Lossing's Field Book of the Revolution, Vol. II., Supplement VI.

PICTORIAL FIELD BOOK OF THE REVOLUTION.

VOLUME II.

BY BENSON J. LOSSING

1850.

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SUPPLEMENT.

VI.

SIGNERS OF THE DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE.

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It is a fact worthy of special record, and one which ought to excite the honest pride of every American, that not one of that noble band who pledged life, fortune, and honor to the support of American independence, ever fell from his high moral position before the world, or dimmed, by word or deed, that brilliant page of history on which their names are written. In the following brief sketches of their public career this fact is illustrated. Correct portraits of forty-nine of the fifty-six signers will be found in the frontispiece to the second volume of this work. The group in the center of the plate represents the committee who prepared the Declaration, as arranged by Trumbull in his celebrated picture of the event. I have arranged the sketches in the order of States as they appear in the Journals of Congress.

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NEW HAMPSHIRE.

Josiah Bartlett was born at Amesbury, Massachusetts, in November, 1729. He studied the science of medicine, and commenced the practice of a physician at Kingston, in New Hampshire. There he soon became a politician, was elected a member of the Colonial Legislature, and was always found in opposition to measures of oppression, unmindful of the flatteries and bribes of the chief magistrate. He was one of a Committee of Safety in 1775, held the office of colonel of a militia regiment, and, at the close of the year, was elected to a seat in the Continental Congress. He voted for independence, and was the first to sign the Declaration, after John Hancock. He subsequently filled the offices of Judge of Common Pleas and of the Supreme Court of his state, and in the convention to consider the Federal Constitution, he took an active part in the affirmative. He was elected first president, and then governor of New Hampshire. He died May 19th, 1795, in the sixty-sixth year of his age.

William Whipple was born at Kittery, in Maine, in 1730. He was partially educated at a common school, and at an early age went to sea. In 1759 he commenced business as a merchant at Portsmouth, New Hampshire. He was chosen a representative in the Provincial Congress of that state in 1775, and in 1776 he was elected a member of the Continental Congress. In 1777 he was made a brigadier general of the New Hampshire militia, and was active in calling out troops to oppose Burgoyne. He was in the battles at Stillwater and Saratoga, assisted in negotiations for the surrender of Burgoyne, and was one of the officers who conducted the captive army to Cambridge. He remained in active public service, and in 1782 was appointed a judge of the Superior Court of New Hampshire. He died on the twenty-eighth of November, 1785, in the fifty-fifth year of his age.

Matthew Thornton was born in Ireland in 1714. He came to America, with his parents, at the age of three years. His father first settled at Wiscasset, in Maine, but soon went to Worcester, Massachusetts, where his son received an academic education. He studied for, and became a physician, and in 1745 was appointed surgeon to the New Hampshire troops in the expedition against Louisburg. He also held royal commissions as justice of the peace and colonel of militia. He was chosen a delegate for New Hampshire to the Continental Congress in 1776, and during that year he was made chief justice of the Court of Common Pleas of New Hampshire. He was soon raised to the bench of the Superior Court. He died on the twenty-fourth of June, 1803, while on a visit to his friends in Massachusetts.

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MASSACHUSETTS.

Samuel Adams was born in Boston, Massachusetts, on the twenty-second of September, 1722. He was educated for the ministry at Harvard College, but, preferring politics to theology, he never took orders. During the ten years of excitement preceding the Revolution, Mr. Adams was a conspicuous leader on the popular side. In the Continental Congress, where he was a representative of his native state, he was one of the warmest advocates for independence. After he left Congress, he was very active in Massachusetts, especially in framing the State Constitution, under which he was chosen governor. He was a man eminently fitted for the times in which he lived, and he made a powerful impression upon the political features of his generation. He died on the second of October, 1803, at the age of eighty-one years.

John Adams was born at Quincy, Massachusetts, on the thirteenth of October, 1735. He graduated at Harvard University, at the age of twenty years, and soon afterward commenced the practice of the law in Boston. He was brought prominently into political life by his defense of Captain Preston after the "Boston Massacre" in 1770, and he was elected a member of the Massachusetts Legislature. He was elected to the Continental Congress in 1774, where he was always a leading spirit. He was sent on missions to England and Holland, and on his return he assisted in framing a constitution for his state. He assisted in negotiating peace with Great Britain, and was our first minister to London. He was elected vice-president of the United States in 1789, and president in 1797.

