The Intimate Lives of the Founding Fathers

The Intimate Lives of the Founding Fathers

Thomas Fleming

Language: English

Pages: 480

ISBN: 0061139130

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


In The Intimate Lives of the Founding Fathers from Smithsonian Books, historian Thomas Fleming, author of The Perils of Peace, offers a fresh look at the critical role of women in the lives of Washington, Franklin, Adams, Jefferson, Hamilton, and Madison. Fleming nimbly takes readers through a great deal of early American history, as our founding fathers struggle to reconcile the private and public–and often deal with a media every bit as gossip-seeking and inflammatory as ours today.

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through his body to lodge in his spine. Hamilton convulsively clutched his trigger when the bullet hit, and his shot struck a tree limb high over Burr’s head. “This is a mortal wound, Doctor,” Hamilton gasped when Dr. Hosack rushed to his side. His friends brought him back to New York, where Hosack and several other doctors examined him; all agreed that Hamilton was right, the wound was mortal. Hamilton asked his friend, merchant William Bayard, who had offered his riverside house on Jane Street

placing me here,” he told Washington. He made a point of thanking his stepfather for “the parental care and attention you have always & upon all occasions manifested toward me.”16 In September, after only three months of study, King’s College gave Jack a vacation—so he claimed. Washington arranged to meet him in Annapolis for the annual horse races and festivities connected with the meeting of the state’s assembly. Jack joined him for these revels and had a joyful reunion with Nelly Calvert. He

challenge?2 II During the next three years in Philadelphia, Dolley experienced the excitement of being a political insider. She saw first hand the bruising partisan warfare of the 1790s, and participated in it as James Madison’s wife. She observed the toll that the insults and accusations of his opponents sometimes took on her husband’s fragile health—and also realized that he and his fellow politicians enjoyed such risks as well as the other less than wonderful effects of the pursuit and use

him, started a newspaper, and seemed on his way to success. But he still found it difficult to control that “hard to be governed passion of youth.” Deciding he needed a wife, he at first tried to find one with a dowry. But printing was not considered a prosperous trade, and he met with several humiliating rebuffs. Meanwhile, Franklin’s ungovernable sex drive had presented him with a problem that threatened to be extremely inconvenient. One of the lower-class women with whom Ben satisfied his

the most famous documents in the nation’s history. “Yesterday the greatest question was decided, which ever was decided in America, and a greater perhaps never was or will be decided among men.” A resolution was passed without one dissenting colony “that these united colonies are and of right ought to be free and independent states.” A full-fledged “Declaration of Independency” would be forthcoming in a few days. John thought July second, when independence was voted, would be the day everyone

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