Inconvenient Founders: Thomas Young and the Forgotten Disrupters of the American Revolution
When we study “the Founders,” we often overlook the most interesting—and perhaps most important—people: The disrupters, those organizers and agitators who tore down British rule and created the openings for the Founders. By looking at one disrupter in particular, Thomas Young (maybe the Zelig of the Revolution), we get a tour of the Revolution from the bottom up. His story connects Ethan Allen and Samuel Adams; the Boston Massacre and the Boston Tea Party; last-minute maneuvering to pass the Declaration of Independence in Congress—and censure by that same Congress.
Thomas Young’s exciting life and little-known accomplishments help bridge the gap between the polite history we were taught about the Revolution and the grittier perspective hands-on experience in political organizing teaches us.