AMERICAN HISTORY LESSON REVISED AND FINISHED
Just who were the Signers of the Declaration of Independence?
When hope for any reconciliation with the British Government faded away in early 1776 Richard Henry Lee of Virginia offered a resolution to the General Congress declaring all allegiance of the colonies to be at an END. From this a committee was formed consisting of Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Roger Sherman and Robert Livingston. A draft was drawn up by Thomas Jefferson and after a few changes submitted by Benjamin Franklin and John Adams the document was submitted to the General Congress. On the first of July, 1776 it was viewed by the committee and several amendments were made and nine states then voted for INDEPENDENCE. On the Fourth of July votes from all the American Colonies were procured in favor of a united and independent country free from the British Empire. It was signed that day by only John Hancock. But on the second of August all but one of the fifty-six signers put their name on this very historic document. Matthew Thornton signed in November.
The following are the fifty-six courageous men who helped change the world:
1-Dr. Josiah Bartlettwas born in November of 1729 in Beverly, Massachusetts and later the family moved to New Hampshire. His studies lead him to became a doctor. Mr. Barlett became a stern and unbending republican first serving as a Magistrate. In 1775 he became a member of the Continental Congress and also a Colonel in the MILITIA. During the Revolutionary War his house was set fire by the British and his family had to flee their home. He was appointed to the Supreme Court and then was elected President of New Hampshire. He was the first Governor under the Federal Constitution of one of the new "States". He died at 66 in 1795.
2-William Whipple was born in Kittery New Hampshire in 1730. He served at sea in his younger years and at 29 came home to become a merchant. In 1776 he was selected and served in the Continental Congress until 1777. He was a Brigadier General in the military and served in several branches of New Hampshire government. He died at 55 in November of 1785.
3-Dr. Matthew Thornton was born in Ireland in 1714 and his family settled first in Maine and then in Massachusetts. After his academic studies he became a doctor and took his practice to Londonderry, New Hampshire. He was appointed to the Continental Congress and in 1776 and later became a judge in the superior Court of his state. He was greatly loved and respected and a zealous Christian. He died at 89 in June of 1803.
4-John Hancock hailed from Quincy, Massachusetts and was born in 1737. He became a businessman upon graduating from Harvard College at seventeen. In 1774 the Provincial Congress of MA elected him their president and a delegate to the Continental Congress. He was elected President of the Continental Congress in 1775 and on July 4th was the first to sign the "Declaration of Independence" . He later held the office of Governor of Massachusetts for a number of years. Mr. Hancock was beloved by all his contemporaries. He died at 55 in October of 1793.
5-John Adamswas born in Massachusetts in 1735 and graduated from Harvard at age 20. He studied to become a lawyer and wrote the "Essay on the Canon and Feudal Law". In May of 1776 he made a motion in the Continental Congress that the Colonies should form a government independent of the Crowne. In 1777 Mr. Adams was appointed Special Commissioner to the Court of France and in 1785 to the Court of Great Britain. He served as Vice-President in 1792 and in 1796 became President after George Washington. He died on the fourth of July 4th, 1826 at almost the same time and date as his friend and compatriot, Thomas Jefferson. John was 92.
6-Samuel Adamsborn in Massachusetts in 1722 and came from a wealthy family. He attended Harvard College and received his degree at 18. His father wanted him to seek law or the mercantile profession but Samuel preferred politics. As early as 1763 he boldly expressed his sentiments relative to the rights and privileges of the Colonies. He represented Boston to the General Assembly and later took an active part in the forming of the new country of America. He served in the US Congress, President of MA Senate and finally the Governor of that state. He was a distinguished Patriot of the Revolution. He died at 82 in 1803.
7-Robert Painewas born in 1731 and raised in Boston, Massachusetts. His father was a clergyman and his grandfather was Governor Treat of Connecticut. He attended Harvard and practiced law in Boston and was very active in the General Congress of Massachusetts. Paine was a member of the Continental and General Congress and later Attorney-General of Massachusetts. In 1790 he was appointed Judge of the Supreme Court. He died at 84 in 1814.
