Declaration Signers
Home Up

 

Signers of the U.S. Declaration of Independence

The purpose of this webpage is to present information about the signers of the U.S. Declaration of Independence.

Please feel free to contact me with information, suggestions, or corrections about the information on this site. You can contact me by clicking on the following: paulb'at'bessel.org 

Signers of the Declaration of Independence

Name

State &
Date Signed

John Adams Massachusetts
Aug 2, 1776?
Samuel Adams Massachusetts
Aug 2, 1776?
Josiah Bartlett New Hampshire
Aug 2, 1776?
Carter Braxton Virginia
Aug 2, 1776?
Charles Carroll of Carrollton Maryland
Aug 2, 1776
Samuel Chase Maryland
Aug 2, 1776?
Abraham Clark New Jersey
Aug 2, 1776?
George Clymer Pennsylvania
Aug 2, 1776?
William Ellery Rhode Island
Aug 2, 1776?
William Floyd New York
Aug 2, 1776?
Benjamin Franklin Pennsylvania
Aug 2, 1776?
Elbridge Gerry Massachusetts
Sep 4, 1776
Button Gwinnett Georgia
Aug 2, 1776?
Lyman Hall Georgia
Aug 2, 1776?
John Hancock Massachusetts
July 4, 1776 & Aug 2, 1776
Benjamin Harrison Virginia
Aug 2, 1776?
John Hart New Jersey
Aug 2, 1776?
Joseph Hewes or  Howes North Carolina
Aug 2, 1776?
Thomas Heyward, Jr. South Carolina
Aug 2, 1776?
William Hooper North Carolina
Aug 2, 1776?
Stephen Hopkins Rhode Island
Aug 2, 1776?
Francis Hopkinson New Jersey
Aug 2, 1776?
Samuel Huntington Connecticut
Aug 2, 1776?
Thomas Jefferson Virginia
Aug 2, 1776?
Francis Lightfoot Lee Virginia
Aug 2, 1776?
Richard Henry Lee Virginia
Sep 4, 1776
Francis Lewis New York
Aug 2, 1776?
Philip Livingston New York
Aug 2, 1776
Thomas Lynch, Jr. South Carolina
Aug 2, 1776?
Thomas McKean Delaware
1781
Arthur Middleton South Carolina
Aug 2, 1776?
Lewis Morris New York
Aug 2, 1776?
Robert Morris Pennsylvania
Aug 2, 1776
John Morton Pennsylvania
Aug 2, 1776?
Thomas Nelson, Jr. Virginia
Aug 2, 1776?
William Paca Maryland
Aug 2, 1776?
Robert Treat Paine Massachusetts
Aug 2, 1776?
John Penn North Carolina
Aug 2, 1776?
George Read Delaware
Aug 2, 1776?
Caesar Rodney Delaware
Aug 2, 1776?
George Ross Pennsylvania
Aug 2, 1776?
Benjamin Rush Pennsylvania
Aug 2, 1776?
Edward Rutledge South Carolina
Aug 2, 1776?
Roger Sherman Connecticut
Aug 2, 1776?
James Smith Pennsylvania
Aug 2, 1776?
Richard Stockton New Jersey
Aug 2, 1776?
Thomas Stone Maryland
Aug 2, 1776?
George Taylor Pennsylvania
Aug 2, 1776?
Matthew Thornton New Hampshire
Nov 19, 1776
George Walton Georgia
Aug 2, 1776?
William Whipple New Hampshire
Aug 2, 1776?
William Williams Connecticut
Aug 2, 1776?
James Wilson Pennsylvania
Aug 2, 1776?
John Witherspoon New Jersey
Aug 2, 1776?
Oliver Wolcott Connecticut
Sep 4, 1776
George Wythe Virginia
Aug 27, 1776

 


[The following item, or something similar, is seen often on the internet or in print. Is it true?]

Have you ever wondered what happened to the 56 men who signed the Declaration of Independence?

Five signers were captured by the British as traitors, and tortured before they died. Twelve had their homes ransacked and burned. Two lost their sons serving in the Revolutionary Army, another had two sons captured. Nine of the 56 fought and died from wounds or hardships of the Revolutionary War. They signed and they pledged their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor. What kind of men were they?

