Visiting the homes of America's Founding Fathers on a Historic America Road Trip

Our series of historic road trips started here, thanks to a list sent in by one of the members of our community of history lovers.

There was such a great response, with many suggestions for additions, that we split it in two: "Signers of the Declaration of Independence" and "Patriots of the American Revolution." 

If you have suggestions, or, like Betsy, if you have an entire trip to share, please let us know. If we publish your trip, you'll receive full credit—and your choice of a shirt from The History List Store

And to celebrate this road trip, we've created a shirt and sticker perfect for you to wear and your car to display when you head to these or any other historic sites.


This is the first of our "Historic America Road Trips" and it showcases the life and the homes of America’s founding fathers. It was compiled by Betsy Havens, one of the members of The History List; other members of The History List have contributed to it. 

Here's Betsy:


betsy-havens-hamilton-grange"I live in Louisiana and visited Washington DC in 2012 for the first time.  I returned home a different person.  I made a side trip to Mount Vernon while there and just fell in absolute love and total fascination with George Washington.  After the DC/Mount Vernon trip I had a newfound appreciation for my country and its history.  I was also alarmed at how little I knew beyond the basics.  History was always one of my favorite subjects in school but I wasn’t motivated to learn anything more than what I had to learn to pass a test. 

Mount Vernon made such an impression on me that I became inspired to visit all founding father homes. I received the book,"The Founding Fathers, The Men Behind the Nation," as a Christmas gift, a few years ago, and began to realize how little I knew about our founding fathers. 

I also used that book as a launching point to start building my list and to start traveling to these sites.

I have friends and family who aren't necessarily interested in history, but I feel like they've become more interested after following my travels to these historic sites, and this makes me really happy.

My list isn’t a “this is the official list of founding fathers” list.  It’s really more of a starting point.

I've barely scratched the surface here.  Most of these men aren't 'household names.'  Making this list has helped me to learn more about the lesser known founding fathers like Caesar Rodney.  They each have their own unique, fascinating story and all made an immeasurable contribution to our nation's founding!"

Update: Although the original list Betsy compiled appears below, we split it in two, "Signers of the Declaration of Independence" and "Patriots of the American Revolution," so we could more easily accommodate the many suggested additions. Please see each of those for up to date information.

 


 

The Homes of America's Founding Fathers

Igniting A Revolution 1763 - 1775

Map-founding-fathers-home

 


 

James-Otis-signature

James Otis (1725-1783)
No house

 

Born on February 5, 1725, in Barnstable, Massachusetts, James Otis was a lawyer and was appointed as advocate general in the vice admiralty court in 1756. He resigned from his post after the candidacy of his father’s post for Chief Justice was bypassed. Fueled by principle and revenge, he represented merchants opposing the Writs of Assistance. The phrase "Taxation without representation is tyranny" is usually attributed to him.

 


 

Richard-Henry-lee-home-and-signature

Richard Henry Lee (1733-1794)
Stratford Hall, Montross, Virginia  

 

Richard Henry Lee was known by contemporaries as the "Cicero" of the American Revolution. He was a politician and planter from Virginia. He co-authored the Westmoreland Resolves which is one of the first deliberate acts of sedition against the Crown. He was president of the Continental Congress from 1784 - 1787.

Stratford Hall was the residence of four generations of the Lee family and their slaves. In 1929, a group of women joined together to form the Robert E. Lee Memorial Association who restored the house and opened it to the public as a historic house museum.

→ See the "Signers of the Declaration of Independence Road Trip" for more.

 


 

Sam-Adams-signature

Samuel Adams (1722-1803)
No house

 

Samuel Adams began his career as a tax collector in Boston. He drafted Boston’s response to the Stamp Act and delivered an oration at Faneuil Hall that led to the Boston Tea Party. He represented the state of MA in the Continental Congress and was elected governor of MA from 1794 until his retirement. Thomas Jefferson called Adams “the helmsman of the American Revolution.” He died in the morning of October 2, 1803 and is buried at Granary Burial Ground in Boston.

→ See the "Signers of the Declaration of Independence Road Trip" for more.

