You Might Be Shocked To Learn How Young Many Founding Fathers Were When The Declaration Of Independence Was Signed

You Might Be Shocked To Learn How Young Many Founding Fathers Were When The Declaration Of Independence Was Signed

When you think young teenagers and early twenty-something men on the Fourth of July, your mind probably wanders to partying and keg stands instead of anything serious.

But it should instead remind you how shockingly young many were in America’s founding generation.

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It Is Astounding How Young So Many Were In The Founding Generation

Let’s get the old folks out of the way first. Benjamin Franklin was 70-years-old in 1776, a time when many people didn’t live to be 70. The famous and fearless John Hancock was 39 and Thomas Jefferson was 33.

But after that? They were just kids, really. Jefferson was a relative elder statesman at 33.

Alexander Hamilton was 21. James Monroe was only 18-years-old!

So Many Teenagers

And he wasn’t the only Founding Father who was a teenager or near teenager when the Declaration of Independence was signed.

All Things Liberty compiled a list of the ages of key people during the American Revolution (a period spanning from 1765–1783) when the Declaration of Independence was signed.

This is a list of everyone who was under 30 on July 4, 1776, and you might recognize a few of these names. 

* 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 

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So as you celebrate the independence of our still-young nation this Fourth, remember that despite the white wigs and stuffy-looking clothing, the generation who made America possible were very young too.



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