ADAMS’S RESIDENCE AT QUINCY.

He retired to Quincy in 1801, and engaged but little in public life afterward. He died on the fourth of July, 1826, at the age of ninety-one years.

John Hancock was born at Quincy, Massachusetts, in 1737. He graduated at Harvard College in 1754, and entered into mercantile life with his uncle, a wealthy merchant of Boston, who was childless, and adopted him as a son. He was successively elected a selectman of Boston and a member of the General Court. He became very popular, and on the formation of the Provincial Congress of his state, he was elected its president. In 1775 he was made president of the Continental Congress, and in that capacity placed his bold signature first to the great Declaration. Ill health compelled him to leave Congress, but not the duties of public life. He assisted in forming a Constitution for his native state, and served as governor under it from 1780 till 1793, with the exception of one year. He died of the gout on the eighth of October, 1793, in the fifty-fifth year of his age. His residence is delineated on page 507, volume i.

Robert Treat Paine was a native of Massachusetts, born in 1731. He graduated at Harvard College, studied theology, and was a chaplain in the army, on the frontier, in 1758. He afterward turned his attention to the study of the law, and became a good practitioner. He was brought into public life by acting for the attorney general in the trial of Captain Preston, which case he managed with great ability. He was a delegate from Massachusetts in the Continental Congress of 1774, and was there again in 1776. Under the Massachusetts Constitution, adopted in 1780, he was appointed attorney general. He held that office until 1796, when he was elevated to the bench of the Supreme Court of his state. He resigned in 1804, and was appointed one of the state counselors. In the course of a year he retired from public life. He died on the eleventh of May, 1814, in the eighty-third year of his age.

Elbridge Gerry was born in Marblehead, Massachusetts, on the seventeenth of July, 1744. He graduated at Harvard College in 1762, and prepared for commercial life. He was elected to the Massachusetts Legislature in 1773, was chosen a member of the Provincial Congress in 1774, and was soon afterward sent a delegate to the Continental Congress. He held a front rank in that body on commercial and naval subjects, and was a very useful committee-man. He was opposed to the Federal Constitution, but yielded his opinion when it became the organic law of the republic. He was appointed an envoy to France in 1797, and was popular there. He was elected governor of Massachusetts on his return, afterward was made vice-president of the United States, and died in Washington City, while holding that office, on the twenty-third of November, 1814.

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RHODE ISLAND.

Stephen Hopkins was born at Scituate (then a part of Providence), Rhode Island, on the seventh of March, 1707. He was a self-taught man. He was a member and speaker of the Rhode Island Assembly, and in 1754 was a member of a convention of delegates from the several colonies held at Albany. He wrote and acted against the unjust measures of the mother country, long before the Revolution. He was a member of the first Continental Congress in 1774, and was also a member in 1776. He left that body in 1778, and was subsequently a member of the Legislature of his native state, where he was highly esteemed. He died on the nineteenth of July, 1785, in the seventy-eighth year of his age. His monument is delineated on page 624, vol. i.

William Ellery was born at Newport, Rhode Island, on the twenty-second of December, 1727. He graduated at Harvard College in 1747, where he commenced the study and practice of law in his native town. He was an early opponent of British misrule, and having the confidence of his fellow-citizens, he was elected a delegate to the Continental Congress in 1776. He suffered much from the enemy during the war. He continued a member of Congress until 1785, at the same time holding the office of judge of the Supreme Court of Rhode Island. He was made first collector of the port of Newport, under the provisions of the Federal Constitution, which office he held until his death on the fifteenth of February, 1820, in the ninety-second year of his age.

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CONNECTICUT.

Roger Sherman was born at Newtown, near Boston, on the nineteenth of April, 1721. He was bred a shoemaker, and followed that business until his twenty-second year, when he opened a small store and studied law. He was admitted to the bar in 1754, and was soon afterward elected a member of the Connecticut Legislature. A few years afterward, he was appointed a judge of the Common Pleas, and was soon elevated to the bench of the Superior Court of Connecticut. He was elected a member of the Continental Congress in 1775, where his services were of great utility. He was one of the committee appointed to draft the Declaration of Independence, and he cheerfully signed that instrument. He continued a member of Congress until 1789. He died on the twenty-third of July, 1793, in the seventy-second year of his age.

