Who Was The Last Founding Father?

Who Was The Last Founding Father?

There were hundreds of Founding Fathers, so determining who was the last one alive is nearly impossible.  Here, we will consider the major contenders for such an honor and decide who should be bestowed with the title of Last Founding Father.

James Madison has the opportunity to be known as the last Founder, because when he passed away in 1836 he was the last of the major contributors to the formation of the United States to die.

Charles Carroll of Carrollton died in 1832 at the age of 96.  He was the last signer of the Declaration of Independence to die.  Though not the most famous Founder, Carroll was there when the United States became a country and therefore deserves to be on this list.

Thomas Jefferson and John Adams both passed away within hours of each other on July 4, 1826, the 50th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence.  Although they were survived by a number of other Founders, this event is considered by many as the closing of the American Revolutionary Period.

Andrew Jackson was a boy of 13 when his home was attacked and he was given a sword slash on his face by British soldiers.  He would go on to win the Battle of New Orleans, the final hostility in the War of 1812.  Since this was considered by many at the time as the closing chapter of the American Revolution, some might consider him a Founding Father.  When he became the Seventh President, however, he ushered in the Age of Jackson.  This removes him from the class of minor Founding Fathers and puts him at the head of the Second Generation of American leaders.

Aaron Burr is best know for his duel with Alexander Hamilton.  He did also serve honorably in the American Revolution.  Additionally, he was the Third Vice President of the United States of America.  Perhaps he was disgraced for the second half of his life, but that does not remove him from the club.  When he died in 1836 he was the last Founding Father.  That is, with one exception...

John Quincy Adams, in the opinion of this website, was actually the last Founding Father.  Though it could be argued, since he ran for president against Jackson, that he was part of the Second Generation of Americans, it should be remembered that he joined is father on a diplomatic mission to Europe as early as the 1770's.  He would later serve as foreign minister in the Washington, John Adams, and Madison administrations as well as a U.S. Senator during the Jefferson years.  Adams served as Secretary of State for President Monroe during the Era of Good Feelings and was the last president before the Age of Jackson began.  Additionally, he served in the House of Representatives for 17 years after his presidency and passed away in 1848, after all the previous entries on this list.

Do you agree with this list?  Please let us know in the comments below.

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Further Reading

If you would like to learn more about some of these Founders, check out these recommended books on Amazon:

William Bingham

William Bingham

The Big Six - The Leading Founding Fathers

The Big Six - The Leading Founding Fathers