Constitutional Convention
The Constitution: Mural. Barry Faulkner (1933-1936). National Archives

The Continental Experiences of the Delegates


It has often been remarked that in the journey of life, the young rely on energy to counteract the experience of the old. And vice versa. What makes this Constitutional Convention remarkable is that the delegates were both young and experienced. The average age of the delegates was 42 and four of the most influential delegates—Alexander Hamilton, Edmund Randolph, Gouvernor Morris, and James Madison—were in their thirties. Over half of the delegates graduated from College with nine from Princeton and six from British Universities. Even more significant was the continental political experience of the Framers: 8 signed the Declaration of Independence, 25 served in the Continental Congress, 15 helped draft the new State Constitutions between 1776 and 1780, and 40 served in the Confederation Congress between 1783 and 1787.

Continental Experiences

Declaration of Independence Signers

Continental Congress Experience

State Constitution Convention Attendees

Articles of Confederation Signers

Confederation Congress Experience

Annapolis Convention Signers

Federal Constitution Signers

‡ Seven of the signers were immigrants. William Davie, an immigrant from England, left early.
* Twelve of the signers were also elected to the Confederation Congress of 1787 in New York. Non-signers William Houston, John Lansing, Alexander Martin, and William Pierce were also elected to represent their state in New York in 1787.

State Ratification Convention Attendees

New Federal Congress Experience

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