 


Subscribe to our weekly and monthly newsletters with history events in a growing list of states and resources for history professionals.  → View the list of newsletters


 

patrick-henry-scotchtown-and-redhill-house-and-signature

Patrick Henry (1736-1799)
Scotchtown, Beaverdam, Virginia and Red Hill, Brookneal, Virginia



After failing as a shopkeeper, Patrick Henry became a lawyer. He is best remembered for his speech given at St. John’s Church in 1775 in which he cried “give me liberty or give me death!” urging the crowd to Revolution. He fought for the Bill of Rights which preserved individual liberties. He was the first governor of Virginia who served for five terms.

Patrick Henry lived in Scotchtown from 1771-1778. It is here where he wrote the ideas for his “Liberty and Death” speech. In 1794, he purchased Red Hill where he lived modestly until his death in 1799.

 


 

Ben-Franklin-Court-and-Ben-Franklin-house-and-signature

Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790)
Franklin Court, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and Ben Franklin House, London, England



Benjamin Franklin was born in Boston on January 17, 1706. He made a major contribution in drafting the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution. He negotiated the 1783 Treaty of Paris, which ended the Revolutionary War. A known polymath, Franklin was a printer, a writer known for his wit and wisdom, and the publisher of Poor Richard’s Almanack. He also pursued investigations into electricity, mathematics, mapmaking, invented bifocal glasses, and organized the first successful American lending library.

Franklin Court was the site of the house Franklin built in 1763. It was demolished in 1812 with plans of transforming it into a commercial property. The lot was purchased in the 1950’s by the Park Service. It now contains a “ghost structure” where Franklin’s house once stood and a museum showcasing his life and character through archeological and architectural exhibits.

The house in London served as Franklin’s residence from 1757-1775 while he served as a diplomat prior to the revolution. It is now a museum.

→ See the "Signers of the Declaration of Independence Road Trip" for more.

 


 

John-Hancock-manor-and-signature

John Hancock (1737-1793)
No house

 

John Hancock was a wealthy merchant and businessman. He became the second president of the Continental Congress and was the first to sign the Declaration of Independence. He was elected the first governor of Massachusetts and served until his death in 1793.

Hancock Manor was built in 1737, and torn down in 1863, to make way for a new wing of the State House. This is one of the precursors that lead to the preservation movement in Boston.A replica of the Hancock Manor was erected in 1926 as a gift to The New York State Historical Association (NYSHA) from native son and philanthropist Horace Moses.

→ See the "Signers of the Declaration of Independence Road Trip" for more.

 


 

john-dickinson-plantation-and-signature

John Dickinson (1732-1808)
John Dickinson Plantation, Dover, Delaware

 

John Dickinson was known as the “Penman of the Revolution”. He was an American statesman, delegate to the Continental Congress and one of the writers of the Articles of Confederation. He represented Philadelphia in the second Continental Congress in 1774 but was unseated after declining to sign the Declaration of Independence.

John Dickinson lived at the plantation, also called as “Poplar Hall” since he was seven years old until his death in 1808. After John's death in 1808, the plantation passed to his daughter and remained in the family until 1933. Then the property passed through a series of owners. In 1952, the State of Delaware purchased the mansion with 12 acres of land for $25,000. The mansion opened as a museum in May 1956, after three and a half years of restoration.

 


 

Thomas-Paine-cottage-and-signature

Thomas Paine (1737-1809)
Thomas Paine Cottage Museum, New Rochelle, New York

 

Thomas Paine was an influential 18th-century English-American writer of essays and pamphlets. He is the author of The American Crisis and Common Sense, which became Paine’s most influential piece, bringing his ideas to a vast audience and swaying the public opinion to the view that independence from the British was a necessity.

The Thomas Paine Cottage is the last structure in North America that the Founding Father owned as his home and is open to the public as a historic house museum.  The Cottage contains some of the few artifacts that were once owned by Thomas Paine: a simple chair and a cast-iron stove given to Paine by Ben Franklin himself.  The Cottage is located on the last two acres of a 300-acre farm awarded to Paine by a grateful New York State for his services in the struggle for independence.

