Modern American politicians don't have the market cornered on infidelity and illegitimate children.
Despite what you might think, Bill Clinton, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Johnny Edwards and Mark Stanford didn't invent democracy... Nor did they invent cheating on their spouses. And they didn't invent democratically elected officials having affairs. And guess what, neither did JFK, Warren G Harding or Ike. Despite those Europeans constantly telling us that the Greeks invented democracy, we'll say that our forefathers created the "more perfect union" that's served as the world's model of representative government. Ergo, the Founding Fathers did more or less invent duly-elected public officials having affairs. Why Powerful Men Cheat
The phrase "Founding Fathers" was coined by sometime philanderer Warren G Harding in or around 1916 and we'll consider the list to encompass these seven men: John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Alexander Hamilton, John Jay, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison and "Gorgeous" George Washington.
John Adams. The second president had a sparkplug of a wife in Abigail Adams. Twelve hundred letters between the two were discovered by biographers and show an amazing level of trust and genuine affection. It's rumored that he went against Ben Franklin's advice and didn't get himself a French concubine while stationed on the continent. Some elements of the HBO mini-series, possibly wholly fictional, make a case that there may've been temptation a time or two or, at the very least, lust in his heart.
Benjamin Franklin. Speaking of Ben Franklin, while he was never president, he is on the $100 bill and certainly had some share of relations outside of marriage. In fact, he had at least one illegitimate child, William, and wrote a great treatise on how to pick a mistress (it was likely tongue-in-cheek but he was the first advocate of cougars): Advice To A Young Man On The Choice Of A Mistress. While rumors persist that Franklin was quite the "swordsman" during his time in Paris, the evidence for such lascivious behavior is scant and circumstantial.
Alexander Hamilton. Hamilton had a well-known affair with a woman named Maria Reynolds. Her husband, James Reynolds, blackmailed Hamilton, the first Secretary of the Treasury, and tried to implicate him in some very naughty stuff. Eventually, Hamilton confessed to the affair with a shocking amount of detail. Interestingly, Hamilton's future killer, Aaron Burr, represented Maria Reynolds in her divorce from James Reynolds. Smarmy pamphleteer James Callender wrote extensively about the Hamilton-Reynolds affair. Remember the name.
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