Robert Morris financed the entire American Revolution by selling magazine subscriptions door to door.

William Ellery worked tirelessly behind the scenes to make sure that the colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantation was represented as an independent state, rather than, as Robert Treat Paine insisted, “a pimple on Massachusetts.”

Benjamin Franklin could never get the Continental Congress interested in any of his kite-based superweapons, and finally gave up in disgust.

Thomas Mifflin was frequently mistaken for George Washington, and the two used to amuse themselves by switching places at the Constitutional Convention.

After Patrick Henry made his famous “Give me liberty or give me death” speech, he received a note from Governor Dunmore indicating a willingness to discuss at least one of the two alternatives.

Caesar Rodney rode seventy miles uphill through a thunderstorm in the middle of the night to vote for independence as a representative of Delaware solely as a favor to his good friend Tom McKean, even though he remained privately convinced that there was no such place as “Delaware.”

Horatio Gates’ secret plan to win the Revolutionary War involved ferrets in some capacity, but he would not offer specifics unless he was allowed to replace General Washington.