This Is a Blog: Declaration Signers: Where Are They Now?, Part 1

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Declaration Signers: Where Are They Now?, Part 1

Part 1 of 2

Not now now. Clearly, they’re all dead. But what did they do between signing the Declaration of Independence and dying?

Button Gwinnett – After receiving harsh backlash from leading a failed invasion during the war, he challenged his harshest public critic to a duel, and lost
Lyman Hall – As Governor, he helped found U of Georgia, then he went back to being a doctor
George Walton – After getting hit in the leg with a cannonball during the War, he was held prisoner by the British, until he was released in a prisoner exchange. Later, he was censured for his role in the duel that killed Button Gwinnett.

New Hampshire   
William Whipple  - With his trusty slave, Prince Whipple, he became a General in the NH militia, state Supreme Court judge, and maintained the funniest name ever.
Josiah Bartlett – First Governor of NH, inspired the president on The West Wing
Matthew Thornton – Became an essayist and ran a sweet ferrying business with his family

Elbridge Gerry  - The second of two James Madison Vice Presidents to die while in office.
John Adams – Second President of the US
John Hancock – Elected Governor of MA
Robert Treat Paine – Appointed MA state Supreme Court Justice
Samuel Adams  - Also elected Governor of MA, and a beer got named after him

New York   
Francis Lewis – Having lost his fortune in the war, he died in poverty
Lewis Morris – Elected Governor of NY, and served on the Constitutional Convention
Philip Livingston – Died in 1778, serving on the NY State Senate
William Floyd – Elected to the first federal Congress, and his second cousin twice removed was Abraham Lincoln

Rhode Island   
Stephen Hopkins – Founded a college back in RI, and served as its chancellor until he died
William Ellery – Served as first customs collector in Newport

Thomas McKean – Elected Governor of PA where he ousted the Federalists from the government, replacing them with Democratic-Republicans, thereby creating the Spoils System.
Caesar Rodney – Elected Governor of DE, then just before his death appointed Speaker of the state’s short-lived federal Legislative Council.
George Read – Served in the Senate, until he resigned to become Chief Justice of the DE Supreme Court, leaving his seat vacant for a year and a half.

Benjamin Rush – A doctor, believing in such practices as bloodletting, he provided the Lewis and Clark expedition with such medical supplies as, Turkish opium, emetics, medicinal wine, and laxatives called Dr. Rush’s Bilious Pills, which contained 50% mercury
Robert Morris – A well-known Federalist, his political and financial failures gave Thomas McKean the leverage he needed to win the Governorship.
George Clymer – Elected to the first Congress, eventually becoming in charge of collecting alcohol taxes
James Wilson  - Appointed to Federal Supreme Court
George Ross  - A PA state judge, in a case between citizens from PA and CT, he overturned the federal court, denying its right to overrule a state court’s decision.
James Smith – Relatively unknown, a fire destroyed his office and effects shortly before his death
John Morton  - Chaired the writing of the Articles of Confederation, but died before they were adopted.
George Taylor – Nothing really interesting. Even at the Continental Congress, he just sort of showed up, signed the Declaration, then left the Congress
Benjamin Franklin  - The four major documents key to the formation of the United States as a country, the Declaration, Constitution, Treaty of Paris, and Treaty of Alliance, Franklin is the only man to sign all four.

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