Samuel Huntington was born in Windham, Connecticut, on the second of July, 1732. He received only a common school education, but, choosing the law for a profession, he became so proficient that he was appointed king’s attorney. He was soon raised to the bench of the Superior Court. In 1775 he was elected a delegate to the Continental Congress, and was chosen president of that body in 1779. He served several years in Congress, at different times, and was always active in public life in his native state. He was appointed chief justice of Connecticut, elected lieutenant governor, and in 1786 he succeeded Governor Griswold as chief magistrate. He died on the fifth of January, 1796, in the sixty-fourth year of his age. His residence and tomb are delineated on pages 606, 607, vol. i.

William Williams was born in Connecticut on the eighteenth of April, 1731, and graduated at Harvard College in 1751. He studied theology, but abandoned it for the field of Mars. He was the aid of his cousin, who, with Hendrick, was killed near Lake George in 1755. After his return, he was chosen clerk of his town, which office he held almost fifty years. He was a member of the Connecticut Legislature for forty-five years. He was a delegate in the Continental Congress in 1776, and was a warm advocate of independence. He died on the twentieth of August, 1811, in the eighty-first year of his age. His residence is delineated on page 603, vol. i.

Oliver Wolcott was born in Connecticut in 1726. He graduated at Yale College in 1747. In 1774 he was elected a member of the Council of State, which office he held until 1786. He was a member of the Continental Congress in 1776, and was an active officer throughout the Revolution. He was a member of Congress until 1786, and was either in that body or in the field the whole time. He was elected lieutenant governor of his state in 1786, which office he held until elected governor, ten years afterward. He died on the first of December, 1797, in the seventy-second year of his age.

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NEW YORK.

William Floyd was born on Long Island on the seventeenth of December, 1734. He was an early patriot, and being opulent and popular, he was chosen to represent that section of New York in the Continental Congress of 1774. During the entire war he was engaged in public life, and suffered much loss of property at the hands of the British. He moved to the banks of the Mohawk after the war, and there engaged in the delightful pursuit of agriculture. He died on the fourth of August, 1821, in the eighty-seventh year of his age.

Philip Livingston was born in Albany, New York, on the fifteenth of January, 1716. He graduated at Yale College in 1737, and then entered into mercantile business in the city of New York, where he was eminently successful. He was an alderman, and in 1754 was a member of the Colonial Convention at Albany. He was a delegate in Congress in 1776, and was one of the warmest supporters of the Declaration of Independence. After the adoption of the Constitution of his state, he was a member of the Senate. He was also again elected a member of Congress, but death soon deprived his country of his services.

LIVINGSTON’S MONUMENT AT YORK. 1

He died, while attending Congress, at York, Pennsylvania, of dropsy in the chest, on the twelfth of June, 1778, in the sixty-second year of his age.

Francis Lewis was born in South Wales in 1713. He was partly educated in Scotland, and was then sent to Westminster. He entered a mercantile house in London, and at the age of twenty-one years came to America, and commenced business in New York. He was an agent here of British merchants in 1756, and was made a prisoner and sent to France. He returned to America, and became an active politician. He was elected a delegate to the Continental Congress in 1775, and served there for several years. He owned property on Long Island, which the British destroyed. He died on the thirtieth of December, 1803, in the ninetieth year of his age.

Lewis Morris was born in New York in 1726. He graduated at Yale College in 1746, and then retired to the farm of his father, in Lower West Chester, near Harlem. He took sides with the patriots when the war broke out, and was sent to the Continental Congress as a delegate in 1775. He was a member in 1776, and continued in office until 1777, when he was succeeded by his brother, Gouverneur Morris. He suffered much in loss of property during the war. He died in January, 1798, in the seventy-second year of his age.

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NEW JERSEY.

Richard Stockton was born near Princeton, on the first of October, 1730. He graduated at Princeton College in 1748, studied law with David Ogden, and rose rapidly to eminence. He visited Great Britain in 1767, where he became acquainted with many distinguished men. He was an ardent patriot, and in 1776 was elected a delegate to the Continental Congress. In the autumn of that year, while returning from an official visit to the Northern army, he was made prisoner, and was treated with much cruelty. His constitution became shattered before his release, and, sinking gradually, he died on the twenty-eighth of February, 1781, in the fifty-third year of his age. His residence is delineated on page 35 of this volume.