Twenty-four were lawyers and jurists. Eleven were merchants, nine were farmers and large plantation owners; men of means, well educated. But they signed the Declaration of Independence knowing full well that the penalty would be death if they were captured.

Carter Braxton of Virginia, a wealthy planter and trader, saw his ships swept from the seas by the British Navy. He sold his home and properties to pay his debts, and died in rags.

Thomas McKeam was so hounded by the British that he was forced to move his family almost constantly. He served in the Congress without pay, and his family was kept in hiding. His possessions were taken from him, and poverty was his reward.

Vandals or soldiers looted the properties of Dillery, Hall, Clymer, Walton, Gwinnett, Heyward, Ruttledge, and Middleton.

At the battle of Yorktown, Thomas Nelson, Jr., noted that the British General Cornwallis had taken over the Nelson home for his headquarters. He quietly urged General George Washington to open fire. The home was destroyed, and Nelson died bankrupt.

Francis Lewis had his home and properties destroyed. The enemy jailed his wife, and she died within a few months.

John Hart was driven from his wife's bedside as she was dying. Their 13 children fled for their lives. His fields and his gristmill were laid to waste. For more than a year he lived in forests and caves, returning home to find his wife dead and his children vanished. A few weeks later he died from exhaustion and a broken heart. Norris and Livingston suffered similar fates.

Such were the stories and sacrifices of the American Revolution. These were not wild eyed, rabble-rousing ruffians. They were soft-spoken men of means and education. They had security, but they valued liberty more. Standing tall, straight, and unwavering, they pledged: "For the support of this declaration, with firm reliance on the protection of the divine providence, we mutually pledge to each other, our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor."

They gave you and me a free and independent America. The history books never told you a lot of what happened in the Revolutionary War. We didn't just fight the British. We were British subjects at that time and we fought our own government! Some of us take these liberties so much for granted...We shouldn't.


Patriotic Hooey Revisited
By Timothy Noah

On Independence Eve, Chatterbox is sorry to report that the error-ridden paean to the founding fathers recycled last year by Ann Landers, the Boston Globe's Jeff Jacoby, National Review Online's Jonah Goldberg, and Rush Limbaugh, among others, remains in circulation. The offending Ann Landers column, Rush Limbaugh's version (written, he says, by his father), and Jonah Goldberg's "In Praise of July 4" essay are all still online, without corrections. For some reason, David Horowitz's Front Page Magazine has an uncorrected reprint of Jacoby's version on its Web site, too. National Review Online gets a gold star for this year posting a corrected paean to the founders, written by Matthew Spalding. But it also gets a demerit for mentioning Jacoby's blunder in the Spalding essay while leaving out Goldberg's. (Goldberg is editor of National Review Online.) The history department of Staunton, Va., Military Academy has an error-laden version on its Web site, as does Alexandria, Va.'s Centre for Counterintelligence and Security Studies and the Web page for Aaron Hall, a Republican candidate for the Minnesota state legislature. And the Philadelphia-based Descendents of the Signers of the Declaration of Independence continue to insist that signer Carter Braxton died in poverty and that signer Thomas Nelson's house was destroyed. Not true. (These and other founder howlers are dissected on James Elbrecht's Signer's Index Web page and the Web page for the Connecticut Society of the Sons of the American Revolution. The earliest known version was first published in 1956 by radio commentator Paul Harvey.) As Chatterbox noted last year, the main purveyors of this historical misinformation are conservatives. That they should continue to purvey it a full year after Jacoby's gaffe received heavy publicity testifies to the right's deep affection for folklore.

The good news is that the founder's paean isn't turning up much in newspapers anymore. A database search by Chatterbox located only one version of the bogus essay, tacked on to the end of a Jan. 8 story in the Accra Mail about the swearing in of Ghana's President John Kufuor. The same database search found that patriotic articles that do not lift erroneous material from an essay that's been in circulation  for nearly half a century are plentiful, as always. These, of course, are always welcome. Happy Fourth.


Copyright 1998-2015 by Paul M. Bessel - all rights reserved

If you have any suggestions, comments, or questions about this website, please feel free to send an email message to me:  paulb'at'bessel.org 

To see an index of other webpages with similar information, please feel free to click on the following:  http://bessel.org/webindex.htm

Please note that I no longer am updating the webpages about Freemasonry. I still maintain my memberships but otherwise I am not active.