Fellows

    I remember from the film 1776 (which is a not a terrific source, but now it raises the question in my mind) that Edward Rutledge, of whichever Carolina he was from, was considered the youngest of that Congress that signed the Declaration, but I don’t see him on this list. Did I just skim it too quickly and missed him?

    Thank you for compiling this. It’s fascinating!

    • Reply August 12, 2013

      Todd Andrlik

      Thanks, Kaerla. Rutledge is on the list, age 26.

  • Reply August 11, 2013

    Mercy Hawkins

    May I suggest David Humphreys? He was the Aide-de-Camp and “beloved” friend of George Washington. He was chosen to take the British standards to Congress. He was also the first Ambassador from the new United States to Portugal and Spain. His birth day was July 10, 1752, making him 23 on July 4, 1776

    • Reply August 12, 2013

      Todd Andrlik

      Thanks, Mercy. Yep, he’s already on the list, age 23. A young whippersnapper.

  • Reply August 12, 2013

    Geoff Benton

    Robert R. Livingston of New York was 29

  • Reply August 12, 2013

    Publius

    Thomas Knowlton, 36?

    • Reply August 12, 2013

      Publius

      Haym Solomon, 36?

    • Reply August 12, 2013

      Todd Andrlik

      Thanks, Publius. Added both though Knowlton is 35. Good suggestions.

  • [...] This is super-neat. Probably via Jesse Walker. [...]

  • [...] author of the book Reporting the Revolutionary War: Before It Was History, It Was News, compiled a list of the ages of many of Revolutionary War’s notable figures, as of that first Independence [...]

  • Reply August 13, 2013

    Heath Houston

    Thanks for the list. It is very intriguing. It would be nice if you could denote the men who actually signed the Declaration of Independence.

    • Reply August 13, 2013

      Mike Cane

      Yes, I second that!

    • Reply August 13, 2013

      Todd Andrlik

      Thanks, Heath. Great idea and very doable. I just added all 56 signers and included an ^ next to each name. Turns out the average signer age was 44.

      • Reply August 13, 2013

        Heath Houston

        Awesome! Thanks for you hard work!

  • Reply August 13, 2013

    Mike Cane

    What I’d also like to know: Who were landowners, who weren’t, their wealth at the time. Possible as a chart?

    • Reply August 13, 2013

      Todd Andrlik

      Those are definitely good questions that will require the efforts of other researchers to tackle — I haven’t figured out how to squeeze 32 hours in a day yet. :)

  • […] Ages of Revolution: How Old Were They on July 4, 1776? […]

  • Reply August 13, 2013

    Joan

    Absolutely fascinating!!! Thank you for taking the time and considerable effort in compiling this information.

  • Reply August 13, 2013

    Christopher F. Minty

    George Clinton?

    b. 26 July 1739.

  • Reply August 13, 2013

    TJ Colatrella

    This list is great and it attests to the fact that these were the flowers of the age of Enlightenment, those who actually were engaged in The Revolution, our actual Founding Fathers, and as we know for the most part, young men are the most Liberal and Optimistic when young, they were the most Liberal men alive in their time. This lie that America was founded by Theocratic Conservatives is lunacy a perversion of history by our ever more Fascist Right Wing..

    • Reply August 14, 2013

      Gospace

      Fail. The old white men meme comes from the always fascist left wing. You know, the people who want to control your life, your health care, and in NYC, how big your sodas can be.

  • Reply August 14, 2013

    Steve

    I’m told that my great-great+ grandfather is Horatio Gates through the Loveless line. My grandfather handed over to me years ago a collection of research his brother, an historian, had on Gates. I’m not sure any of it is unique, original or readily available elsewhere but I would be happy to send you copies if you’re interested.

  • […] “How old were the key participants of the American Revolution?” http://allthingsliberty.com/ … […]

  • […] The Surprising Ages Of The Founding Fathers On July 4th, 1776 […]

  • Reply August 14, 2013

    Bill

    George Mason of Virginia. Age 50.

  • […] on Old.  Founding Fathers kinda denotes “older” but here’s a list from the Journal of the American Revolution that gives us the ages of those from our history and their ages on July 4, 1774 -surprised the heck […]

  • […] already seen this (and it’s been linked about everywhere by now), Todd Andrlik has compiled the 1776 ages of all your favorite American Revolutionaries at his excellent site Journal of the American […]

  • […] READ: The Full Story Here […]

  • Reply August 14, 2013

    steve

    John Quincy Adams?

  • […] Ages of Revolution:  How Old Were They on July 4, 1776? […]

  • Reply August 15, 2013

    Todd Andrlik

    @Bill – Thanks, I will add George Mason.
    @Steve – Aside from being a son of a famous Founder, is JQA a main character of the American Revolution?
    @Steve – Good stuff about Gates; perhaps someone studying him will read this and want a copy. Thanks for offering!
    @Christopher F. Minty — Added. Thank you!