John Witherspoon was a native of Scotland, and was born on the fifth of February, 1732. He was educated at Edinburgh, studied divinity, and was ordained a minister in the Scotch Church. He came to America, by invitation, in 1768, and was inaugurated president of Princeton College, where he became very popular. He was a warm patriot, and espoused the cause of freedom with great energy. He was a delegate to the Continental Congress in 1776, and with pen and speech he ably advocated American independence throughout the war. He continued in Congress several years. His death occurred on the fifteenth of November, 1794, at the age of seventy-two years.

Francis Hopkinson was born in Pennsylvania in 1737. He became distinguished in the profession of the law, and was always noted for his wit. He was a poet of considerable merit, and wrote several pamphlets on political subjects. He was a delegate from New Jersey (his residence being at Bordentown), in the Continental Congress in 1776, and in 1780 he was elected judge of admiralty for the State of Pennsylvania. In 1790 he was appointed district judge in the same state. He died in May, 1791, in the fifty-third year of his age. For his poem called The Battle of the Kegs, see page 104 of this volume.

John Hart was born in New Jersey, at what precise time is not recorded. He was a man of strong mind and decided principles. He was an agriculturist by profession, and was called from his plow to a seat in the Continental Congress in 1774. He remained there until after he had affixed his name to the Declaration of Independence. He was an active patriot during the war, and suffered much at the hands of the Loyalists. Broken in constitution, Mr. Hart died in 1780, and was buried at Rahway, New Jersey.

Abraham Clark was born at Elizabethtown, New Jersey, on the fifteenth of February, 1726. He was a self-taught, strong-minded, energetic man, able and willing to perform a variety of service. He became very popular, and in 1776 he was elected a delegate in the Continental Congress. He was active in the public affairs of his state until his death, which occurred suddenly in the month of June, 1794, at the age of sixty-eight years.

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PENNSYLVANIA.

Robert Morris was born in England in January, 1733, came to this country while yet a child, and was educated in Philadelphia. He served an apprenticeship with a merchant, and at twenty-one commenced business for himself. Remarkable for energy, acuteness, and strict integrity, he was very successful, and possessed the entire confidence of the community. He was elected a member of the Continental Congress in 1776, and throughout the war was considered the ablest financier in the country. For a long time his individual credit was superior to that of Congress itself. He lost an immense fortune, and died in comparative poverty on the third of May, 1806, in the seventy-third year of his age.

Benjamin Rush was born near Philadelphia on the twenty fourth of December, 1745, O. S. He graduated at Princeton College in 1760, commenced the study of medicine the next year, and in 1766 went to Edinburgh, where, two years afterward, he received the degree of M. D. He returned to Philadelphia in 1769, where he was elected professor of chemistry in the College of Pennsylvania. He was elected a member of the Continental Congress in 1776, and from that period until his death he took an active part in public affairs, politics, science, and general literature. He stands in the highest rank of American physicians and philosophers. Dr. Rush died on the nineteenth of April, 1813, in the seventieth year of his age.

Benjamin Franklin was born in Boston, Massachusetts, on the seventeenth of January, 1706. He learned the business of printing with his brother, and while yet a lad wrote many excellent articles for publication. He left his brother at the age of seventeen years, went to New York, and from thence to Philadelphia, in search of employment. He settled in the latter city, became acquainted with men of learning and science, and finally went to London, where he worked at his trade for some time. He returned to Philadelphia in 1732, and pursued the profession of printer for many years with great success. He was appointed clerk of the Pennsylvania Assembly in 1736, and the next year, postmaster. He commenced a popular magazine in 1741. He was very active in public affairs, and was sent to England as agent for several of the colonies. He returned to America in 1775, and was immediately elected a delegate in the Continental Congress. He was appointed commissioner to the court of France in 1776, where he remained several years in efficient service. He was the first minister to that court, and assisted in negotiations for peace with Great Britain. He returned to Philadelphia in 1785, when he was elected president of Pennsylvania, and continued in office for three years. He died on the seventeenth of April, 1790, in the eighty-fifth year of his age. On his death, Congress ordered a general public mourning throughout the United States.

John Morton was born in Delaware, of Swedish parents, in 1724. He took an active part in political affairs, and in 1761 was elected a delegate from Pennsylvania to the ‘Stamp Act Congress," which assembled in New York. He filled various civil offices in Pennsylvania, and in 1774 was elected a member of the Continental Congress. He remained a member for about three years. He was one of the committee which reported the Articles of Confederation, and died soon after that report was presented to Congress, in the fifty-third year of his age.

