This book was written to explore the contribution of Revolutionary War veterans to the founding of the American republic. By veterans, we mean all those who served in the Continental and state forces, on land or sea. Twenty three of those veterans were among the men who signed the Constitution in Philadelphia on 17 September 1787. That document, as the eminent American historian Samuel Eliot Morison put it, is "a work of genius, since it set up what every earlier political scientist had thought impossible, a sovereign union of sovereign states. This reconciling of unity with diversity, this practical application of the federal principle, is undoubtedly the most original contribution of the United States to the history and technique of human liberty."