national father believe today should be a day not solely for recognizing our fathers, but also for paying homage to our forefathers. That’s why I feel an obligation to bring one of our most integral forefathers into the spotlight: William Ellery.

As everyone knows, William “Billy” Ellery was born in Newport, Rhode Island in 1727. He graduated from Harvard at 15 years old, then spent his spare time sitting around for 28 years. When he turned 43, he decided it’d be a good idea to have a real job, so he became a lawyer. A few years later he replaced some guy who had died on the Continental Congress and he signed the Declaration of Independence. He then worked at some port in Newport (fittingly) until he died in 1820.

One might not consider Billy’s contribution to his American “sons” to be a meaningful one, but one must consider the example of his life. He showed that one can attain success and historical regard by alternately over- and under-achieving. More importantly, Billy exhibited that partaking in a couple of momentous events can override any prior slacking. This is especially effective when the slacking is disguised as “trying to find one’s ‘calling.'”

Yes, Ellery had at least one child, but not much information is available about him/her from an unenthusiastic search. For the sake of consistency, we’ll assume his fathering mimicked his life – prolonged periods of inattention followed by bursts of intense, loving care. We could all learn from his exemplary approach.

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