8-Elbridge Gerry was born in Marblehead Massachusetts in July of 1744 and graduated from Harvard in 1762. He entered into a commercial career and was very active in leading political movements in his state. He became a member of the Continental Congress in 1776 and was also a member of the US House of Representatives for his state. He died at 70 in 1814.
9-Stephen Hopkins was born in 1707 in Rhode Island. He was first a farmer and latter engaged in the mercantile business. He was chosen to serve in the state General Assembly of his state in 1732 and again in 1741. In that same year Hopkins was made Chief Justice of his state. In 1756 he was elected Governor of the colony and held this until 1767. In 1774 he became a delegate to the Continental Congress and then to the General Congress. He died at 78 in July of 1785.
10-William Ellerycame from Newport, Rhode Island and was born in December of 1727. He went to Harvard and became a lawyer at the age of 23. He was an active member of Congress and deeply Patriotic to the American cause. Ellery was a Judge of the Supreme Court of Rhode Island in 1784 and helped write The Treaty of Peace with Britain. Mr. Ellery was a dedicated Christian all his life and he died on February 15, 1820 at 93.
11-Roger Shermanwas born in Newton, Massachusetts in July of 1732. He became a merchant and later studied law and was admitted to the Bar in 1754. During this time he obtained a great knowledge in mathematics and astrology. He served in the Continental Congress and was on the committee to draft the "Declaration of Independence." He died at 73 on July 23, 1794.
12-Samuel Huntington was born in Connecticut in 1732. He became a self taught lawyer and had a successful practice in his home town of Windham, CT. Mr. Huntington was elected to the General Assembly of CT in 1764 and later became a member of the General Congress in 1775 and in 1779 became President of the Congress. In 1786 Mr. Huntington became Chief Magistrate of Connecticut until his death in July of 1796 at the age of 64.
13-William Williams was born in Lebanon, Connecticut April of 1731 to a minister family. He entered Harvard at sixteen and graduated at twenty to become a Minister but later decided to go into the mercantile field. In 1775 he became a delegate to the General Congress while also being a Colonel in the Militia. He was active in the affairs of the government of CT and died at the age of 81 in August of 1811.
14-Oliver Wolcott was born in Connecticut in November of1726. He graduated from Yale at 21 and joined the Army as a Captain in the French and Indian War raising to a Major-General. He took up the study of medicine and afterwards was appointed sheriff of the county of Litchfield. In 1774 be was elected to the Connecticut Council and was also became a delegate to the Continental Congress. He served in many capacities for the government and military and later became Lt. Governor and subsequently Governor of Connecticut in 1796. He died at age 72 in December of 1797
15-William Floydwas born on Long Island, New York in December of 1734 to a wealthy landowner father. Mr. Floyd as elected a delegate to the Continental Congress in 1774. In 1775 he was appointed a Commander of the Militia of Suffolk County and later became a General in the Army. During the conflict with the British his estate was ransacked, his family had to flee to CT and his income sorely depleted. He actively served in the Continental Congress and was a Senator in Congress until 1783. William later became member of the NY State Senate in 1800 and President Elector. He died in August of 1821 at 87.
16-Philip Livingston was a decedent of a Scotch minister and born in Albany, New York on January 15, 1716. He graduated from Yale and went into commercial pursuits. He entered public life in 1754 as an Alderman in New York City; served in the first Continental Congress then joined the General Congress where he happily signed the "Declaration of Independence." In 1777 Mr. Livingston was elected to the State Senate of NY where he was conspicuously honored and held in great public esteem by his countrymen. He died at 62 in June of 1778.
17-Francis Lewiswas born in Wales and educated in Scotland where his father was an Episcopal Minister. He became a merchant in London and came to America at 21 where he went into business in New York. He was elected as a delegate to the Colonial Congress in 1765. In 1775 he was elected to the General Congress and signed "The Declaration of Independence" in August of 1776. During the Revolution his property on Long Island was destroyed and his wife confined in prison for several months. She died two years afterwards from her ill treatment by the British. Francis died at 90 in December of 1803.
