SignersOn the Fourth of July one does think about the men who signed the Declaration of Independance back in 1776. When I think of them I imagine those paintings of guys in white wigs standing around in heavy clothes on a hot, sweltering day in Philidalphia. I assume those images are of old people. They all have white hair, so they are old, right? Wrong.

Of the 56 men who signed the Declaration of Independance, seven were 60 or over and five were 30 or less. The average age was 44. A few familiar names (and ages) are: Thomas Jefferson (33), John Hancock (39), John Adams (40), and the oldest, Benjamin Franklin (70).

So revolution is a young man’s game. There were women engaged in the revolution too but they did not get to sign stuff. Just think in 1776, Alexander Hamilton and the Marquis de Lafayette, two guys I really respect, were 21 and 18 respectively.

I’m not sure if there is a lesson about aging here.

Well, at least here’s three cheers for Ben Franklin, who contributed to the development of the United States well into his 80’s.

References and Further Reading

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