    • Reply August 21, 2013

      Scottso

      You can add:
      Mary Ludwig Hays McCauley aka “Molly Pitcher” who was around 31 on July 4, 1776.
      Molly Corbin who was 24

      The Slate article misses a lot of the ones you added recently like George Mason.
      Without George Mason, there is no Declaration of Independence, and no Bill of Rights.

    • Reply August 21, 2013

      Scottso

      Also Lt William Lewis who would have been 42-43 years old in ’76
      http://www.monticello.org/library/exhibits/lucymarks/lucymarks/bios/ltwilliamlewis.html

  • […] “Ages of Revolution: How Old Were They on July 4, 1776?” is a profound article on the ages of key figures in the American Revolution.  Why is it so important to know?  The article points out that most of the influential figures were actually quite young when they participated in the American Revolution.  The historic figures spanned from 9-year-old Andrew Jackson to 81-year-old Samuel Whittemore.   […]

  • […] or older, most were actually much younger than we tend to think during the founding of the nation. Todd Andrlik, in a post for the Journal of the American Revolution, compiled the ages of the Founding Fathers on […]

  • […] Field – Meet The Dread Pirate Roberts, The Man Behind Booming Black Market Drug Website Silk Road – Ages of Revolution: How Old Were They on July 4, 1776? – Russia Not Only Country With Anti-Gay Laws – More than 100,000 want to go to Mars and not return […]

  • Reply August 16, 2013

    Michael D. Hattem

    This is a really interesting list, Todd. At least regarding some individuals, though, it is slightly misleading in that it gives their ages on July 4, 1776 but many of the figures named played roles later in the Revolution whether in the 1780s or some even in the 1790s and 1800s. But generally they weren’t old geezers (if only because the average lifespan for males back then was well under 40). Approximately half of the population in 1775 was 16 or under. The other interesting thing is that there doesn’t seem to have been the correlation between class and life span that we have now because doctoring and medicine was still more voodoo than science (e.g., bleeding), so wealthier people who could afford doctors didn’t necessarily live longer as a group than poorer people.

    I would also point out that thinking of the “founders” or revolutionaries as a single group is also a bit misleading because, in fact, there were two revolutionary generations (with the cut-off, if I had to guess, somewhere around 1750). Though there were figures like Washington, Jefferson, Adams, and Franklin who played key roles in the imperial resistance to Britain, the war effort, and the post-war period through 1800, on a broad scale, the generation of politicians and local leaders who started the Revolution was not the same as that which concluded it or dealt with its immediate aftermath in the 1790s and early 1800s.

    • Reply August 16, 2013

      Todd Andrlik

      Good points, Michael. I think our readers know that the people on this list played different roles at different times and that many were yet to accomplish their greatest resume builders as of 1776. Likewise, many had already earned an important spot in history long before 1776. And I believe this list helps underscore your second point. If Founders or Revolutionaries ranged in age from 9 to 81 in 1776 then surely there were generations of major influence before and after independence. To me, this list helps stretch the periodization of the Revolution.

  • Reply August 16, 2013

    thinking

    It makes quite evident the power of those who choose history.

  • We live the Heritage of the American revolution and strive tokeep alive the sacrifices of those great men who gave up everything for our future. I fear we pale in that same obligation and effort for our Ancestors to think back on us with the same glow and admiration.
    “We need to try harder and work better together”!

  • […] 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…. Many of them were surprisingly […]

  • Reply August 17, 2013

    Cecilia

    Grat information. Now I have to figure out how to add it to my next tour.

    • Reply August 17, 2013

      Todd Andrlik

      Tour?

      • Reply August 17, 2013

        Cecilia

        I am a docent at Bayou Bend in Houston.I weave Amrerican History into my tours.

  • […] The ages of the Founding Fathers in 1776. […]

  • […] author of the book Reporting the Revolutionary War: Before It Was History, It  Was News, compiled a  list of the ages of many of Revolutionary War’s notable figures, as of that  first Independence […]

  • Reply August 20, 2013

    Erik

    George Mason was the Father of the Bill of Rights and was at the Philidelphia convention, the only reason his name is not on the constitution is in protest to it not (origionally) containing his Bill of Rights…which was added later and mostly copied James Madison from his version, the Virginia Bill of Rights. Mason was born: December 11, 1725 making him age 50 i think when the Declartion was signed (he was not there)However he needs to be added to any list of “Founding fathers” as he is most certainly one of them.

  • Reply August 20, 2013

    Julius

    No surprise, but Charles Pinckney (The Forgotten Founder) was left off. He was a principal author and signer of the Constitution, and would have only been 18 in 1776.