 


 

George-Mason-Gunston-Hall-and-signature

George Mason (1725-1792)
Gunston Hall, Mason Neck, Virginia

 

George Mason was among the first to call for such basic American liberties as freedom of the press, religious tolerance and the right to a trial by jury. In 1787, Mason was chosen to attend the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia, where he was one of the most vocal debaters and delivered 137 speeches.  Distressed over the amount of power being given to the federal government and the Convention’s unwillingness to abolish the slave trade, Mason refused to sign the Constitution.

Gunston Hall (1755-1759) is the architectural gem built for George Mason IV by William Buckland and William Bernard Sears. After its completion in 1759, few changes were made. As a result, Gunston Hall remains as a vital example of the Georgian style washed upon Virginia's shores.

 


Check out The History List store, with our original designs for History Nerds, History Geeks, and History Majors.  → Browse the collection.


 

Thomas-Jefferson-Monticello-and-signature

Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826)
Monticello, Charlottesville, Virginia

 

Thomas Jefferson authored the Declaration of Independence and championed the Bill of Rights. He was the first Secretary of State under Washington, vice president under Adams and was the third president of the United States.

Jefferson designed and redesigned, built and rebuilt Monticello for over forty years. Jefferson calls it his “essay in architecture.” It was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987.

→ See the "Signers of the Declaration of Independence Road Trip" for more.

 


 

Caesar-Rodney-and-signature

Caesar Rodney (1728-1784)
No house

 

Caesar Rodney was a brigadier general of Delaware militia. He was the speaker of the Delaware House of Assembly, represented the state in the Continental Congress and was elected governor in 1778. He was called away from Second Continental Congress to investigate potential riots by loyalists and was still away as the vote for independence approached. One remaining DE delegate voted for independence, the other opposed so, in order for the vote to be unanimous amongst the colonies, DE needed to vote in favor. Rodney road 80 miles throughout the night back to Philly so that he could cast his vote in favor of independence, thereby avoiding any dissent in the vote among the colonies. This prevented the legitimacy of the decision from being questioned.

Rodney's home used to be situated across John Dickinson's Plantation. Today, only a field remains.

→ See the "Signers of the Declaration of Independence Road Trip" for more.

 


 

Robert-Morris-Presidents-House-and-signature

Robert Morris (1734-1806)
No house

 

Robert Morris is known as the “Financier of the Revolution.” He was a shrewd businessman and one of the most wealthy and powerful men in Philadelphia. He represented PA in the Continental Congress and opted not to vote for independence, hoping instead for a peaceful resolution. He did support the revolution once it began. He was one of only two men to sign all three seminal founding documents: Declaration of Independence, Articles of Confederation, & US Constitution

The President's House, the home that George Washington and John Adams's resided in prior to construction of The White House, originally belonged to Morris. He moved next door so Washington could live there. Today, it's an open-air exhibit that shows the outline of the original buildings and allows visitors to view the remaining foundations and artifacts.

→ See the "Signers of the Declaration of Independence Road Trip" for more.

 


 

Robert-Livingston-Clermont-and-signature

Robert Livingston (1746-1813)
Clermont, Germantown, New York

 

Benjamin Franklin called Robert Livingston the "Cicero of America". He lent expertise in financial matters toward supplying colonial troops during the revolution. As the highest-ranking judicial official in New York state, Livingston swore in George Washington as first president of the United States. He became minister to France under President Thomas Jefferson and, alongside James Madison, was instrumental in negotiating the Louisiana Purchase. While in France, he met Robert Fulton and together they constructed the first steamship, the “Clermont.”

Seven generations of Livingstons lived at Clermont, a riverside mansion with a rich and varied history. Now a museum, it holds a wealth of info on over two centuries of people, from wealthy land-owners to immigrant servants and enslaved African workers.

 



Founding A Nation 1784 - 1788

 

James-Madison-Montpelier-and-signature

James Madison (1751-1836)
Montpelier, Orange, Virginia

 

The fourth U.S. president, James Madison believed in a robust yet balanced federal government and is known as the "Father of the Constitution." He coauthored the Federalist Papers and authored the Constitution and Bill of Rights. He was the Secretary of State under President Thomas Jefferson and together with Livingston, negotiated the Louisiana Purchase. He died in 1836, at age 85, the last of the founding fathers to pass away.