18-Lewis Morriswas born in 1726 to a landowner family from Westchester County, New York. He entered Yale at 16 and returned home at 20 to manage his large estate. He became involved in the strife of the American conflict and in 1774 was elected to the Second General Congress. When peace was restored he returned home to a ruined estate and died at 72 in 1798.
19-Richard Stockton was born in 1739 at Stockton Manor near Princeton, New Jersey. He studied law and was admitted to the Bar in 1754. Elected to the General Congress in 1776 he was swayed to sign "The Declaration of Independence" and cheerfully did so. During the Revolution he became a prisoner of the British and endured great hardship which shattered his health. The British had destroyed his estate and he found himself almost a beggar. He became very despondent and cancer took him at the age of 51 in February of 1781.
20-John Witherspoonwas born in Scotland to a minister father and after graduation became a minister too. He came to America after accepting the Presidency of New Jersey College in Princeton, New Jersey. He was elected a Delegate to the General Congress in 1776 and was placed on most important committees where he took a strong role in military and financial matters. After the peace in 1783 he went back to his duties as a minister. He was known as a great theologian and statesman. He died in November of 1794 at the age of 72.
21-Francis Hopkinsonwas raised of English parents and born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1773. He attended the College of Philadelphia and studied law. Mr. Hopkinson was a modest and quite man, a poet and a wit and much admired as a true genius. New Jersey elected him to the General Congress where he joyfully signed the "Declaration of Independence." He was Loan Commissioner for the government and then appointed Judge of the Admiralty for the State of Pennsylvania later becoming District Judge there. He died at 53 in 1791
22-John Hart was born around 1714 and started out as a farmer but became interested in the promoting of freedom for the Colonies. In 1774 he was made a Delegate to the Continental Congress and in 1776 appointed to the General Congress. For his Patriotism to his new country he and his family were sought by the English and his family had to flee their home. His farm was ravaged, his timber destroyed, and his livestock butchered. Francis was hunted like an animal by the English losing his fortune and his health. John was of the most unbending patriots of the Revolutionary War. He died at 66 in 1780.
23-Abraham Clark was born in Elizabthtown, New Jersey in 1726. He turned from farm labor to the study of mathematics and law. In practicing law he became known as the "Poor Man's Counselor". He was sheriff of Essex County and later elected a delegate to the Continental Congress. In doing this, like others, he was jeopardizing his personal safety and that of his family and property. He was a member of the General Congress in 1788 and elected to the Convention that framed the "Constitution of the United States." He died in 1794 at 69.
24-Robert Morrisborn in 1733 in Lancashire, England. At 13 he and his family came to the Colonies and settled in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania where his father had set up his household. In 1774 Mr. Morris formed a mercantile business with Mr. Thomas Willing. The venture became the most extensive importing-house in Philadelphia. With the tragedy at Lexington he became very active in public affairs. He was elected a delegate to the General Congress and on July 18,1776 to Congress and signed "The Declaration of Independence" on August 2, 1776. In 1781 he accepted the appointment to be Secretary of the Treasury. Much credit has been given to Mr. Morris in his financial help (Secretary of the Treasury) to end the Revolutionary War bur it greatly depleted his fortune. He was a Delegate to the Convention to form the "US Constitution" and later became a US Senator from PA. Having served his term of office and he retired from public life. He was happily married for 37 years and died in 1806 at 73.
25-Benjamin Rush was born in 1745 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and entered Yale and received his degree in 1760 at the age of 16. After graduating instead of perusing law he changed his mind and became a doctor. He was not a member of the Congress when the Declaration was signed but became one and signed on August 2, 1776. Rush was asked to be President of the Mint and held this office for 14 years. He was a well respected Statesman, writer, and Medical Practitioner. His belief in revealed religion and in Divine Inspiration of the Sacred Writers \which was manifested in his may scientific productions. He was 68 at his death on April 19, 1813.
