Founding Father's Debts

Founding Father's Debts

One of the more humorous things about the American Revolutionary era is that almost every single Founding Father were worse at managing personal finances than the average American is today (yes, it was that bad). By 1790, they had all amassed a crazy amount of debt, a lot of it was on extreme extravagances, like Washington ordering marble from Italy for his new fireplace or ordering green wallpaper (the most expensive color in the 18th century) from Northern Europe. Jefferson would reportedly spend $800 a day (in today’s dollars) on groceries while he was in the White House, a large portion of that was on wine. He also constantly renovated Monticello, bought books on credit and loaned money to farmers. Many of them were simply drowning in debt and had no clear plans for getting themselves out of it.

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