Montpelier was built by Madison’s grandfather in 1732. It started as a modest home called Mount Pleasant. This is where Madison grew up and where he retired after his days as president were over. After Madison died, his wife sold Montpelier and the estate changed hands several times with plenty of additions in between. The last owner was Marion duPont Scott who left the estate to the National Trust for Historic Preservation in 1983 with the proviso that it be restored to the way it was in Madison's time.

 


 

Gouverneur-Morris-Mansion-and-signature

Gouverneur Morris (1752-1816)
Morris Mansion, Natural Dam, New York

 

Gouverneur Morris is widely credited as the author of the preamble: “We the People of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union….” He is known as the "penman of the revolution". He came from a wealthy New York family, suffered a childhood injury that left his arm badly disfigured and later lost a leg in a carriage accident. Despite his handicaps, he joined a militia company even though he was exempt. His loyalist mother offered the British use of their family estate making Morris a war refugee. Due to his upbringing he was distrustful of "too much democracy" but this thinking shifted upon meeting John Jay and Alexander Hamilton. He became minister to France under Washington during the French Revolution.

The Gouverneur Morris “mansion” was built in 1809 to serve as a temporary residence for Morris when he visited his large landholdings in the north and was mainly used by his land agents. It was called a “mansion” because it was significantly bigger compared to the other homes in the area.

 


 

Roger-Sherman-site-of-house-and-building

Roger Sherman (1721-1793)
No house

 

Roger Sherman came from humble origins. He was the son of a cobbler and followed his father’s footsteps. He later studied law, became a judge and had a long career in government. He is one of only two men to sign all three seminal founding documents: Declaration of Independence, Articles of Confederation, & US Constitution. Along with Oliver Ellsworth, proposed the Great Compromise, which called for a two-part legislature. He was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, the Senate and also served as the mayor of New Haven.

Roger Sherman lived in New Milford before moving to New Haven in 1761. Today, there is a marker in the building where his house once stood.

→ See the "Signers of the Declaration of Independence Road Trip" for more.

 


 

Edmund-Randolph-and-signature

Edmund Randolph (1753-1813)
No house

 

Edmund Randolph was born surrounded by influential people and he himself became one of the most influential of them all. He served as a lawyer, and was an early proponent of "states' rights". He helped in the first draft of the Constitution but refused to sign it because he felt it gave the central government too much power. The next year, he urged his state of Virginia to adopt the Constitution because he didn't want VA to sit on the sidelines in the formation of the new nation. He became the first Attorney General appointed by President George Washington and was promoted to Secretary of State during Washington’s second term. Unfortunately, due to a scandal with a French ambassador he resigned and withdrew from national politics.

Randolph’s house was demolished in 1884. He stayed with his cousin George Burwell at Carter Hall during his retirement.

 


 

James-Wilson-Fort-Wilson-and-Signature

James Wilson (1742-1798)
Fort Wilson, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

 

James Wilson was born in Scotland and immigrated to the US in 1765. He studied law under John Dickinson.  A great orator, he delivered a speech at Constitutional Convention on behalf of Ben Franklin. He delivered more speeches at the convention than anyone, save for Gouverneur Morris. He represented Pennsylvania and signed both the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. He became a Supreme Court associate justice. Later, he spent time in debtors' prison due to failures in land speculation and died penniless.

Fort Wilson is infamous for the Fort Wilson Riot. In October 1779, the house was attacked by an angry mob because Wilson defended the right of Philadelphian loyalists to hold private property. In the fighting that ensued, six died, and 17 to 19 were wounded.

→ See the "Signers of the Declaration of Independence Road Trip" for more.

 



Inventing A Government 1789 - 1796

 

George-Washington-Mount-Vernon-and-signature

George Washington (1732-1799)
Mount Vernon, Mount Vernon Highway, Virginia

 

George Washington was the first president of the US and served from 1789 to 1797. He is known as the “Father of his Country.” He served as a general and commander-in-chief of the Continental Army during the American Revolution.

Mount Vernon was built 1735 by his father, Augustine. It began as a one and a half story farmhouse. After George acquired the property in 1754, he slowly enlarged the house for the next 45 years. He supervised all the renovations careful to select architectural features that expresses his growing status as a Virginia gentleman and father of a democratic nation.

