America's Founding Documents

The Signers’ Gallery

Accordion

Benjamin Franklin was the oldest Signer at 70 years old. He was born on January 17, 1706 in Boston, Massachusetts.

Eight Signers were born in Europe. James Smith, George Taylor and Matthew Thorton were born in Ireland. Robert Morris and Button Gwinnett were born in England. James Wilson and John Witherspoon were born in Scotland. Finally, Francis Lewis was born in Wales.

Carter Braxton with 18 children from two marriages.Carter Braxton had 18 children. Two of them were born in his first marriage to Judith Robinson. After her death, Braxton was remarried to Elizabeth Corbin and had 16 more children.

Francis Hopkinson was a lawyer and an accomplished poet, satirist, harpsichordist, and composer. His song, “My Days Have Been So Wondrous Free,” a Thomas Parnell poem set to music,  is the first known nonreligious song by a native-born American composer.

In an event of historic coincidence, both Thomas Jefferson and John Adams died on July 4,1826: the 50th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence. It is rumored that late in the afternoon before John Adams died, unaware of the passing of Jefferson, he said “Thomas Jefferson survives.”

Charles Carroll of Carrollton was the longest-lived and last surviving Signer. He died in 1832 at the age of 95.

Two: John Witherspoon was a Presbyterian minister, and Lyman Hall was a pastor, teacher, and physician.

Pennsylvania had the largest number of representatives with nine Signers. The second largest group came from Virginia, which had seven Signers.

Two of the Signers were 26 at the time of the signing. Edward Rutledge (November 23, 1749) edged out Thomas Lynch Jr. (August 5, 1749) by just over three months to be the youngest Signer.

Four signers were physicians, 24 were lawyers, and one was a printer. The remaining signers were mostly merchants or plantation owners.

View the Signers Fact Sheet if you would like to learn more about the Signers. Signers Fact Sheet: PDF Format | HTML Format

 

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