Most Overlooked Founders of America

Aug 2011
I am trying to create a small list of overlooked founders to provide some context for my students. While they are not going to be tested over it I believe the story that surrounds the Declaration of Independence is far more interesting and dramatic than just a bunch of delegates crammed into a small space.

Are there any founders, specifically those involved in the Declaration of Independence, that are overlooked yet had more influence than most understand.

Here are a few that I have right now:

John Dickinson: He opposed the war for independence, but he did not oppose independence. He was very influential during the First Continental Congress and throughout the Second Continental Congress until the vote for independence began to sway towards favoring the war. Despite his opposition to violence, he still remained an avid supporter of independence.

Caesar Rodney: The state of Delaware would have not voted for Independence if not for Rodney. He made a late midnight ride to help nullify the vote of George Read.

George Wythe: Was considered one of the best legal minds of his time. He was very influential within Virginia and influenced many future political stars such as: Thomas Jefferson, Henry Clay, James Madison, John Breckinridge, and John Marshall.
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Aug 2011
I thought about Roger Sherman since he was the only founder to sign all four of the founding documents.

I forgot about Robert Morris.

What about John Winthrop?
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Aug 2014
New York, USA
Thomas Paine, writer of Common Sense, Rights of Man, and the Age of Reason. At the end, only five people went to his funeral and he was buried on a farm.
I like the quote they use on Wikipedia:
Thomas Paine had passed the legendary limit of life. One by one most of his old friends and acquaintances had deserted him. Maligned on every side, execrated, shunned and abhorred – his virtues denounced as vices – his services forgotten – his character blackened, he preserved the poise and balance of his soul. He was a victim of the people, but his convictions remained unshaken. He was still a soldier in the army of freedom, and still tried to enlighten and civilize those who were impatiently waiting for his death. Even those who loved their enemies hated him, their friend – the friend of the whole world – with all their hearts. On the 8th of June 1809, death came – Death, almost his only friend. At his funeral no pomp, no pageantry, no civic procession, no military display. In a carriage, a woman and her son who had lived on the bounty of the dead – on horseback, a Quaker, the humanity of whose heart dominated the creed of his head – and, following on foot, two negroes filled with gratitude – constituted the funeral cortege of Thomas Paine.
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