 


 

Alexander-Hamilton-Grange-and-signature

Alexander Hamilton (1755/57-1804)
Hamilton Grange, New York, New York

 

Alexander Hamilton was a lawyer and became lieutenant colonel for George Washington’s staff in 1777. He was later appointed as the first Secretary of the Treasury. He established the first national bank and the newspaper that is now the New York Post. He was a staunch advocate of strong central government and against slavery. He died from a gunshot wound sustained after dueling with Aaron Burr. Hamilton had supported a Thomas Jefferson presidency over Burr and thwarted Burr's ambitions to a New York governorship which resulted in a fatal feud.

Hamilton commissioned architect John McComb Jr. to design a Federal-style country home on a 32-acre estate in upper Manhattan. This house was completed in 1802 and named "The Grange" after his father's ancestral home in Scotland.


Subscribe to our weekly and monthly newsletters with history events in a growing list of states and resources for history professionals.  → View the list of newsletters


 

john-jay-homestead-and-signature

John Jay (1745-1829)
John Jay Homestead, Katonah, New York

 

John Jay served in the Continental Congress, was a diplomat, wrote some of The Federalist Papers and became the first chief justice of the United States. He stood up for the rights of colonies but still urged reconciliation, he opposed immediate separation from Britain and wanted to exercise a moderating influence upon radical factions. Along with Ben Franklin and John Adams, John Jay negotiated the Treaty of Paris. After his retirement, he became president of the American Bible Society and advocated for the anti-slavery movement.

In 1785, Jay had inherited a 287-acre parcel, originally purchased by his maternal grandfather, Jacobus Van Cortlandt. Two years later, he inherited an adjoining 316 acres from an aunt. In the late 1790s, he decided to make the Bedford farm his home in retirement. He enlarged his farm manager’s house to become his own home, increased the number of outbuildings on the farm, and lived permanently in the summer of 1801.

 


 

Handing Over A Nation 1797 - 1801

 

John-Adams-Peacefield-and-signature

John Adams (1735-1826)
Peacefield, Quincy, Massachusetts

 

John Adams served in the First Continental Congress in 1774 and helped draft the Declaration of Independence. Adams became the first vice president of the United States and the second president. He demonstrated his ability to be an independent thinker by representing the eight British soldiers accused of murdering five citizens in the Boston Massacre. Along with Ben Franklin and John Jay, he negotiated the Treaty of Paris. He also persuaded the Netherland to lend money to pay the national debt.

The Old House at Peacefield was built in 1731 and became the residence of the Adams family for four generations from 1788 to 1927. It was home to Presidents John Adams and John Quincy Adams; First Ladies Abigail and Louisa Catherine Adams; Civil War Minister to Great Britain Charles Francis Adams; and literary historians Henry and Brooks Adams.

→ See the "Signers of the Declaration of Independence Road Trip" for more.

 


 

Timothy-Pickering-house-and-signature

Timothy Pickering (1745-1829)
Pickering House, Salem, Massachusetts

 

Timothy Pickering joined the Massachusetts militia and rose to the rank of colonel. He possessed a great talent for military organization and logistics. General Washington took notice of Pickering and appointed him quartermaster general. This allowed his talents and abilities to shine.  Because of Pickering, General Washington's march from New York to Virginia for the siege of Yorktown went unimpeded. He wrote "An Easy Plan of Discipline for a Militia", a manual widely used by the Continental Army for many years. In 1795, he was appointed the secretary of war.  Proposed the first military academy (West Point) and was in charge of the navy, overseeing construction of a fleet of magnificent frigates (Constitution, the United States, Constellation). Washington selected him as his secretary of state, he held this position until after John Adams was elected as president.

The Pickering house is considered one of America's oldest Home and was home to a single family for over three and a half centuries. It was built in 1660 and over the next 350 years, it underwent a series of renovations and expansions. It is now open to the public under the auspices of the nonprofit Pickering Foundation.

