Founding Fathers Black Hills

Hancock squeaks by Ben; battle of the Bills


In one of the closest votes in American political history, John Hancock defeated Benjamin Franklin in our weekly Founding Fathers contest by just one vote, 36 to 35.
Of course, the vote took place during the 75th annual Sturgis Rally, so it may have been heavily influenced by people wearing black leather and driving Harley Davidson motorcycles who were here on their Black Hills vacation of a lifetime.

We knew the vote pitting two Founding Fathers heavyweights like Hancock and Franklin would be close, but not that close. Congratulations, Mr. Hancock. This week, two lesser known signers of the Declaration face off in the battle of the Bills: William Williams of Connecticut and William Floyd of New York.
William Floyd 3
Floyd is one of the signers who suffered greatly during the Revolutionary War. His prosperous Long Island, N.Y., estate was looted and heavily damaged by British troops at the beginning of the war, and his farm produced little or no income for the duration of it. His family was forced to live away from their home for the entire war, and his wife died in 1781 before she ever got to return to her home.
Williams was always an outspoken patriot, but he was a latecomer to the independence conversation in Philadelphia. He was elected to congress just in time to sign the Declaration of Independence on Aug. 2, but not in time to vote for it on July 2. He had a unique connection to the artist John Trumbull whose painting, “The Declaration of Independence,” became one of the most important historic records of that famous summer. He was married to Trumbull’s sister, which probably guaranteed him a spot in the painting!
If you want to vote during your Black Hills vacation, we encourage you to stop by Founding Fathers Black Hills at Independence Hall. It’s one of the most patriotic things you can do on your trip to the Black Hills and Mount Rushmore National Memorial, which is just up the road from us.