17 May 2011

Father of the Nation

If you are asked on an immigration exam who the father of the nation is in the United States, the answer iis George Washington.  But, a better choice might be John Lothropp.

An ordained minister of the Church of England, Lothropp quickly found himself in the Crown's disfavor. In 1623, at age 39, he renounced his affiliation with the Church and instead affiliated with the Independents, a group which advocated for separation between church and state and for religious freedom for non-Catholics. For this, Lothropp and his followers were jailed, when in 1632, local authorities became aware of their secret meetings. Lothropp was released just over two years later, on the condition that he'd leave England and emigrate to the New World. He agreed and arrived in Boston that fall. He'd later found the Cape Cod town of Barnstable, Masachusetts.

He is an ancestor of all of a great many prominent Americans including:

President George W. Bush
President George H.W. Bush
President Millard Fillmore
President James A. Garfield
President Franklin D. Roosevelt
President Ulysses S. Grant
Mormon prophet Joseph Smith
Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes
Revolutionary war era traitor Benedict Arnold.
Vice Presidental candidate Sarah Palin
Governor Mitt Romney
Industrialist J.P. Morgan
Poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Author Laura Ingalls Wilder
Actress Shirley Temple
Actress Brooke Shields

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