  • Reply August 20, 2013

    Jessie

    Although John Quincy Adams was mentioned in another reply, I don’t see him added to the list. Historian Sammuel Flagg Bemis gives a very interesting account of young Adams in his book “John Quincy Adams and the Foundations of American Foreign Policy.”

  • Reply August 20, 2013

    Kim Brown

    Timothy Matlack, Jr. was 40 years old on July 4, 1776. He as clerk to the secretary of the Second Continental Congress, penned the official version of the Declaration of Independence on display in the National Archives.

  • Reply August 20, 2013

    Gary

    What’s new is really old: See Stanley Elkins and Eric McKitrick, “The Founding Fathers: Young Men of the Revolution,” Political Science Quarterly 76, no. 2 (June 1961).

  • […] out Ages of Revolution. Did you know the youngest signers of the Declaration were in their […]

  • […] 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. 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 figures, providing their age as of July 4, 1776. An asterisk signifies that the individual was a signer of the Declaration of Independence. A double asterisk means that there is evidence that the person’s age is not precise, or only a birth year is known. If you spot any corrections or recommend any additions, let me know in the comments and I’ll continue modifying the original list. […]

  • […] 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…. Many of them were surprisingly […]

  • […] Link: http://allthingsliberty.com/2013/08/ages-of-revolution-how-old-1776/ […]

  • Reply August 21, 2013

    Ron

    Francis Marion (Swamp Fox) 43

  • Reply August 21, 2013

    Ron

    Correction 44
    Already added.
    Thank you

  • […] Todd Andrlik: […]

  • […] Journal of the American Revolution recently offered this imaginative and fascinating list of the ages of these and other notable figures from the revolutionary era at the moment of […]

  • […] Man Who Would Overthrow Harvard (WSJ) • Ages of Revolution: How Old Were They on July 4, 1776? (All Things Liberty) • The Killing Machines (Atlantic) • 41 False Starts: Essays om writers (Times Literary […]

  • […] Man Who Would Overthrow Harvard (WSJ) • Ages of Revolution: How Old Were They on July 4, 1776? (All Things Liberty) • The Killing Machines (Atlantic) • 41 False Starts: Essays om writers (Times Literary […]

  • […] more? A few weeks ago, someone put together the ages of the Founding Fathers as of July 4, 1776 — which demonstrated that quite a few of the men who signed the Declaration of Independence were […]

  • […] surprising ages of the Founding Fathers on July 4, […]

  • Reply August 29, 2013

    tcvegas

    Arthur St. Claire, 39, Maj. General. 9th Continental President and Governor of the Northwest Territory.

  • […] or older, most were actually much younger than we tend to think during the founding of the nation. Todd Andrlik, in a post for the Journal of the American Revolution, compiled the ages of the Founding Fathers on […]

  • Reply December 2, 2013

    Christopher

    You forgot Lord Charles Cornwallis, Major John Andre, Samuel Graves, Lord Rawdon, Sir Robert Pigot who were British officers in the revolutionary war. And forgot Charles Lee and Colonel William Ledyard who were important & interesting on rebel side.

    • Reply December 3, 2013

      Publius

      That sparks an intersting question: While those men figure prominently in the American Revolutionary *War*, how prominently do they figure in the political “American Revolution”? Which is, after all, how this discussion was originally framed.

  • Reply December 16, 2013

    William Mercer

    How about GW’s good friend from Indian wars days, Hugh Mercer?

  • Reply February 5, 2014

    Brian Mack

    Hi Todd,

    Three more
    Philip Schuyler was 42
    Marinus Willett was 35
    Peter Gansevoort was 27

    Thank you
    Brian

  • Reply June 25, 2014

    Chris

    Unfortunately Peyton Randolph didn’t live to see 1776, but his nephew Edmund (August 10, 1753 – September 12, 1813) was aide-de-camp to general Washington & went on to become the seventh Governor of Virginia, the second Secretary of State, and the first United States Attorney General.
    The Randolph family is the perfect example of a family torn apart by the revolution. John the loyalist left for England while his brother Peyton & son Edmund remained to fight for independence.

  • Reply June 27, 2014

    Dennis Edes

    Thank you for listing Benjamin Edes of Boston, Mass. He is my 2nd cousin 7x removed. Him and his sons involvement in the revolution was critical to it’s success.

  • Reply July 8, 2014

    Linda DeWitt Hughey

    This really puts things in perspective. As you said most of these men are portrayed as being our “elderly” statesmen, when in truth they were as young as our Nation.

    Job well done, sir!
    Linda

  • Reply August 6, 2014

    nick

    i didnt see Joseph Reed any where, would he be around 35?

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