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Washington and Jefferson, Franklin and Adams ... Sherman and Morris

Some Revolutionary-era VIPs: From left to right, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, Robert R. Livingston, and Roger Sherman are pictured in this 1926 woodcut by George Illian.

© GraphicaArtis/Corbis

If you're looking for the archetypal Founding Father, you're probably conjuring someone like Benjamin Franklin or Thomas Jefferson. Then there's John Adams, George Washington or even Alexander Hamilton -- all seem like perfect candidates for the Most Perfect Founder. But when pledging allegiance to the flag, perhaps you should be summoning up heroic images of Connecticut's Roger Sherman and Pennsylvania's Richard Morris in your head.

Nope, not exactly the name recognition of a Sam Adams. But these two dedicated patriots were the only two guys who signed all the central documents that the U.S. was founded on. They both signed the Constitution, the Declaration of Independence and the Articles of the Confederacy, and Sherman went a step further by also being part of the Continental Association of 1774, which began the process of setting up economic boycotts of Great Britain. Franklin, Adams, Jefferson and the rest? Couldn't be bothered to show up for everything apparently. But we can probably forgive them, as BoltBuses weren't yet around to get everyone up and down the Eastern Seaboard at a moment's notice.

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