26-Benjamin Franklin born in 1706 in Boston, Massachusetts to a true Puritan family. His father wanted him to become a minister but this did not suite him and he joined his brother in the printing business. At 17 after a falling out with his brother he arrived in Philadelphia with no money and no friends. He found employment as a compositor in a printing establishment. Later he traveled to Europe and upon but returning to America became a journeyman printer. In 1732 he began his "Poor Richard's Almanac". In 1734 he was appointed government printer for Pennsylvania. In 1736 be became the Clerk of the General Assembly and then served in the General Assembly for ten years. Serving in various Commissions in Europe he came home to help the Convention which framed the 'US Constitution.' He was a brilliant man with many attributes who served his country well. He passed on in April of 1790 at the age of 84.
27-John Norton was born below Philadelphia, Pennsylvania near the Delaware River. He was early on interested in politics and was a delegate to The Stamp Congress in 1765 and in 1766 was made High Sheriff of his county in PA. He warmly backed the cause of The Patriots in the Colonies and became a delegate to the General Assembly in 1775. He helped draft "The Articles of Confederation" and signed "The Declaration of Independence" in August of 1776. He was soon after elevated to the bench of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania. He died at 54 in 1777 and never saw the blessings of peace for his country. His death was considered a great public calamity.
28-George Clymer Born in Philadelphia in 1739 he was orphaned at age 7. His mother's brother took him in and raised in an influential and wealthy family of that city. He entered into the mercantile business and became one of the most ardent defenders of the republican cause.
Appointed as one of the Continental Treasurers he was also seated in the General Congress.
For his zealous feeling for the cause his family was driven from their home and their property plundered. Mr. Clymer was a member of the Convention that framed the "U.S. Constitution" and was elected one of the first members of the US Congress. Mr. Clymer was well respected and admired and died at 74 in 1813.
29-James Smithwas born in Ireland somewhere around 1720. The father migrated to the New World and settled his large family on the Susquehanna River. After excelling at school he proceeded to Law School and subsequently practiced both law and surveying. He settled in York, PA and was a made a delegate to the Committee of PA. He signed the "Declaration Of Independence" on August 2nd and became a regular attendant to the General Congress in October of 1776. He retired from public life around 1780 to enjoy domestic life and died at the age of 90 in 1806.
30-George Taylorwas born in Ireland in 1716 and came to this country when he was about 19. He was well educated but poor on arrival and became a clerk in an iron works. He married into the business and after later purchased an estate in Lehigh, PA and erected an iron works there. He became a member of the Colonial Assembly of Pennsylvania and in 1764 and signed the "Declaration of Independence" on August 2, 1776. He died in Easton, PA in 1781 at age 65.
31-James Wilsonwas born in Scotland in 1766 and received his education in Edinburgh. He migrated to the Colonies in 1766 and took up the study of law in Philadelphia. He became a member of the Provincial Assembly of PA. in 1774 and was chosen a delegate to the General Congress in 1775. He helped organize a volunteer Military Corps and became a Colonel of a regiment in 1774. Mr. Wilson was a active member of the General Congress and in 1787 helped frame the "Federal Constitution." In 1791 He was a member of the PA. House of Representatives and later made a judge of the US Supreme Circuit Court. He passed on in his 56 years of life in 1798.
32-George Ross born in New Castle, Delaware in 1730 to a Episcopal minister and took up law with his brother in Philadelphia at age 18. Mr. Ross was elected to the Pennsylvania Assembly in 1768, served in the Continental Congress, and signed the "Declaration of Independence "on the 2nd of August, 1776. In 1799 he was appointed Judge of the Court of Admiralty for PA but his sudden death in 1780 closed on a distinguished life in the service of his country at age 50.
33-Casar Rodney born in 1730 in the Delaware came from English ancestry and became interested in public life after the death of his father. In 1769 he became a member of the Provincial Assembly and was elected their Speaker. Mr. Rodney was elected to the General Assembly in 1774 and was one of the members who drew up the Declaration of Rights. While attending his duties in Congress he was appointed Brigadier General of his Province of Delaware. After his return home from service General Rodney was again elected to Congress but soon after was called upon by the citizens of his state to become President of Delaware. He died early in the year of 1783 at the age of 53.