 


 

Oliver-Ellsworth-homestead-and-signature

Oliver Ellsworth (1745-1807)
Oliver Ellsworth Homestead, Windsor, Connecticut

 

Oliver Ellsworth served as one of Connecticut's first two senators in the new federal government between 1789 and 1796. He was appointed Chief Justice of the Supreme Court and also served as a commissioner to France. He proposed the Great Compromise with Roger Sherman. He also left his mark through an amendment to change the word "national" to "United States" in a resolution. Thereafter, "United States" was the title used in the convention to designate the government. Ellsworth also served on the Committee of Five that prepared the first draft of the Constitution. Though he left the convention near the end of August and did not sign the final document, he urged its adoption upon his return to Connecticut and wrote the Letters of a Landholder to promote its ratification.

Oliver Ellsworth Homestead was built in 1781. The original house is a two story wood frame on a stone foundation. Changes to the structure was done in the early 1790’s. The house was continuously occupied by Ellsworth family until 1903. It was then deeded to the Connecticut Daughters of the American Revolution and has been open as a museum ever since.

 


 

James-Monroe-Highland-and-signature

James Monroe (1758-1831)
Highland, Charlottesville, Virginia

 

James Monroe was the fifth president of the United States. He is known for his "Monroe Doctrine," disallowing further European colonization in the Americas and for expanding U.S territory via the acquisition of Florida from Spain. He was minister to France under President Washington during the French Revolution and negotiated the Louisiana Purchase with Robert Livingston. He founded the Republican Party along with James Madison and became the Secretary of state under Madison’s presidency as well as secretary of war upon John Armstrong’s resignation.

Monroe operated the Highland for twenty-four years. It was a thriving plantation and was his primary source of income. Highland’s assets included the plantation house, barns, grist and saw mills, a smoke house, stables, an icehouse, as well as quarters for 30 to 40 slaves. Today, it is open to the public and serves as a reminder of the invisible work force that enabled the plantation system to work and thrive.

 


 

John-Marshall-House-and-signature

John Marshall (1755-1835)
John Marshall House, Richmond, Virginia

 

He served as an officer in the Continental Army and was at Valley Forge through the winter of 1777-1778. He was appointed as a diplomat to France by President John Adams and became a national hero by refusing to compromise American sovereignty during a scandal with French foreign minister & agents X., Y., and Z. He was also appointed as secretary of state and became the fourth chief justice of the U.S. Supreme Court in 1801. Marshall's leadership established the Supreme Court as the interpreter and guardian of the Constitution when he ruled against a law passed by Congress that would've expanded his own jurisdiction (Section 13 of the Judiciary Act of 1789).

The John Marshall House was built in 1790. John Marshall lived here for 45 years until his death in 1835. The property remained in the Marshall family until 1911. It was sold to the City of Richmond and was saved from being demolished by local preservationists. The property has been a museum since 1913 and retains most of its original features and houses the largest collection of furnishings and memorabilia associated with the Marshall family.

 


 

George-Whyte-House-and-signature

George Wythe (1726-1806)
Wythe House, Williamsburg, Virginia

 

Wythe became a delegate to the Continental Congress and was the last of seven VA delegates to sign the Declaration of Independence in 1776. He was best known for his work as an early American judge and law professor to future presidents. some his students included James Monroe, John Marshall, and Henry Clay. He is referred to the "godfather of the Declaration of Independence" for his role in shaping some of the finest minds in American history. He met an untimely death when he was allegedly poisoned by his grandnephew, George Wythe Sweeney.

The George Wythe house was built in 1753 and given as a gift from George Whyte’s father in law. The house served as General Washingtons' headquarters before the Battle of Yorktown. The house saw several subsequent owners until 1938 when Colonial Williamsburg officially obtained the property and restored the interior to the form and appearance the Wythe family would have known.

→ See the "Signers of the Declaration of Independence Road Trip" for more.

 


 

thomas-stone-house-and-signature

Thomas Stone (1743-1787)
Habre de Venture, Port Tabacco, Maryland

 

Thomas Stone was born into a wealthy family but never took this privilege for granted. He was a lawyer and a planter. He served as a delegate from Maryland in the Continental Congress, was part of the committee that drafted the Articles of Confederation and became state Senator. After his wife became ill from the effects of mercury contained in a smallpox vaccine, Stone watched over her with devotion until her death. Afterwards, Stone’s health declined and four months later, he succumbed to his own death.

