Religious Affiliation of the Founding Fathers of the United States of America

Ennumerating the Founding Fathers
The three major foundational documents of the United States of America are the Declaration of Independence (July 1776), the Articles of Confederation (drafted 1777, ratified 1781) and the Constitution of the United States of America (1789). There are a total of 143 signatures on these documents, representing 118 different signers. (Some individuals signed more than one document.)

There were 56 signers of the Declaration of Independence. There were 48 signers of the Articles of Confederation. All 55 delegates who participated in the Constitutional Convention of 1787 are regarded as Founding Fathers, in fact, they are often regarded as the Founding Fathers because it is this group that actually debated, drafted and signed the U.S. Constitution, which is the basis for the country's political and legal system. Only 39 delegates actually signed the document, however, meaning there were 16 non-signing delegates - individuals who were Constitutional Convention delegates but were not signers of the Constitution.

There were 95 Senators and Representatives in the First Federal Congress. If one combines the total number of signatures on the Declaration, the Articles of Confederation and the Constitution with the non-signing Constitutional Convention delegates, and then adds to that sum the number of congressmen in the First Federal Congress, one obtains a total of 238 "slots" or "positions" in these groups which one can classify as "Founding Fathers" of the United States. Because 40 individuals had multiple roles (they signed multiple documents and/or also served in the First Federal Congress), there are 204 unique individuals in this group of "Founding Fathers." These are the people who did one or more of the following:

- signed the Declaration of Independence
- signed the Articles of Confederation
- attended the Constitutional Convention of 1787
- signed the Constitution of the United States of America
- served as Senators in the First Federal Congress (1789-1791)
- served as U.S. Representatives in the First Federal Congress

The religious affiliations of these individuals are summarized below. Obviously this is a very restrictive set of names, and does not include everyone who could be considered an "American Founding Father." But most of the major figures that people generally think of in this context are included using these criteria, including George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Samuel Adams, Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, John Hancock, James Madison, Alexander Hamilton and more.



Religious Affiliation of the Signers of the
Declaration of Independence

Charles Carroll Maryland Catholic
Samuel Huntington Connecticut Congregationalist
Roger Sherman Connecticut Congregationalist
William Williams Connecticut Congregationalist
Oliver Wolcott Connecticut Congregationalist
Lyman Hall Georgia Congregationalist
Samuel Adams Massachusetts Congregationalist
John Hancock Massachusetts Congregationalist
Josiah Bartlett New Hampshire Congregationalist
William Whipple New Hampshire Congregationalist
William Ellery Rhode Island Congregationalist
John Adams Massachusetts Congregationalist; Unitarian
Robert Treat Paine Massachusetts Congregationalist; Unitarian
George Walton Georgia Episcopalian
John Penn North Carolina Episcopalian
George Ross Pennsylvania Episcopalian
Thomas Heyward Jr. South Carolina Episcopalian
Thomas Lynch Jr. South Carolina Episcopalian
Arthur Middleton South Carolina Episcopalian
Edward Rutledge South Carolina Episcopalian
Francis Lightfoot Lee Virginia Episcopalian
Richard Henry Lee Virginia Episcopalian
George Read Delaware Episcopalian
Caesar Rodney Delaware Episcopalian
Samuel Chase Maryland Episcopalian
William Paca Maryland Episcopalian
Thomas Stone Maryland Episcopalian
Elbridge Gerry Massachusetts Episcopalian
Francis Hopkinson New Jersey Episcopalian
Francis Lewis New York Episcopalian
Lewis Morris New York Episcopalian
William Hooper North Carolina Episcopalian
Robert Morris Pennsylvania Episcopalian
John Morton Pennsylvania Episcopalian
Stephen Hopkins Rhode Island Episcopalian
Carter Braxton Virginia Episcopalian
Benjamin Harrison Virginia Episcopalian
Thomas Nelson Jr. Virginia Episcopalian
George Wythe Virginia Episcopalian
Thomas Jefferson Virginia Episcopalian (Deist)
Benjamin Franklin Pennsylvania Episcopalian (Deist)
Button Gwinnett Georgia Episcopalian; Congregationalist
James Wilson Pennsylvania Episcopalian; Presbyterian
Joseph Hewes North Carolina Quaker, Episcopalian
George Clymer Pennsylvania Quaker, Episcopalian
Thomas McKean Delaware Presbyterian
Matthew Thornton New Hampshire Presbyterian
Abraham Clark New Jersey Presbyterian
John Hart New Jersey Presbyterian
Richard Stockton New Jersey Presbyterian
John Witherspoon New Jersey Presbyterian
William Floyd New York Presbyterian
Philip Livingston New York Presbyterian
James Smith Pennsylvania Presbyterian
George Taylor Pennsylvania Presbyterian
Benjamin Rush Pennsylvania Presbyterian