34-George Readwas born in Maryland in1734, the eldest of six from Irish decent. He started his studies of law at seventeen and was admitted to the bar at nineteen He was elected to the Continental Congress in 1774 in Delaware and to the Genera Assembly in 1765. He became known for his sound judgment and prudence. In 1774 he was elected to the General Congress and was chosen to be President of the Delaware Convention to frame their state Constitution. He died at 64 in the year 1798.
35-Thomas Mc'Kean was born in Chester County, Pennsylvania in 1734. He took up the study of law and was accepted to the bar at 21 years of age. He soon was made Attorney General in Delaware. After being appointed to several different government positions including membership in the Continental Congress he became a delegate to the General Congress in 1774. He was claimed a citizen of both Pennsylvania and Delaware being Chief Justice of PA and then later Governor of that state. He died in 1817 at the age of 84.
36-Samuel Chase was born in Maryland in 1741 to a Episcopal clergyman. At 20 in entered into the study of law and was admitted to the bar at 22 and stared a practice in Annapolis. He was one of the first to lifted his voice in that state concerning his country's rights against the British oppressors. Appointed to the Continental Congress in 1774. Soon to sit in the General Congress he was a bold and energetic patriot. In 1796 President Washington nominated him to the US Supreme Court, an office he held for 15 years. His life ended in 1811 in his 70th year of age.
37-Thomas Stonewas born in Pointoin Manor in Maryland in 1743 and as a young student pursued the Classics until he decided upon law as a career. He had a patriotic hear and took an active part in the liberty of the Colonies movement pledging his life, his fortune and his honor to the independence of United States of America. Maryland residents as a whole were still much attached to the mother-country England and there fore Mr. Stone as active in furthering the cause there. He was a member of the first Continental Congress that convened on September 4, 1774. He continued active in the young government and helped form the Articles of Confederation. He later became pro-tempore of the US Congress. He retired in 1784 from public duty and returned home where he died in 1787 at 45.
38-William Paca was a descendant of wealthy Maryland planters and was born in 1740 at Wye Hall. He graduated at Philadelphia College and took up the study of law and was admitted to the bar at the age of 20 and became a member of the Provincial Assembly. He vigorously opposed the taxes the British government imposed and was very active in arguing for independence. he signed the revered document on August 2 of 1776 and then was made Chief Justice his state in 1778. President Washington nominated him Judge for the district of Maryland and he held this position until 1799. He was known as a good Christian, a valued and active American citizen, who had a spotless career until his death in the same year at age 60.
39-Charles Carroll was of Irish decent. He was born in September of 1737. At the age 25 he inherited a large plantation in Maryland from his father. He graduated from College at seventeen and afterwards went to London to take up the study of law. After returning to America he became engaged in the public affairs of the Colonies and in 1772 he wrote a series of essays against the assumed rights of the British Government. In 1775 he was appointed a member of the Provincial Assembly and became known for his strong sentiments in favor of Independence and his strong character, stern integrity and clear judgment. He happily signed the Declaration of Independence and ten days later took his seat in Congress and was placed on the Board of War. He served in several governmental positions and was the last survivor of the signatory of The Declaration of Independence. He passed on at 96 in 1832.
40-George Wythewas born in Elizabeth County, Virginia in 1726. His mother educated him and at 21 he was left with a large inheritance. George then launched himself into ten years of pleasure and revelry. Around thirty he had a change of heart and took up the study of law and was admitted to the bar in 1757. He was appointed Chancellor of Virginia and held his position during his life time. In 1775 he was elected a delegate to the General Congress and signed the Declaration of Independence in 1776. In 1777 was chosen Speaker of the House of Burgesses of Virginia and in 1786 Mr. Wythe was chosen a delegate to the National Convention to help frame the Federal Constitution. He died in 1800 and it was believed to be from poison placed in his food by a relative. He was revered by many for his great perseverance, industry, kindness and generosity
41-Richard Henry Lee of Virginia gentry was born in Westmoreland in 1732. He was educated in England returning to Virginia at 19. He was appointed a Justice of the Peace in 1757 and also became a member of the House of Burgesses. Mr. Lee fearlessly expressed his opposing opinions about the British Government, the Stamp Act and the tyranny of the Colonies. Lee was one of the first to feel that nothing short of absolute political independence would arrest the progress of British oppression. He was eloquent in speaking out boldly for the rights of the colonies and was a delegate in the Congress in 1776 introducing the resolution to become separate from the mother-country. He continued a member of Congress until 1779 and then again served in 1783 being elected President of that body. He died in his 64th year in 1794.
