University of Wisconsin–Madison

Founder of the Month

The Founding generation was special. They lived in perplexing, eventful and dangerous times. John Adams wrote that “I am but an ordinary Man. The Times alone have destined me to Fame.” Fortunately many men and women from the Founding Era went to great lengths to save their correspondence. Often this correspondence is brimming with passion, humor, anxieties, doubts, and, not least, hopes of this remarkable generation. Furthermore, in writing to friends, families and potential allies, the Founders described their colleagues in remarkably blunt terms.

It is our privilege to share with you a sampling of these word portraits that illuminate the character and personality of the Founders.

Clicking on the titles will take you to a PDF version of the document. To receive the Founder of the Month via email, please join our mailing list.

Upcoming Founders

  • Benjamin Rush
  • Patrick Henry
  • James Wilson
  • George Mason
  • Luther Martin
  • Charles Pinckney