Today in our Countdown to Father’s Day 2015, we remember some of the lesser known guns who answered the Call to Arms, and quest for freedom against Great Britain, and for establishing the United States of America. Click to see yesterday’s part 1 piece on forgotten Founding Fathers.
Here are three more Founding Fathers who were a part of the Constitutional Convention:
This patriot was born in 1741 in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. The son of a farmer, his education was limited. But John Langdon became who he wanted to be. He was successful in the mercantile business, and was an active supporter of the American Revolutionary War and pursuit of independence.
John Langdon took part in the seizure and confiscation of British munitions from the Portsmouth fort in 1774. Throughout the war, he served his post as a colonel in the New Hampshire militia. In 1777, Langdon paid for and planned General John Stark’s trek from New Hampshire to Saratoga, New York against British General John Burgoyne. Langdon was there in command of his militia unit when Burgoyne and his troops surrendered.
Langdon was also active politically on both the state and national levels. He held a seat in the Continental Congress for three different terms. Because New Hampshire couldn’t or wouldn’t pay for him and Nicholas Gilman to attend the 1787 Constitutional Convention, the two arrived in Philadelphia weeks late.
Langdon still played a key role. He spoke often during the debates and served on the committee which reached a compromise on the matter of slavery.
From 1789 to 1801, John Langdon was a U.S. Senator. During that time he switched from the Federalist Party to the Democratic-Republican Party. In 1801, Langdon turned down being the Secretary of the Navy under President Jefferson. Starting in 1805, he spent six years serving as Governor of New Hampshire.
In 1812, John Langdon passed on being the Democratic-Republican Vice-Presidential nominee. Instead, he enjoyed 7 years of retirement with his wife and daughter before he died at the age of 78.
As Founding Fathers, John Langdon and John Lansing had similar names. Yet, in real life there were more than a few letters difference between them. Lansing was one of the many Founding Fathers who had a lucrative law practice. Born in 1754 in Albany, New York, he and his wife had 10 children together, but 5 died as infants.
Serving as Mayor of Albany, John Lansing was part of the New York delegation at the 1787 Constitutional Convention. He became disillusioned because he thought the assembly was exceeding its instructions in writing a whole new U.S. Constitution.
After 6 weeks, Lansing and Robert Yates, his fellow New York delegate left the convention. The next year, at the New York ratifying convention, Lansing continued to oppose the Constitution.
Lansing spent most of the next 25 years in a judicial career in New York. John Lansing experienced the most mysterious of all Founding Fathers at the Constitutional Convention. In 1829, he left a New York City hotel to mail some letters. No trace of him was ever found again.
Richard Dobbs Spaight, Sr.
Born in North Carolina in 1758, Spaight was orphaned at 8 years old, and sent to Ireland. He graduated from Glasgow University in Scotland before returning to North Carolina in 1778, and joining the American Revolutionary War.
Richard Dobbs Spaight, Sr. also served in the Continental Congress from 1783-85. He was just 29 when he attended the Constitutional Convention as a member of the North Carolina delegation.
Spaight was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives as a Democratic-Republican and remained in Congress until 1801. He fought to repeal the Alien and Sedition Acts, and backed Jefferson in the bitter election of 1800.
In 1802, Richard Dobbs Spaight, Sr. was shot and killed in a duel with political rival, John Stanly of the Federalist Party. He was just 44, and left behind a wife and three children. History remembers the Alexander Hamilton Aaron Burr duel so much more than the firearms fight of Spaight vs. Stanly. It often leaves Spaight one of the forgotten Founding Fathers.
There’s not much time left in the Countdown to Father’s Day.