42-Thomas Jefferson was from a family of early British emigrants to Virginia. Born April 13th, 1743 to Jane and Peter Jefferson. When his father died he left Thomas, Monticello. He studied at William and Mary College and entered into the study of law. When he heard the celebrated speech by Patrick Henry concerning the Stamp Act he avowed to champion the cause of America's freedom. Jefferson was elected a delegate to the Continental Congress in 1775 and appointed to help write the "Declaration of Independence". He subsequently became chairman and his draught, with very few changes, was accepted and signed on July 4th, 1776. In 1779 Mr. Jefferson succeeded Mr. Henry as Governor of Virginia. In 1784 he wrote as essay on coinage and currency which formulated the denominations of the dollar and the system of decimals. He served in France as a Minister for America until 1789. Washington asked him to serve as his Secretary of State after he returned to the U.S. Jefferson subsequently served as Vice-President to John Adams after being defeated by Adams. In 1800 he was elected President over Aaron Burr. Mr. Jefferson served 8 distinguished years for the Republican Party and died nearly at the same hour of the same day as John Adams. It was the 15th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence; he was 83.
43- Benjamin Harrisonwas born in Virginia but the exact date is not known. Harrison at a very young age became a member of the Virginia House of Burgesses where his talents and sound judgment earned him the esteem and confidence of this legislature. He became very influential and was soon elected to be Speaker. He was one of the first seven delegates to the Continental Congress from Virginia in 1774. He had command of his county militia as a colonel and was presiding judge in the courts of the county. In 1782 he was elected Governor of the state. In 1791 he was stricken with a stomach ailment and died at age 47. He was a landowner and politician.
44-Thomas Nelson, Jr. was born in Yorktown Virginia in December 26, 1738. He was sent to England at 14 to be educated and after returning home he found his sympathies much in favor of the Americans. In 1774 he was elected to the House of Burgesses of Virginia. He became a member of the first General Convention of Virginia where he displayed a boldness of character and was involved in the organization and later the head of the militia of his state. General Nelson was elected as Governor after Jefferson’s tern expired. The Revolutionary War cost him his health, his estate, his fortune, and his family’s wellbeing. He died of poor health on January 4th 1789 in his 53 year of age. He was a landowner by profession.
45-Francis Lightfoot Lee was born in Virginia of October 14, 1734 and was the younger brother of Richard Henry Lee. He was sent to Scotland for his early education and upon returning home was deeply impressed with his brother’s judgment and political pursuits. In 1765 Francis was elected to the Virginia House of Burgesses. In 1775 he was sent as a delegate to the Continental Congress and helped to frame the Articles of Confederation. In 1779 he returned home to his agriculture and literary pursuits but in April of 1797 he died of pleurisy at the age of 63 and was a landowner and politician by trade.
46-Carter Braxton was born in Newington, Virginia in September of 1736 to a wealthy farming family. He attended William and Mary College and in 1757 went to England for the purpose of self-improvement. Upon coming back he took up law as a profession and was one of the first to raise his voice of patriotism. In 1765 he became a member of the House of Burgesses of Virginia and was a delegate to the Continental Convention in 1774. In 1775 he became a delegate to the Continental Congress but returned to the Virginia Legislature until 1785 when he was appointed to the Council of the State. Mr. Braxton was struck down with paralysis and died in his 61 year on October 10, 1797.