George Clymer was born in Philadelphia in 1739. Being left an orphan, he was reared by a paternal uncle, who gave him a good education. He entered his uncle’s counting-room to prepare for the mercantile profession, but general science and literature had more charms for him. He was a decided patriot, and in 1776 was elected to the Continental Congress. He served several years in that body, and in 1781 was a member of the Legislature of his native state. He was a revenue officer at the time of the "Whisky Insurrection" in Pennsylvania, and there did efficient service in quieting the rebellion. His last public duty was a mission to the Cherokees in 1796. He died on the twenty-fourth of January, 1813, in the seventy-fourth year of his age.

James Smith was born in Ireland, but would never give the date of his birth. He was educated by Dr. Allison of Philadelphia, and studied law. He commenced professional life on the frontiers of Pennsylvania, where he had great influence. In 1776, he was elected to the Continental Congress, where be remained several years. He resumed his profession in 1781. He relinquished practice in 1800, after a professional career of about sixty years. He died In 1806, at the supposed age of eighty-six years.

George Taylor was born in Ireland in 1716. He came to America when a young man, with no fortune but good health and industry. He performed menial labor for some time, and then became a clerk in a large iron establishment. Many years afterward, he married his employer’s widow, and became possessed of considerable property. He was a member of the Pennsylvania Legislature before the Stamp Act excitement. Being an ardent Whig, he was elected to a seat in the Continental Congress in 1776. Although he was not present to vote on the resolution for independence, he gladly affixed his name to the Declaration. He retired from Congress the following year, and moved to the State of Delaware, where he died on the twenty-third of February, 1781, in the sixty-fifth year of his age.

James Wilson was born in Scotland in 1742. He was thoroughly educated in Edinburgh, emigrated to America in 1766, and became a tutor in the Philadelphia College, where he studied law. He became eminent in his profession, and in 1774 was chosen a member of the Provincial Congress of Pennsylvania. He was elected to the Continental Congress in 1775, where he continued for several years. He was appointed an assistant judge of the Supreme Court of the United States in 1789, and held that office until his death, which occurred on the twenty-eighth of August, 1798, in the fifty-sixth year of his age.

George Ross was born at Newcastle, Delaware, in 1730, and at the age of twenty-one years began the practice of law in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. He was a member of the Pennsylvania Assembly in 1768. In 1776 he was chosen a member of the Continental Congress, advocated the Declaration of Independence, and signed his name to the important document. He was very active in public life until 1789, when death terminated his labors in July of that year, in the fiftieth year of his age.

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DELAWARE.

Cæsar Rodney was born at Dover, Delaware, in 1730. He was an active politician as early as 1762. He was a member of the Stamp Act Congress in 1765, and in 1768 was speaker of the Assembly of his state. He was a fine writer, and his pen was actively employed in the cause of liberty. He was a member of the first Continental Congress, and remained in that body until the close of 1776, when he took the field as brigadier of militia. He was chosen president of the state after the adoption of a State Constitution. A cancer in the cheek finally incapacitated him for business, his health rapidly failed, and he died early in 1783, in the fifty-third year of his age.

George Read was born in Maryland in 1734, and was educated by Dr. Allison, in Philadelphia. He studied law, and was admitted to the bar while yet a youth. He commenced practice at Newcastle, Delaware, and was soon afterward elected a member of the State Legislature. He was chosen a delegate to the Continental Congress in 1774, where he remained for several years. He was president of the convention which framed a State Constitution for Delaware. He was appointed an admiralty judge in 1782. In 1786, he was a member of the first convention to revise the Articles of Confederation. In 1793 he was made chief justice of the Supreme Court of Delaware, which office he held until his death, in the autumn of 1798, in the sixty-fourth year of his age.

Thomas M‘Kean was born in Chester county, Pennsylvania, in 1734. He was educated by Dr. Allison, and entered a law office at an early age. He was a member of the Stamp Act Congress in 1765, and from that time he was active in public affairs, always on the side of popular rights. He was chosen a member of the Continental Congress for Delaware in 1774, where he was a leader. He was a member for the same state in 1776, and voted for independence. He took an active part in military affairs during the war, and after its close he was called to fill many important civil offices. He was president of Congress in 1781. For twenty years he was chief justice of Pennsylvania, and in 1799 was elected governor of that state. He retired from public life in 1812, and died on the twenty-fourth of June, 1817, in the eighty-fourth year of his age.

