Welcome to Adopt-A-Patriot! Follow us as our team travels all over the thirteen colonies and a number of other states to locate, photograph, and rate the graves of our founders.
So far, we have made trips covering New York, New Jersey, New Hampshire, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee, Kentucky, Mississippi, Virginia, and the District of Columbia, visiting and photographing graves of our founders. These field trips have been exciting and rewarding in many cases but also shocking and shameful in others. We have found patriots in bucolic country cemeteries and gritty urban settings. We have found great well-maintained monuments, and others overgrown, weedy, disheveled, and broken. We have found patriots under the floors of churches and under parking lots. We have found them on great plantations, and in the middle of soybean fields. While many of our founders’ graves are known, many are also uncertain, lost, or forgotten. In fact, there are even some missing bodies!
George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, James Monroe, Alexander Hamilton, Caesar Rodney (assuming he’s actually buried there!), and Button Gwinnett all have fitting, well-maintained and accessible graves. (We were a little surprised, however, that a visit to Jefferson’s grave cost $25, though we managed to talk our way into free tickets—we did not have time to tour all of Monticello.) Unfortunately, these are the exceptions rather than the rule. We would remiss if we did not acknowledge the past efforts of the Daughters and the Sons of the American Revolution in honoring most of the 200 plus we are visiting. We have come upon many plaques donated by a DAR or SAR chapter in honor of a particular patriot, some from 1926, and others from 1976. In many cases, these plaques are the only legible markers. The typical grave site is a weather-beaten stone of modest size, with some brief mention of the inhabitant’s role in the founding of our country, often placed there by the DAR or SAR. All too often we encountered shocking neglect.
Ultimately, we hope to help organize local action to either:
RESTORE – Bring the gravesites back to like-new condition.
RELOCATE – In the case of those that are in bad locations, these patriots could be moved to other cemeteries or historic sites, as has happened many times.
REMEMBER – Almost all of the gravesites would benefit from additional on-site information.