The Thomas Stone National Historic Site, or Habre de Venture, was built in 1771. Thomas his family lived at Habre de Venture until they moved to Annapolis early in 1783. The home passed through five generations of Stone family descendants until it was sold in 1936. It remained in private hands until 1977 after a great fire destroyed most of the main block of the house. In 1978, the property was declared a national historic site. After restoration, the home was opened to the public in 1997.

→ See the "Signers of the Declaration of Independence Road Trip" for more.

Contributed by Stuart Russell

 


 

rufus-king-house-and-signature

Rufus King (1755-1827) 
King Manor, Jamaica, New York

 

Rufus King was a member of the state legislature in Massachusetts and a representative in the Confederation Congress. He moved to New York City and was elected to the Senate. He became the ambassador to Great Britain serving from 1796 – 1803. He retired from public service briefly but returned to the Senate during the War of 1812 and was defeated in the presidential election against Monroe.

King Manor was purchased by Rufus King in 1805. Under his ownership, King developed the property and it functioned as a working farm, a laboratory for his agricultural experiments and as a source of commercial profit. After his death, the estate was divided among his three sons.

Contributed by Kelsey Brow

 


 

abraham-clark-house-signature

Abraham Clark (1726-1794)
Abraham Clark Memorial House, Roselle, New Jersey

 

Abraham Clark earned the reputation of “the poor man’s counselor” for his refusal to accept payments for legal advice. He served the Crown for years as a clerk and as high sheriff. He was elected to the Provincial Congress in 1775 and was the delegate of New Jersey in the Second Continental Congress. He retired from public service in 1794 and died of sunstroke that September.

The original Clark house was located near the colonial Wheatsheaf Road, now Crane Street. The house burned down at the beginning of the 20th century. A replica of the house was built in 1941 in the land once owned by Clark at Roselle, New Jersey. It houses a small museum and serves as a headquarters for SAR and DAR meetings.

→ See the "Signers of the Declaration of Independence Road Trip" for more.

Contributed by Carrie Neal-Sturgill

 


 

nicholas-gilman-jr-house-and-signature

Nicholas Gilman, Jr. (1755-1814)
Ladd-Gilman House, Exeter, New Hampshire

 

Nicholas Gilman, Jr. was one of the participants during the American Revolutionary War. Afterwards, he devoted his life in serving in politics. He was a delegate to the Continental Congress representing New Hampshire, became a member of the United States House of Representatives during the first four Congresses and was later appointed by Pres. Jefferson as a bankruptcy commissioner. Later, he served in the U.S. Senate from 1804 until his death in 1814.

The Ladd-Gilman House was one of the state’s first brick houses built in 1721 by Nathaniel Ladd. It was purchased in 1747 by Daniel Gilman. The house became a meeting house for the Society of the Cincinnati in New Hampshire in the early 20th century and in 1973, it was declared a National Historic Landmark. It is now a part of Exeter’s American Independence Museum.

Contributed by Julie Hall Williams

 


 

josiah-bartlett-signature-and-house

Josiah Bartlett (1729-1795)
Bartlett House, Kingston, New Hampshire

 

Josiah Bartlett started his career as a physician and later became active in colonial politics. He served in the legislature from 1765 – 1775 when he became a member of the Continental Congress. He was the first to vote for independence and the second to sign the Declaration. He was chosen as the Chief Justice of the state supreme court in 1788. And in 1790 he was elected as the Chief Executive of New Hampshire which was later changed to Governor. After serving for four years, he retired in 1794.

Josiah Bartlett’s house was built in 1774 as a replacement of his house destroyed by fire. The house was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1971. It remained in the family for seven generations but was put on the market in 2014 and has remained unsold.

→ See the "Signers of the Declaration of Independence Road Trip" for more.

Contributed by Heidi McClurckin Pope

 


All of the information above and more is now at "Signers of the Declaration of Independence" and "Patriots of the American Revolution."

If you have suggestions, or, like Betsy, if you have an entire trip to share, please let us know. If we publish your trip, you'll receive full credit—and your choice of a shirt from The History List Store

 


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