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MARYLAND.

Samuel Chase was born in Maryland on the seventeenth of April, 1741. He received a good classical education in Baltimore, studied law, and commenced its practice in Annapolis. He soon became a popular and distinguished man. In 1774 he was chosen a member of the Continental Congress. He was re-elected in 1775, and remained a member of that body until 1778. In 1786 he moved to Baltimore, and, two years afterward, was appointed chief justice of the Criminal Court of that district. He was soon afterward appointed chief justice of the state. In 1796 he was appointed a judge of the Supreme Court of the United States, which office he filled for fifteen years. He died on the nineteenth of June, 1811, in the seventieth year of his age.

Thomas Stone was born in Maryland in 1742. He was a lawyer by profession, and an early patriot. In 1774 he was elected to a seat in the Continental Congress, to which he was again chosen the following year. He remained a member of that body until early in 1778, having, in the mean while, signed the Declaration of Independence, and assisted in the formation of the Articles of Confederation. He was active in his own state until 1783, when he was again elected to Congress. He was present when Washington resigned his commission, and in 1784 was elected president of that body, pro tempore. He died at his residence, at Port Tobacco, on the fifth of October, 1787 in the forty-fifth year of his age.

William Paca was born in Hartford, Maryland, on the thirty-first of October, 1740. He was well educated by Dr. Allison in the Philadelphia College, and then studied law at Annapolis. He soon became conspicuous, and in 1771 was elected a member of the State Legislature. He was a member of the Continental Congress in 1774, was re-elected in 1775, and remained in that body until 1778, when he was appointed chief justice of the State of Maryland. In 1782 he was chosen governor of the state, and was very popular. He was appointed district judge for the State of Maryland in 1789, which office he held until his death, which occurred in 1799, when he was in the sixtieth year of his age.

Charles Carroll was born at Annapolis, Maryland, on the twentieth of September, 1737. His father being a Roman Catholic, he was sent to France to be educated. He returned to Maryland in 1765, a finished scholar and gentleman. He took an active part in public affairs, and was elected a member of the Continental Congress in July, 1776, and, with others, signed the Declaration of Independence on the second of August following. He retired from Congress in 1778, and, after taking part in the councils of his native state, was elected United States Senator in 1789. He retired from public life in 1801, and lived in the enjoyment of accumulated honors and social and domestic happiness, until November 14, 1832, when he died at the age of ninety-four years. Mr. Carroll was the last survivor of the Signers of the Declaration of Independence.

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VIRGINIA.

George Wythe was born in Elizabeth county, Virginia, in 1726. His parents were wealthy, and as the law opened a field for distinction, he chose that as a profession. He was a member of the Colonial Legislature of Virginia, and in 1775 was elected a member of the Continental Congress. Like other signers of the great Declaration, Mr. Wythe suffered much from foes, especially in loss of property. He was speaker of the Virginia House of Delegates in 1777, and the same year was appointed judge of the High Court of Chancery. He was afterward appointed chancellor, and filled that office with distinction for more than twenty years. He died on the eighth of June, 1806, in the eighty-first year of his age.

Richard Henry Lee was born in Westmoreland county, Virginia, on the twentieth of January, 1732. He was educated in England, and soon after his return, in 1757, he was elected a member of the Virginia House of Burgesses. He was elected to the Continental Congress in 1774, and in 1776 had the honor to offer the resolution declaring the colonies free and independent. He was a very active member of Congress during a greater part of the war. He was appointed United States Senator under the Federal Constitution, which office he filled with great ability. He died on the nineteenth of June, 1794, in the sixty-second year of his age. A notice of Mr. Lee’s birthplace may be found on page 217 of this volume.

Thomas Jefferson was born at Shadwell, Albemarle county, Virginia, on the thirteenth of April, 1743. He was educated at William and Mary College, from which he early graduated. He studied law with George Wythe, and when a very young man, was admitted to the bar. He was a member of the Virginia Legislature before the Revolution, where his talents as a writer were appreciated. He was elected to the Continental Congress in 1775, and in 1776 was one of the committee appointed to draw up the Declaration of Independence. Ill health prevented his acceptance of an embassy to France, to which he was appointed in 1778. He was elected governor of Virginia in 1779. In 1781 he retired from public life, and devoted his time to literary and scientific pursuits. He was sent to France to join Franklin and Adams in 1783, and in 1785 succeeded Franklin as minister there. Washington appointed him Secretary of State in 1789, which office he held until 1793. He was elected vice-president of the United States in 1797, and in 1801 was elevated to the chief magistracy. He was reelected in 1805, and after eight years service as president, he retired from public life. He died on the fourth of July, 1826, in the eighty-fourth year of his age, just fifty years after voting for the Declaration of Independence. His residence and seal are delineated on pages 341 and 342 of this volume.

