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Founding Fathers Educational History Posters Series
for social studies classrooms and homeschoolers.

history > FOUNDING FATHERS HISTORY POSTERS < presidents < social studies

Founding Fathers Poster
Founding Fathers

While there is no absolute standard of determining who is a “Founding Father,” it is possible to designate a relatively small group whose courage, intelligence, and patriotism played a critical role in winning our independence and establishing our nation. ...

They are men who participated in at least one of these events: the Revolutionary War, the Continental Congress, the Declaration of Independence, the Constitutional Convention, the First or Second Federal Congress, and the Washington administration. These names, beginning with the Revolution and lasting through George Washington's presidency, set our national course and remain today as pivotal events in our history. [poster text]

*John Adams
Samuel Adams
George Clymer
John Dickinson
Benjamin Franklin
Alexander Hamilton
John Hancock
Patrick Henry
Samuel Huntington
John Jay
*Thomas Jefferson
Richard Henry Lee
James Madison
John Marshall
Robert Morris
George Read
John Rutledge
Roger Sherman
George Washington
James Wilson

• “You need only reflect that one of the best ways to get yourself a reputation as a dangerous citizen these days is to go about repeating the very phrases which our founding fathers used in their struggle for independence.” ~ Charles Austin Beard

John Adams, Founding Fathers, Poster
John Adams,
Founding Fathers,

John Adams
b. 10-30-1735; Braintree, MA
d. 7-4-1826, Braintree, MA

Poster Quote:
“Liberty cannot be preserved without general knowledge among the people.”

Abigail Adams poster

Samuel Adams, Founding Fathers, Poster
Samuel Adams,
Founding Fathers,

Samuel Adams
b. 9-27-1722; Boston, MA
d. 10-2-1803; Boston, MA

Poster quote:
“Among the natural rights of the colonists are these: First a right to life, secondly to liberty, and thirdly to property; together with the right to defend them in the best manner they can.”

Benjamin Franklin, Founding Fathers, Poster
Benjamin Franklin,
Founding Fathers,

Benjamin Franklin
b. 1-17-1706, Boston, MA
d. 4-17-1790; Philadelphia, PA

Poster quote:
“Those who would give up essential Liberty to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.” — Pennsylvania Asembly: Reply to the Governor, November 11, 1755

• more Benjamin Franklin posters

John Hancock, Founding Fathers, Poster
John Hancock,
Founding Fathers,

John Hancock
b. 1-23-1737; Quincy, MA
d. 10-8-1793

Poster quote:
“There! His Majesty can now read my name without glasses. And he can double the reward on my head!” — after signing his name a large letters on the Declaration of Independence

Thomas Jefferson, Founding Fathers, Poster
Thomas Jefferson

Thomas Jefferson
b. 4-13-1743; Albemarle Co., VA
d. 7-4-1826, Monticello, VA

Poster quote:
"Were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newpapers or newspapers without a government, I would not hesitate for a moment to prefer the latter.” - letter to Edward Carrington, January 16, 1787

”Enlighten the people, generally, and tyranny and oppression of body and mind will vanish like spirits at the dawn of day.” - letter to Pierre Samuel Dupont de Nemours, April 24, 1816

”I would rather be exposed to the inconveniencies attending to much liberty than those attending too small a degree of it.” - letter to Archibald Steward, December 23, 1791

Thomas Jefferson was one of the most influential of America's founders. The main author of the Declaration of Independence, he set out a case for independence that continues to inspire people around the world.
Jefferson was born in Virginia in 1743. His father was a well to do landowner, and his mother came from one of the area's most prominent families. A serious student, at the College of William and mary, he studied for 15 hours and practiced his violin for another three hours every day. In 1775, he went to the Continental Congress as a delegate from Virginia. tall and awkward, Jefferson was a poor public speaker, but his gift for writing was well known. In June of 1776, he was asked to write the first draft of what would become the Declaration of Independence. Although the other delegates made some changes, the most memorable phrases are Jefferson's.
He believed that the common people whould have as much voice in their povernment as the wealthy. In the Declaration of Independence, he wrote that "all men are created equal." However, like other wealthy Southerners, including George Washing to and James Madison, Jefferson owned slaves. This contradiction is difficult for many people to understand. Jefferson believed in the strict separation of church and state. He also supported state's rights and favored limiting the size and strength of the federal government.
After losing a close election to John Adams in 1796, Jefferson became the third president in 1800. His most famous achievement as president came just three years later. President Jefferson sent representatives to France to buy the port of New Orleans. To the Americans' surprise, France offered to sell the United States all of its territory for $15 million. The Louisiana Purchase nearly doubled the size fo the United States. In 1804, Jefferson sent Meriwether Lewis and William Clark to explore the new territory and look for a Northwest Passage to the Pacific.
After his presidency, Jefferson retired to his home, Monticello. In his final years, he founded the University of Virginia; he was involved in everything from designing the building to planning the curriculum. He died on July 4, 1826 – 50 years to the day after the adoption of the Declaration of Independence. [text from poster that is no longer available]

James Madison, Founding Fathers, Poster
James Madison,
Founding Fathers,

James Madison
b. 3-16-1751; Port Conway, King George, VA
d. 6-28-1836; Montpilier, VA

Poster quote
• “The advancement and diffusion of knowledge is the only guardian of true liberty.”

James Monroe, Founding Fathers, Poster
James Monroe,
Founding Fathers,

James Monroe
b. 4-28-1758; Westmoreland Co., VA
d. 7-4-1831; NYC, NY (in the home of his daughter, heart failure & tuberculosis)

Poster quote
• “The liberty, prosperity, and the happiness of our country will always be the object of my most fervent prayers to the Supreme Author of All Good.”

George Washington, Founding Fathers, Poster
George Washington,
Founding Fathers,

George Washington
b. 2-22-1732; Westmoreland Co., VA
d. 12-14-1799, Mt. Vernon, VA

Poster Quote
“Liberty, when it begins to take root is a plant of rapid growth.”

• more George Washington posters

Founding Fathers Farce Book Posters
Founding Fathers Farce Book Posters

Founding Fathers Farce Book Poster Set
George Washington, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, James Madison, Alexander Hamilton, John Jay, Patrick Henry.

Chief Justice John Jay, Giclee Print, Gilbert Stuart Giclee Print
Chief Justice John Jay, Gilbert Stuart
Giclee Print

Chief Justice John Jay 1st Chief Justice, 1789-1794
b. 12-12-1745; New York
d. 5-17-1829

• more Supreme Court Justices posters

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Declaration of Independence and the United States Constitution.

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