About Us

John and Jan

How It All Started

John Gillespie was born on a Wisconsin family farm and went to the same one-room country school attended by his father, grandfather, and oldest son. In second grade he took an interest in a third grader named Jan, and they have been married since 1957.

He founded a landscape company in his junior year of high school that is still in operation over four decades later. John got his bachelors degree in agriculture from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, specializing in Landscape Architecture. He then served in the Army as a Captain in a combat engineer battalion.

In 1965 John and Jan founded the very successful Rawhide Boys Ranch. The following year Bart and Cherry, of Green Bay Packer fame, joined them and with the Gillespies continue to volunteer their time.

The beautiful 500-acre campus of a dozen major buildings stretches for a mile along the Wolf River in Waupaca County. Rawhide, and its high school, Starr Academy, are completely debt free, and have close to an 80% success rate with young men placed by the Wisconsin Juvenile Courts.

In July 2000 John’s passion for America led him to run for the U.S. Senate. Even with close to a million votes, he didn’t win the race, but America has won. John’s message of love of country, patriotism, and faith in God – the message of our Founding Fathers – is now reaching a new generation through 1776 American Dream.


Mission Statement

To pass on our founding fathers’ vision of freedom to a new generation of Americans who, being so inspired, will hold high the light of freedom.

A generation has grown up in our nation without a clear, historical picture of our history. Our schools rarely teach children the Declaration of Independence and the principles of our Constitution. Few understand the basis for the freedoms we enjoy, and even less see where our freedoms are threatened today. The noble character and the principles that guided our founding fathers are often ignored.

1776 American Dream exists to demonstrate the vision of our founding fathers and help our generation passionately embrace those values so we can continue the fight to preserve liberty.

1776 American Dream is a T.E.A.M. effort.

Teach our generation the dreams and sacrifice of our founding fathers.

Educate Americans how our political process works.

Alert citizens that complacency is Freedom’s greatest threat.

Motivate individuals to stand up for freedom


John & Jan Gillespie
FOUNDERS, John & Jan Gillespie started Rawhide Boys Ranch in 1965, and spent the next 35 years successfully teaching thousands of teenagers from Wisconsin Juvenile Courts to respect themselves, their parents, their teachers, their God and their country. Both have a great love for America.

They established 1776 American Dream to share the values and sacrifice of our Founding Fathers and provide a website where students and adults could hear the actual words of American Patriots. As each of us understand and experience the sacrifice of the men, women, and children that gave their lives for freedom, we can better appreciate the great nation we live in.


Dr. Jake Jacobs
HISTORIAN, Dr. Jake Jacobs, of Liberty Proclamations 1776, writes the daily Patriot Interviews and the Historical Detail for radio, and the website. Dr. Jacobs has a Ph.D. in Early American History. He Taught for several years U.S. History at Winneconne High School and Lakeland College in Wisconsin. He is an accomplished speaker on the Founding of America, and lectures around the world. Learn about Dr. Jacobs at his website, www.jjusa.org.


David L. Gauthier
HISTORIAN, David L. Gauthier, of USA Renaissance provides historical research and policy consultation for legislators, educators, media, and everyday patriots. USA Renaissance has developed one of the most complete sets of America’s founding documents, declarations, and proclamations available in the nation. The reproductions of the original documents are available, complete with a 24-foot display rack, for schools, churches and civic events.

But the MOST IMPORTANT MEMBERS of the 1776 American Dream TEAM are our financial partners like you.

Production costs and airtime for the Patriot Interviews on 57 stations, plus website development and maintenance, office expense, travel, and other related costs comes to over $1,000 per week.

We need Lots of TEAM MEMBERS to help meet these costs.
Please “JOIN” with us to keep bringing the “Experience” of  The Founding of America to millions of Students
With your help 1776 American Dream can create a newAppreciation and Respect for our Great Nation.

You can can send your gift of support to:

1776 American Dream,
2583 Millbrook Road,
Appleton, WI 54914

Or donate on-line “HERE


Incorporation Information

STATE INCORPORATION: Granted Dec. 7, 2000, under Chapter 181, as a non-profit educational corporation. Sales tax exemption also granted.

FEDERAL INCORPORATION: Granted Dec. 13, 2000, as 501(c)(3) educational charitable corporation.

Office Address:
2583 Millbrook Road
Appleton, WI 54914

Phone: (920) 733-9300
Fax: (920) 733-3166

American Dream Display Booth

Display Booth

John and Jan visit with former US Congressman Mark Green, who was also Ambassador to Tanzania and now is the Senior Director with U.S. Global Coalition.

In the background is a convention display donated to 1776 American Dream by Skyline Displays, Green Bay.

The graphics were donated by Munroe Studios of Neenah, Wisconsin.

Other Resources Abe Lincoln


Find all Wisconsin State Representatives and Senators, plus a variety of other State political activity.

Find all the Federal U.S. House of Representatives members, plus bills being proposed, debated, and being voted on.

Connect with your Senators, and search for bills in progress and much more.

Learn about the Declaration of Independence, the biographies of all 56 signers, the Revolutionary War, and more about the founding of America.

Vision 2 Serve is a program that helps Christian churches increase their ministries to their Congregations, their Community and the World. It also has an easy to implement process for raising funds for Facility expansion or new construction. John Gillespie is the founder and president.

Dr. Jake Jacobs presents a refreshing change from what we usually hear from academics. He presents a message for America of local Control and limited federal government in the lives of its citizens. He is a nationally known speaker at civic events, church’s, conferences and political gatherings. His book mobacracy is abailable on Amazon.com

Relive the Founding of America. David Barton is an expert on the “Original Intent” of the Constitution. His book by that name can be ordered on his site, or from the General Store site, from 1776 American Dream.


Rawhide Boys Ranch was founded in 1965 by John and Jan Gillespie. A year later they invited Green Bay Packer great, Bart Starr, and his wife Cherry, to join them. Rawhide has become one of the most successful youth rehabilitation programs in the nation.

The Way Outfitters is a non-profit charity that provided three day big game huts and fishing trips for disabled U.S. Veterans and disabled and terminally ill youth. The program was started by Roger Devenport and his wife Sue and accept application for guests from around the nation.