Benjamin Harrison was a native of Virginia. He was educated at William and Mary College, and commenced his political career in 1764, when he was elected to the Virginia Legislature. He was elected a member of the Continental Congress in 1774, where he continued until the close of 1777. He was chosen speaker of the Virginia House of Burgesses early in 1778, and held that office until 1782, when he was elected governor of Virginia. He retired from that office in 1785, but remained active in public life until his death, which was caused by gout, in April, 1791. Mr. Harrison was father of the late W. H. Harrison, president of the United States. His residence is delineated on page 235 of this volume.

Thomas Nelson, Jun., was born at York, Virginia, on the twenty-sixth of December, 1738. He went to England to be educated, at the age of fourteen years, and graduated at Cambridge with a good reputation. He entered upon political life soon after his return to America, and in 1775 was elected a member of the Continental Congress. He held a seat there during the first half of the war, and in 1781 was elected governor of Virginia. He was actively engaged in a military capacity at the siege of Yorktown, when Cornwallis and his army were made captives. Governor Nelson died on the fourth of January, 1789, in the fiftieth year of his age. His residence is delineated on page 315 of this volume.

Francis Lightfoot Lee was born in Westmoreland, Virginia, on the fourteenth of October, 1734. He was educated at home by Doctor Craig. In 1765 he was elected a member of the Virginia House of Burgesses, in which he continued a delegate until 1775, when he was sent to the Continental Congress. He remained a member of that body until 1779, when he retired to private life. Himself and wife died of pleurisy at about the same time. Mr. Lee’s death occurred in April, 1797, at the age of sixty-three years.

Carter Braxton was born in Newington, Virginia, on the tenth of September, 1736, and was educated at William and Mary College. Possessed of wealth, he went to England, where he remained until 1760, when he was called to a seat in the Virginia House of Burgesses. He distinguished himself there in 1765, when Patrick Henry’s Stamp Act resolutions agitated the Assembly. He was elected to succeed Peyton Randolph in the Continental Congress in 1775. He was active in the National Legislature and in that of his own state until his death, which occurred on the tenth of October, 1797, from the effects of paralysis, in the sixty-first year of his age.

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NORTH CAROLINA.

William Hooper was born in Boston, Massachusetts, on the seventeenth of June, 1742. He graduated at Harvard College in 1760, and then commenced the study of law.

HOOPER’S RESIDENCE. 2

He visited North Carolina in 1767, and fixed his permanent residence at Wilmington. He represented that town in the General Assembly in 1773, and the next year was elected a member of the Continental Congress. After affixing his name to the Declaration in 1776, he resigned his seat, in consequence of the embarrassments of his private affairs, and returned home. He was elected a judge of the Federal Court in 1786, but ill health compelled him to retire from office the following year. He died in October, 1790, at the age of forty-eight years.

Joseph Hewes was born at Kingston, New Jersey, in 1730, and was educated at Princeton College. He prepared for mercantile life, entered successfully upon that pursuit, and at the age of thirty, located at Wilmington, North Carolina, where he soon accumulated a fortune. He was a member of the Colonial Legislature several consecutive years, and was elected to the Continental Congress in 1774. He continued in that body until 1779, when sickness compelled him to leave. He died on the tenth of November of that year, in the fiftieth year of his age.

John Penn was born in Caroline county, Virginia, on the seventeenth of May, 1741. His early education was neglected but a strong mind overcame many obstacles. He studied law with Edmund Pendleton, and commenced its practice in 1762. He went to North Carolina in 1774, took a high position at the bar, and in 1775 was elected to a seat in the Continental Congress. He was an active member of that body until 1779, when he returned home. He retired from public life at the close of the war, and died in September, 1788, in the forty-sixth year of his age.

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SOUTH CAROLINA.

