The Hidden Facts of the Founding Era Quiz

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Tuesday, September 4, 2018 0 comments

by Bill Fortenberry

Whenever I am invited somewhere to speak or to sell my books, I take with me a little 9 question trivia quiz about American history. I thought you might enjoy taking the quiz as well and perhaps sharing it with your friends. All of the questions are from my book Hidden Facts of the Founding Era, and most people only know the answers to 2 or 3 of them. Here is the list of 9 questions with the answers given at the end.

1. In what year did America become an independent nation?
     a. 1775
     b. 1776
     c. 1777

2. Who was the head of the American government before George Washington was elected President?
     a. John Adams
     b. Charles Thompson
     c. Thomas Jefferson

3. Which founder created his own Bible by cutting out all the portions the New Testament that he did not agree with?
     a. Thomas Jefferson
     b. James Madison
     c. John Hancock
     d. None of the above

4. What kind of religion did Benjamin Franklin believe in?
     a. Deism
     b. Christianity
     c. Rationalism

5. Who was Thomas Paine?
     a. A founding father whose writings sparked the Revolution
     b. A world renowned champion of liberty
     c. A rebel and an outcast who was despised by the founding fathers

6. What was John Adams’ opinion of the great Enlightenment thinkers such as Voltaire, Rousseau and Diderot?
     a. That they were the source of his political philosophy
     b. That they were men of noble character
     c. That they were an ignorant lot of cowardly atheists

7. Where did the freedom of religion come from?
     a. It was a Jesuit plot designed to subvert true Christianity
     b. The founders were secularists who wanted to be free from religion
     c. It was a distinctly Baptist doctrine founded on the teachings of the New Testament

8. What was George Washington’s involvement in the Masonic Lodge?
     a. He left the lodge before the Revolution and referred to it as mere child’s play
     b. He was Grand Master of all the lodges in America
     c. He was Grand Master of the Lodge of Alexandria

9. Who wrote that “the government of the United States of America is not in any sense founded on the Christian Religion”?
     a. George Washington
     b. John Adams
     c. The King of Algiers


1. 1775: On December 22, 1775, the British Parliament passed the American Prohibitory Act which removed all protection from the American colonies and commanded military action against them. According to British law, this act made the colonies free and independent states.

2. Charles Thompson: Mr. Thomson was the Secretary of the Continental Congress from 1774 to 1789. After retiring from Congress, he provided the world with the very first English translation of Septuagint (Greek Old Testament) which he combined with his translation of the New Testament to create the first American translation of the Bible. He also published a Harmony of the Gospels which Thomas Jefferson praised very highly.

3. None of the above: The so-called Jefferson Bible was not a Bible at all but rather an abbreviated collection of events and sayings from the life of Jesus that Jefferson thought would be useful for teaching Christian philosophy. The title Jefferson gave to this collection was “The Life and Morals of Jesus of Nazareth.”

4. Christianity: Franklin recorded in his autobiography that he was a Deist as a teenager, but at the age of 29, he wrote: "Christ by his Death and Sufferings has purchas'd for us those easy Terms and Conditions of our Acceptance with God, propos'd in the Gospel, to wit, Faith and Repentance."

5. A rebel and an outcast: John Adams called Paine's pamphlet Common Sense "a poor, ignorant, short-sighted, crapulous mass" and claimed that Paine "understood neither government nor religion." Gouverneur Morris was content to let Paine rot in a French jail, and even Thomas Jefferson did not refrain from insulting his reasoning.

6. An ignorant lot of cowardly atheists: John Adams wrote to Thomas Jefferson the following statement about the Enlightenment thinkers: "And what was their philosophy? Atheism, -- pure, unadulterated atheism." He then proceeded to call them cowards and to condemn them as being completely destitute of common sense.

7. A distinctly Baptist doctrine: The very first English book on the freedom of religion was written in 1611 by Thomas Helwys, the founder of the first Baptist Church in England. The first colony to establish religious freedom was the Baptist colony of Rhode Island, and historian George Bancroft wrote that "Freedom of conscience, unlimited freedom of mind, was, from the first, the trophy of the Baptists."

8. He left the lodge before the Revolution: Washington told Jonathan Trumbull that Masonry was "merely child's play," and he wrote to G. W. Snyder that he did not preside over any lodge, "nor have I been in one more than once or twice within the last thirty years."

9. The King of Algiers: This phrase appeared in the Treaty of Tripoli as part of a letter written from one Arab king to another encouraging friendly relations with the Americans. It has often been attributed to the founding fathers, but it was not written by any of them nor even by an American.

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