The phrase “founding fathers” is central to how Americans talk about politics, and “Words, images, meanings” describes when the phrase was first coined, what it really means, and how artists have depicted the “founding fathers”—those who helped to found the United States as a nation and a political experiment. This group has two subsets. First are the Signers, delegates to the Second Continental Congress, who in July 1776 declared American independence and signed the Declaration of Independence. Second are the Framers, the delegates to the Federal Convention who in 1787 framed the United States Constitution. They include Benjamin Franklin, George Washington, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, John Jay, James Madison, and Alexander Hamilton.