When they declared independence in Philadelphia in 1776, they changed the course of Western history. But the patriots—landowners, merchants, and professional men who hailed from towns, cities, and plantations scattered along the eastern seaboard—had private lives too, quite apart from the public deeds we know so well. In this breathtaking volume, historian Hugh Howard and photographer Roger Straus examine the everyday lives of the Founding Fathers. Houses of the Founding Fathers takes us on an eye-opening tour of forty stately eighteenth-century houses. We see the mansions of such legendary figures as Jefferson, Washington, Adams, and Hamilton, along with the homes of many other signers of the Declaration of Independence or the Constitution. At sites from Maine to Georgia, with stops in each of the thirteen colonies, the grand story of the Revolution emerges from unique and individual domestic perspectives. Houses overlooking the sea, in busy townscapes, or atop mountains reveal these patriots’ tastes in architecture, furniture, and horticulture. There are tales of friends and enemies, murderous relatives, reluctant revolutionaries, adoring wives, and runaway servants. The founding families are brought to life in the rituals of birth and death, the food they ate, the archaic medical practices they endured, their household arrangements, and the way their slaves lived.
Houses of the Founding Fathers offers a penetrating look at the private lives of the men whose ideas ignited an insurrection against England—and who helped create the modern world.