Religious Affiliation of the Signers of the
Articles of Confederation

Daniel Carroll Maryland Catholic
Andrew Adams Connecticut Congregationalist
Richard Hutson South Carolina Congregationalist
Samuel Adams Massachusetts Congregationalist
Josiah Bartlett New Hampshire Congregationalist
William Ellery Rhode Island Congregationalist
John Hancock Massachusetts Congregationalist
Samuel Huntington Connecticut Congregationalist
Roger Sherman Connecticut Congregationalist
Oliver Wolcott Connecticut Congregationalist
Thomas Heyward Jr. South Carolina Episcopalian
John Penn North Carolina Episcopalian
Francis Lightfoot Lee Virginia Episcopalian
Richard Henry Lee Virginia Episcopalian
Francis Lewis New York Episcopalian
Elbridge Gerry Massachusetts Episcopalian
John Banister Virginia Episcopalian
James Duane New York Episcopalian
Edward Langworthy Georgia Episcopalian
Gouverneur Morris New York Episcopalian
Nicholas Van Dyke Delaware Episcopalian
Robert Morris Pennsylvania Episcopalian
Cornelius Harnett North Carolina Episcopalian (Deist)
John Dickinson Delaware Quaker; Episcopalian
Henry Laurens South Carolina Huguenot
John Hanson Maryland Lutheran
Thomas McKean Delaware Presbyterian
John Witherspoon New Jersey Presbyterian
John Walton Georgia Presbyterian
Nathaniel Scudder New Jersey Presbyterian
William Clingan Pennsylvania Protestant, denomination unknown
Joseph Reed Pennsylvania Protestant, denomination unknown
Daniel Roberdeau Pennsylvania Protestant, denomination unknown
Jonathan Bayard Smith Pennsylvania Protestant, denomination unknown
Francis Dana Massachusetts Protestant, denomination unknown
Samuel Holten Massachusetts Protestant, denomination unknown
James Lovell Massachusetts Protestant, denomination unknown
Henry Marchant Rhode Island Protestant, denomination unknown
John Collins Rhode Island Protestant, denomination unknown
Thomas Adams Virginia Protestant, denomination unknown
John Harvie Virginia Protestant, denomination unknown
John Mathews South Carolina Protestant, denomination unknown
William Henry Drayton South Carolina Protestant, denomination unknown
William Duer New York Protestant, denomination unknown
Titus Hosmer Connecticut Protestant, denomination unknown
Edward Telfair Georgia Protestant, denomination unknown
John Wentworth Jr. New Hampshire Protestant, denomination unknown
John Williams North Carolina Protestant, denomination unknown



Religious Affiliation of the Delegates to the
Constitutional Convention of 1787, including the
Signers of the Constitution of the United States of America

There were 55 delegates to the Constitutional Convention of 1787 at which the U.S. Constitution was drafted and signed. All participated in the proceedings which resulted in the Constitution, but only 39 of these delegates were actually signers of the document.

From: Robert G. Ferris (editor), Signers of the Constitution: Historic Places Commemorating the Signing of the Constitution, published by the United States Department of the Interior, National Park Service: Washington, D.C. (revised edition 1976), page 138:

Most of the [signers of the Constitution] married and fathered children. Sherman sired the largest family, numbering 15 by two wives... Three (Baldwin, Gilman, and Jenifer) were lifetime bachelors. In terms of religious affiliation, the men mirrored the overwhelmingly Protestant character of American religious life at the time and were members of various denominations. Only two, Carroll and Fitzsimons, were Roman Catholics.


Abraham Baldwin Georgia Congregationalist; Episcopalian
William Samuel Johnson Connecticut Episcopalian; Presbyterian
James Madison Jr. Virginia Episcopalian
George Read Delaware Episcopalian
Daniel of St. Thomas Jenifer Maryland Episcopalian
David Brearly New Jersey Episcopalian
Richard Dobbs Spaight, Sr. North Carolina Episcopalian
Robert Morris Pennsylvania Episcopalian
Gouverneur Morris Pennsylvania Episcopalian
John Rutledge South Carolina Episcopalian
Charles Cotesworth Pinckney South Carolina Episcopalian
Charles Pinckney South Carolina Episcopalian
Pierce Butler South Carolina Episcopalian
George Washington Virginia Episcopalian
Benjamin Franklin Pennsylvania Episcopalian (Deist)
William Blount North Carolina Episcopalian; Presbyterian
James Wilson Pennsylvania Episcopalian; Presbyteran
Rufus King Massachusetts Episcopalian; Congregationalist
Jacob Broom Delaware Lutheran
William Few Georgia Methodist
Richard Bassett Delaware Methodist
Gunning Bedford Jr. Delaware Presbyterian
James McHenry Maryland Presbyterian
William Livingston New Jersey Presbyterian
William Paterson New Jersey Presbyterian
Hugh Williamson North Carolina Presbyterian
Jared Ingersoll Pennsylvania Presbyterian
Alexander Hamilton New York Huguenot; Presbyterian; Episcopalian
Jonathan Dayton New Jersey Presbyterian; Episcopalian
John Blair Virginia Presbyterian; Episcopalian
John Dickinson Delaware Quaker; Episcopalian
George Clymer Pennsylvania Quaker; Episcopalian
Thomas Mifflin Pennsylvania Quaker; Lutheran


Name of Non-Signing Delegate

Oliver Ellsworth Connecticut Congregationalist
Caleb Strong Massachusetts Congregationalist
John Lansing, Jr. New York Dutch Reformed
Robert Yates New York Dutch Reformed
William Houstoun Georgia Episcopalian
William Leigh Pierce Georgia Episcopalian
Luther Martin Maryland Episcopalian
John F. Mercer Maryland Episcopalian
Elbridge Gerry Massachusetts Episcopalian
George Mason Virginia Episcopalian
Edmund J. Randolph Virginia Episcopalian
George Wythe Virginia Episcopalian
James McClurg Virginia Presbyterian
William C. Houston New Jersey Presbyterian
William R. Davie North Carolina Presbyterian
Alexander Martin North Carolina Presbyterian



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