Fun with the Founding Fathers: Fourth of July Quiz

Watson Adventures Fourth of July Quiz

Happy birthday, America! You’re turning 242 years old on this Fourth of July, but you don’t look a day over 150. 

On this special day, here’s a fun little quiz about our country’s parents, the Founding Fathers, and their fight to someday give us a day off from work in early July. Check out these famous paintings of major figures and moments in the fight for independence and the struggle to build a nation, and see how well you know what was really going on. And then go salute America with some hot dogs and apple pie.

 

1. Enemies No More?

The treaty-signing to end the war is depicted up top in Benjamin West’s famously unfinished, and unimaginatively titled, American Commissioners of the Preliminary Peace Agreement with Great Britain. Pictured are John Jay, John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Henry Laurens, and William Temple Franklin—all members of the American peace delegation.

Q: In what city did the signing take place? And why was the painting never finished?

 

2. Rollin’ on the River

Watson Adventures Fourth of July Quiz

One of the most recognizable images of General George and the Revolutionary War, this scene depicts the Continental Army famously sneaking across the Delaware River.

Q: What city was Washington heading for?

 

3. Franklin, My Dear…

Watson Adventures Fourth of July Quiz

You know Benjamin Franklin, inventor, Founder, all-around smartypants. This Duplessis portrait is indicative of his classic look, a “rustic,” unassuming vibe that won over the French during his time there as an American ambassador.

Q: What is missing from this portrait that Franklin, as a very fancy gentleman, would definitely have worn much of the time?

 

4. Independence, Heck Yeah!

Watson Adventures Fourth of July Quiz

Representative John Randolph called Trumbull’s iconic painting Declaration of Independence a “shin-piece, for surely was there never before such a collection of legs submitted to the eyes of man.” Sick burn, John. Even worse: The event it’s depicting is commonly misunderstood.

Q: What event is not taking place in this scene?

 

5. Off With His…Well, Everything, Really!

Watson Adventures Fourth of July Quiz

On July 9, 1776, after hearing a reading of the Declaration of Independence, New Yorkers tore down the statue of King George III in a small park called Bowling Green. This painting, and the horse’s tail from the statue, are on display at the New-York Historical 
Society.

Q: During the Revolutionary War, what was the rest of the statue used to make? 

 

The Answers

1. In what city did the signing take place? And why was the painting never finished? 

In Paris, which is why it’s called the Treaty of Paris. And the painting was never finished because the British delegation refused to pose for the painting. So petty.

2. What city was Washington heading for?

Trenton, New Jersey, where he won a battle that helped inspire the Continental Army—in fear of collapsing at any time—and turn the tide of the war

3. What is missing from this portrait that Franklin, as a very fancy gentleman, would definitely have worn much of the time?

His powdered wig! Franklin pretended like he was just a regular guy, but he was very much a gentleman and aristocrat, and that meant powdered wigs.

4. What event is not taking place in this scene?

The signing of the declaration on July 4, 1776. While the painting is often misinterpreted as the signing, it actually depicts the five-man drafting committee presenting a work-in-progress Declaration of Independence in late June.

5. During the Revolutionary War, what was the rest of the statue used to make? 

Bullets. Take that, redcoats.