There are more of these to come, but today, in celebration of Abraham Lincoln’s birthday (and of the catch-all President’s Day on Monday — it’s more than just an excuse for a sale!), here is the second installment of the Favorite Founding Fathers series I began here.
We start with three guys I contacted on Facebook:
“Delaware has three delegates to the Continental Congress: Rodney, Thomas McKean and George Read. According to Wikipedia, ‘Rodney was in Dover attending to Loyalist activity in Sussex County when he received word from Thomas McKean that he and George Read were deadlocked on the vote for independence. To break that deadlock, Rodney rode eighty miles through a thunderstorm on the night of July 1, 1776, dramatically arriving in Philadelphia “in his boots and spurs” on July 2, just as the voting was beginning.’
“Since the vote on independence had to be unanimous, Rodney’s ride to Philadelphia was essential to bringing Delaware into the about-to-be-born United States.”
(In this clip from the musical “1776,” Rodney is the fellow with the dark bandage strapped to his jaw, who remains seated while everybody else is jumping up to sing at John Adams. In real life, cancer scarred Rodney’s face. And if you’ve never seen this musical, I highly recommend it — not least because “Bones” writer/producer Stephen Nathan plays the part of the beleaguered soldier delivering Gen. Washington’s dispatches. And he has a great song — and sits in Rodney’s chair at the beginning of the clip.)
“And though I am tempted to say Jefferson, Franklin or Madison … I think I’ll chose Patrick Henry (at left), for so eloquently stating the grave consequences at stake: ‘I know not what course others will take, but as for me … give me Liberty or give me death.‘”
Matt Iseman (“Clean House,” “Sports Soup”): “I’m going with someone I consider to be an underrated Founding Father — James Madison. I’m a big fan of the Federalist Papers, where he convincingly lays out the argument for our republican government as we know it today (relax, politicos, that’s republican with a small ‘r’).
“Madison is also considered the Father of the Constitution, which, in my mind, means he slept with Lady Liberty and gave birth to a lil’ democracy known as the U.S. of A.
“Furthermore, his wife, Dolley Madison, inspired delicious pastry snacks. And, he went to Princeton, so I like to think I might run into him at reunions — If I have enough beers.”
(Replied Graham: “Matt — HAAAAA! Fantastic post. I’m with you on Madison. I’m a HUGE fan of his … as well as the Federalist Papers. Should be mandatory reading in schools.”)
And lastly, a guy I got to ask in person…
Tom Papa (comedian and host of NBC’s upcoming “The Marriage Ref”): “Wow, my favorite? I like Ben Franklin. I love Franklin, because he seems to be beating his own drum there. He was really intelligent. He was a real character. He was the wacky neighbor of the Founding Fathers. Everybody’s reading books and working on their fields (of expertise), and he’s coming up with experiments, going to France. I like him.”