5 Weird Facts about the Founding Fathers

George and Norman A hero needs a white horse
George and Norman
A hero needs a white horse

1) The Father of our Country never fathered any children of his own, though he raised Martha’s kids from her previous marriage. He had a favorite white horse named Norman and a brother named Lawrence, which makes Lawrence the Uncle of Our Country.

2) Patrick Henry, who famously said, “Give me liberty or give me death,” later apologized when told those were treasonous words.

3) Tom Paine was not an American at all. He was a corset maker turned revolutionary from Britain. He later went to France for their revolution and barely escaped the guillotine. He became unpopular in his later years and today no one knows where he is buried.


4) Thomas Jefferson had up to six children with his slave Sally Hemings. Now we immediately think “The cad! He raped a poor black woman,” but it is more complicated than that.

His wife had died when Jefferson was relatively young, and Sally was his dead wife’s half sister, sharing the same father. Sally’s mother was a half-white slave and Sally is described as light-skinned and pretty with long straight hair. I TOLD you it was complicated. Just my opinion: I think they loved each other.

5) Finally, one of my favorite Founding Father quotes, from Eldridge Gerry of Massachusetts, who  said,”A standing army is like a standing penis, an assurance of domestic tranquility but a temptation to foreign adventures.”

The Founding Fathers were not demigods, they were regular human beings, which should encourage us: We are human beings, we can do great things, too.

Yale Open Courses: The American Revolution 

Tom Paine parts 2-6 on Youtube

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