Edward Rutledge was born in Charleston in November, 1749. He was educated at Princeton, and studied law with his elder brother, John. He completed his legal education in England, and returned to America in 1773. In 1775, at the age of twenty-five, he was elected to the Continental Congress. He remained a member until the close of 1776, and was re-elected in 1779. He was made a prisoner at Charleston in 1780. After his release, he engaged in the duties of his profession until 1798, when he was elected governor of the state. He died on the twenty-third of January, 1800, in the fifty-first year of his age.

Thomas Heyward, Jun., was born in South Carolina in 1746. After receiving a thorough classical education, he commenced the study of the law. He completed his legal education in England, and, returning to America, married and settled. He was an early opponent of British oppression, and in 1775 was elected a delegate to the Continental Congress. He left that body in 1778, to fill a judicial seat in his native state. He commanded a battalion of militia during the siege of Charleston in 1780, was made a prisoner, and was sent with others to St. Augustine. He continued in public life as judge until 1798, when he retired. He died in March, 1809, in the sixty-fourth year of his age.

Thomas Lynch, Jun., was born in South Carolina on the fifth of August, 1749. He was educated in England, and graduated at Cambridge with honor. He studied law in London, returned home in 1772, and immediately took an active part in politics. He was appointed to the command of a company in a South Carolina regiment in 1775, and was soon afterward elected to a seat in the Continental Congress. His health failed, and, soon after affixing his signature to the Declaration of Independence, he returned home. With his wife, he sailed for the West Indies at the close of 1776. The vessel was never heard of afterward.

Arthur Middleton was born in South Carolina in 1743. He graduated at Cambridge, England, and returned to America in 1773. He was elected a member of the Council of Safety at Charleston in 1775, and in 1776 was sent a delegate to the Continental Congress. He was in Charleston when it was surrendered to the British in 1781, was made prisoner, and remained in captivity more than a year. A large portion of his ample fortune was melted away by the fires of the Revolution. He was engaged in active political life until his death, which occurred on the first of January, 1789, in the forty-fourth year of his age.

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GEORGIA.

Button Gwinnett was born in England in 1732. He was well educated, and after being engaged in mercantile business in his native country for several years, he came to America, settled first at Charleston, and afterward purchased a large tract of land in Georgia, where he made his permanent residence. He was a delegate for Georgia in the Continental Congress in 1776, but returned home soon after signing the Declaration of Independence. He assisted in framing the State Constitution of Georgia, and under it was elected president of the state, an office equivalent to that of governor. He had a quarrel with General M‘Intosh which resulted in a duel. Gwinnett was mortally wounded, and his life ended at the age of forty-six years.

Lyman Hall was born in Connecticut in 1721. He graduated at Yale College, studied medicine, and went to South Carolina in 1752. He removed to Georgia, and was practicing the profession of a physician when the Revolution broke out, The parish of St. John’s elected him to a seat in the Continental Congress in 1775. Georgia soon afterward joined the confederation of revolted colonies, and Dr. Hall was elected a general delegate, with Gwinnett and Walton. He resided at the North while the British held possession of Georgia, and all his property was confiscated to the crown. He returned to his adopted state in 1782, and was elected governor the following year. After exercising the duties of his office for some time, he retired from public life. He died in Burke county in 1784, in the sixty-third year of his age.

George Walton was born in Frederick county, Virginia, in 1740. He was bred a mechanic, but on attaining his majority, he went to Georgia and commenced the practice of the law. He was elected a member of the Continental Congress in 1776, and remained active in that body until near the close of 1778, when he returned home. He was wounded and made prisoner at Savannah when it was taken by Campbell. In October, 1779, he was elected governor of the state, and in 1780 was again sent to Congress. He was again governor of Georgia, then chief justice, and in 1798 was a United States Senator. There he remained one year, and then retired. He died at Augusta on the second of February, 1804, In the sixty-fourth year of his age.

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ENDNOTES

1 This monument is at York, Pennsylvania (see ante, page 133), and bears the following inscription: "Sacred to the memory of the Honorable Philip Livingston, who died June 12, 1778, aged sixty-three years, while attending the Congress of the United States at York, Pennsylvania, as a delegate from the State of New York. Eminently distinguished for his talents and rectitude, he deservedly enjoyed the confidence of his country, and the love and veneration of his friends and children. This monument is erected by his grandson, Stephen Van Rensselaer.

2 This is in Wilmington, North Carolina. The property is owned by Dr. J. F. M‘Kee, who is also the possessor of Harnett’s house. I am indebted to Mr. Burr, of Wilmington. for this sketch.

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