Take a look at any of our national monuments and see if you can spot what’s missing. You will instantly see elderly statesmen frozen in time, donning powered wigs and poofy neckerchiefs. But what about what’s going on in those constricting britches? While these were great men who built our great nation, they were, after all, still just men.
A closer look at the lives of our Founding Fathers reveals that political sex scandals are as old as our nation. From illicit affairs to alleged same-sex liaisons to human sex trafficking to all-around naughty behavior, the intimate tales of the first citizens of the United States is rife with scandal.
So, if you think cigars and pussies are unpresidential, just take a gander at some of our Founding Fathers and the shocking moments in American history.
The dude whose kindly, bespectacled face is on the C-note was quite the womanizer. We associated Franklin with such sentiments as, “Early to bed, Early to rise, Makes a man Healthy, Wealthy and Wise.” But good-old Franklin liked to make it rain at French bordellos.
Rumor has it, his relationships with foreign women helped win him favor with the French and garner military support during the Revolutionary War. Sex was “the chief impulse he could or did not regulate.” He went to women hungrily, secretly, and briefly. And in the decadent world of the French aristocracy, his down-to-earth style certainly had the women responding in kind.
The first sex scandal to rock the White House was the illegitimate children between Thomas Jefferson and his slave, Sally Hemings. First reported in 1802 by one of Jefferson’s enemies, the then-president was called out for cavorting with “his concubine, one of his own slaves.” While Jefferson never publicly commented on the scandal, his views on slavery were unclear. Even though he owned slaves himself, he was an outspoken proponent of stopping the slave trade. Science has finally given Sally and Thomas’ descendants their place in history. DNA tests have since proven he had six children with Sally.
The first POTUS was never a wealthy man. He was actually a farmer and soldier from Virginia who had eyes for his best friend’s wife, Sally Fairfax. Fortunately, the wheels of fortune changed for this Founding Father after being introduced to a woman named Martha Dandridge. Washington saw the wealthy widow as an instant meal-ticket and married her after just 3-weeks of courting.
Now rich AF, the tall and flirtatious Virginia gentleman was rumored to have spent his newfound wealth on his mistress, Mary Gibbons. Although his affection for her was strong, she did not feel the same. Gibbons turned out to be a British spy. She copied important papers while Washington slept off his orgasms. Talk about sleeping with the enemy.
While not technically not one of the Founding Fathers, we wouldn’t be where we are today without Honest Abe. Lincoln was a devoted husband and father. However, scholars suspect there was another side to this tall drink of water. Lincoln had a close, long-term relationship with a man named Joshua Fry Speed. The two men were alleged lovers after some love notes were found. Although just a rumor, some reports say that people heard the two proclaim their love for one another.
This was not the only relationship raising eyebrows. The gossip around town speculated that Lincoln was carrying on with his bodyguard, Captain David Derickson. Also, a man named Billy Greene offered up information about sharing a bed with Lincoln when they were in their 20s. Greene described Lincoln as having “perfect thighs.” But of course, it is no surprise that if Lincoln were around today he would be a champion of equal rights for everyone.
Political sex scandals usually don’t end up as sad as Hamilton’s relationship with a 23-year-old married woman named Maria Reynolds. We don’t know if she wore a blue dress, but we do know is if you’re sleeping with a politician, someone is going to find out. Reynolds’ husband learned that Hamilton was boinking his wife and began blackmailing him. Playing with the bull will get you the horns. Mr. Reynolds was charged with counterfeiting. Pissed about the charges, Mr. Reynolds told Aaron Burr (Hamilton’s arch enemy) about the adulterous affair, who then went to the tabloids. The whole thing ended with a bang year later! Burr shot and killed Hamilton during a duel challenge.
It’s probably not surprising that our Founding Fathers were lovers of booze. It was Franklin who declared, “Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.” The average colonialist would drink 7 gallons of alcohol a year, compared to 2 gallons of modern day lushes. It’s not surprising that even as these astute gentlemen were signing the Constitution, the delegates were quite hammered. The tavern bill for the celebration shows they ordered “54 bottles of Madeira, 60 bottles of claret, eight of the whiskey, 22 of porter, eight of hard cider, 12 of beer and seven bowls of alcoholic punch.”
But our boys’ lust for life didn’t stop with just drinking. Apparently, in what must have been a crazy after-party to the signing, a copy of the Constitution played an intimate roll in one delegate’s festivities. Rumor has it, a copy of the Constitution was lost after one of the Founding Fathers couldn’t wait to celebrate and had sex with a prostitute on top of the document. Unfortunately, the ink was not quite dry and the copy had to be redone based on what could be seen on the woman’s back. We’re not sure if this account holds water, but if history has taught us anything, it is that it is entirely in the realm of possibility.5