47-William Hooper was born to a Scottish father and American mother on June 17, 1742. William was sent to Harvard University where he graduated in 1760. He furthered his career in law and then moved to North Carolina. There he took sides with the British and became perceived as a royalist until his sentiments changed to an American patriot view. In 1773 Mr. Hooper was elected to the Provincial Assembly and in 1774 he was appointed NC first delegate to the Continental Congress. On all occasions the British harassed William to destroy him, his family and estate. After the war in 1786 he was appointed by Congress as a Federal Judge. He died in Hillsboro, NC in October of 1790 at the age of 48.
48-Joseph Heweswas born to a Quaker family in 1730 in Kingston, NJ. He attended Princeton and after graduating he took up a commercial life where he amassed a large fortune. In1760 Mr. Hewes moved to North Carolina, opened a business and was elected to the NC legislature in 1763. By 1774 he was a zealous patriot and made a delegate to the Continental Congress where he helped draw up a Declaration of Rights. In these actions his business was struck a deadly blow by the British. In the Congress Hewes was made first Secretary of the Navy and was seated on the “Secret Committee”. He went home, after signing the “Declaration of Independence” to attend to his save his business his dwindling business ventures. He returned to Congress in July of 1779 but died in November of that year at 50 years of age.
49-John Penn was born in May of 1741in Virginia and at 18 inherited his father’s small estate. He educated himself in the library of a neighbor, Edmund Pendleton and later entered into the studies of law. In1774 he moved to North Carolina to practice law and in 1775 was elected to the Continental Congress. When in 1780 Cornwallis started his victorious march through the Carolinas the legislature of NC gave over the defense of that state to Mr. Penn. Known as an eloquent speaker and a man of great fidelity to his mission and country. He passed on at 47 in 1788.
50-Edward Rutledge was born in Charleston South Carolina in November of 1749 and after classical education he commenced the study of law. Before taking the bar he went to England and returned home in 1772. At only 25 the Convention of SC elected him to the General Congress. Mr. Rutledge was associated with Richard Henry Lee and John Adams in writing up the prefatory preamble for absolute independence. Partly due to ill health he withdrew from Congress in 1777. In 1780 while fighting in the Revolutionary War he was taken prisoner and sent to St. Augustine, FL. After the war he returned home to practice law and serve in the SC Legislature. In 1794 he was elected to the US Senate and in 1798 he was made Governor of his state. He died in January of 1800in his 60 year of age.
51-Thomas Hayward was born in 1746 in South Carolina to a quite wealthy planter, Colonel Dame Hayward. Young Hayward entered into the sturdy of law and at 20 sailed to England to further his studies and become an accomplished lawyer. Upon returning to practice his profession he became a passionate patriot and was soon placed in the first General Assembly. In 1775 he was chosen for the General Congress and warmly supported the motion for absolution from British rule. Later became a state Judge and serviced in active duty during the war for freedom. He was seriously wounded and held captive for nearly a year. During that time his property was confiscated and his family driven from their home. He returned home to his practice, judgeship, and state political actives and later retirement. His death took place in March of 1809 when he was 63 years of age.
52- Thomas Lynch, Jr. was born on August of 1749 in South Carolina. Coming from a family with large land wealth he was sent to England at the age of thirteen. After leaving his further education at Cambridge he entered into the study of law. Thomas returned home in 1772 and in 1775received the commission of Captain in the first provincial regiment. When his father resigned his seat in the Congress he was immediately elected to fill it. Due to ill health of both his father and himself started to return home but in Annapolis his father died. In 1779 Thomas and his wife boarded ship to sail to the south of France for recovery but they never reached their destination. He was just 30 and was one the patriots who pledged his life, his fortune, and his honor in defense of America’s freedom.
53-Arthur Middletownwas born at Middleton Place estate, South Carolina in1743. He was sent to England at 12 for a through education where he later entered Cambridge. In 1768 he returned to SC, married and returned to the continent with his bride. Returning home again in 1773 he found men could not remain neutral in the cause of freedom from Britain. In the winter of 1776 Arthur was appointed to a committee to form a government for South Carolina. In 1779 SC was invaded by the British and his property was ravaged and he was taken captive. Upon returning home he was at once elected as a representative to Congress and remained there until 1782 when he went home to his family and to serving in the state legislature. He died at 45 of fever contacted while in prison in Florida in January of 1788. He was a landowner and politician by trade.
54-Button Gwinnett born in England in 1732 was apprenticed at an early age to a merchant in Bristol. He immigrated to South Carolina in 1770 and went into the mercantile business. Two years later he moved to Georgia where he purchased large tracts of land on St. Catharine’s’ Island. He soon became an enthusiastic advocate against the British Crown. He was elected a delegate to the Continental Congress and later served as president of the GA State Convention. In a contest between Colonel M’Intosh and Mr. Gwinnett for the post of Brigadier the two men became decidedly alienated and fought a duel where Mr. Gwinnett was killed. He was 45.
55-Lyman Hall was born in Connecticut in 1721 to a family of large fortune. After acquiring a good early education he was sent to Yale at 16. He chose medicine as a profession and later married and moved to South Carolina and then to Georgia. He was one of the early southern patriots to lift his voice in protest against British oppression and misrule. In 1775 Mr. Hall was elected a delegate to the General Congress. In 1780 with the invasion of his state he returned home he had to remove his family from their estate and his property was confiscated. In 1783 he was elected Governor of Georgia. He died in the year 1784 in his 63rd year of life.
56-George Waltonwas born in Virginia in 1740 and his early education was limited. Early trained as a carpenter but with an acquiring mind he sought to self-educate himself and later moved to Georgia and commenced the study of law. His law tutor was an ardent patriot and in 1776 Georgia declared for the patriot cause. Mr. Walton was appointed to the Continental Congress and remained there until 1778 when he returned home and became a Colonel in the regiment of his state. He was severely wounded and taken a prisoner but soon was exchanged and returned to his home. In 1779 he became Governor of the state but in 1780 was elected to the US Congress. Two years later he returned home to again become Governor and then Chief Justice. In 1798 he was elected to the US Senate but after one year retired to private life. He died in February of 1804.
At least 12 signers had their homes and property taken, ransacked, occupied or burned. Vandals or soldiers looted the properties of William Ellery, George Clymer, Lyman Hall, George Walton, Button Gwinnett, large estate Thomas Heyward Jr., Edward Rutledge and Arthur Middleton. Robert Morris’ home was overtaken as well, and Philip Livingston lost several properties to the enemy. John Hart’s farm was looted, and he had to flee into hiding. Lewis had his home and property destroyed. The enemy then jailed his wife, and she was held for months before being exchanged for wives of British soldiers. Carter Braxton of Virginia, a wealthy planter and trader, lost his ships and cargo to the British Navy. Thomas McKean wrote to John Adams in 1777 that he was “hunted like a fox by the enemy, compelled to [move] my family five times in three months.” Five signers were captured by the British as prisoners of war and had to endure deplorable conditions as such. One signer lost his son in the Revolutionary Army, and another had two sons captured. On November 30, 1776, one signer, Richard Stockton, a lawyer from Princeton and longtime friend of George Washington, was captured in the middle of the night by loyalists and jailed by the British. Stockton endured weeks and months of brutal treatment and starvation. When he was finally released, his health would never be the same. (Over the six years of war, more than 12,000 prisoners died in prisons compared to 4,435 soldiers who died in combat.)
SUGGESTED READING and BOOK REVIEWS
"TAKE BACK AMERICA", BY MATHEW D. STAVER
This book is a must read for every American who care about our nation.
It provides an invaluable perspective on today's escalating 'culture war" .It is a no nonsense straight to the point expose of our nation's systematic loss of the liberties our Forefathers won for us. It provides an example after example of how our nation's heritage of freedom is being taken apart, plank by plank.
Paper Back, Published by New Revolution Publishers ISBN 978-1-937102-00-5
WORDS TO REMEMBER
"We are either a nation of laws, or we are lawless"
Representative Marsha Blackburn
Since the glorious founding of OUR country 238 years ago we have rightfully claimed the title of "Land of Free and the Home of the Brave" . This has been the grandest and noblest of experiments in self-government in world history.
IT MUST BE CHERISHED AND PRESERVED.