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                        Concerning Government and God


John Hancock (Mass.) (January. 12,1737-October 8,1793)46  President of Continental Congress from 1775-1777.  Son of a clergyman. Raised by his Uncle Thomas Hancock after his father's death. Graduated from Harvard in 1754 and joined his uncle in business.  1788 was the first governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts 1780-1785;1787-1793.He was a Congregationalist.

“All confidence must be withheld from the Means we use; and reposed only on that GOD who rules in the Armies of Heaven, and without whose Blessing the best human Counsels are but Foolishness–and all created Power Vanity. “It is the Happiness of his Church that, when the Powers of Earth and Hell combine against it…that the Throne of Grace is of the easiest access–and its Appeal thither is graciously invited by the Father of Mercies, who has assured it, that when his Children ask Bread he will not give them a Stone…. “RESOLVED, That it be, and hereby is recommended to the good People of this Colony of all Denominations, that THURSDAY the Eleventh Day of May next be set apart as a Day of Public Humiliation, Fasting and Prayer…to confess the sins…to implore the Forgiveness of all our Transgression…and a blessing on the Husbandry, Manufactures, and other lawful Employments of this People; and especially that the union of the American Colonies in Defense of their Rights (for hitherto we desire to thank Almighty GOD) may be preserved and confirmed….And that AMERICA may soon behold a gracious Interposition of Heaven.” By Order of the [Massachusetts] Provincial Congress, John Hancock, President.”  By Order of the [Massachusetts] Provincial Congress, John Hancock, President.”

Josiah Bartlett (N. H.) (1729 Amesbury, Mass. -1795) 65  Dr. Bartlett  served in the Second Continental Congress from 1775 to 1776 and from 1778 to 1779. He was chief justice of New Hampshire from 1788 to 1790  when he became governor serving until 1794. In Kingston, N. H. he practiced medicine form many years. He was a Congregationalist.

  1. "Firstly I commit my Soul into the hands of God, its great and benevolent author." - United States Founding Father, Signer of the Declaration of Independence, Josiah Bartlett, "Last Will and Testament"

Party of 1776 - "No King but King Jesus" -

"Called on the people of New Hampshire . . . to confess before God their aggravated transgressions and to implore His pardon and forgiveness through the merits and mediation of Jesus Christ . .[t]hat the knowledge of the Gospel of Jesus Christ may be made known to all nations, pure and undefiled religion universally prevail, and the earth be fill with the glory of the Lord.16 "


Philip Livingston (N.Y.) (1716 Albany, N.Y. -1778) 62   He gradated from Yale University and became in importer for New York. For the cause of the Revolution he gave up generously of his fortune.  He was  IN 1765 a delegate to the Stamp Act congress, and from 1774-1778 to the Continental Congress , and to the New York Provincial Congress. He was a Presbyterian.

Philip Livingston was descended from a Scotch minister of the gospel, of exemplary character, who, in 1663 left Scotland and settled in Rotterdam, where he died. His son Robert (the father of [Philip Livingston]) soon after his father's decease, emigrated to America... He had three sons, of whom Philip was the oldest, and who became, on the death of his father, heir to the manor.

Robert T. Paine (Mass.) (1731 Boston, Mass. -1814) 83 Robert Treat Paine graduated from Harvard in 1749 and  studied law becoming a lawyer in 1757.  From 177 to 1790 he seved as the attorney general of Massachusetts and helped write the states constitution of 1780. In 1790 he became a justice of the state supreme court serving until his retirement in 1804.  "He was active in the prelude of the American Revolution and had served in the continental congress." V. P  Page 19. He was a Congregationalist; Unitarian and a devout Christian.

Robert Treat Paine was a Congregationalist and a devout Christian. He worked as a full-time Congregationalist clergyman, among other occupations, prior to signing the Declaration of Independence. Later he left Congregationalism and Calvinism and embraced Unitarianism, which during that era was an alternative denomination within Protestant.

 A clergyman turned lawyer-jurist, Robert Treat Paine spent only a short time in Congress but enjoyed considerable political prestige in Massachusetts. His second son (1773-1811) and great-grandson (1835-1910), both bearing exactly the same names as he, gained fame respectively as poet and businessman-philanthropist.

In 1755, during the French and Indian war, he served as chaplain on a military expedition to Crown Point, N.Y. To improve his health, he made a voyage to the Carolinas, England, Spain, and Greenland.  Christianity.

William Floyd (N. Y.) (Dec. 17, 1734 Suffolk County, Long Island-1821) 87  He served in the Continental Congress from 1774 to 1777 and 1778-1783.  He did important committee work in the New York Congressional delegation. The Continental Congress became the Congress of the Confederation on Mar. 1,1781. He was a Presbyterian


John Adams  (Mass.) (October 30, 1735 – July 4, 1826). 91  He was a delegate from Massachusetts to the Continental Congress and assisted Thomas Jefferson in drafting the Declaration of Independence in 1776. In 1775 he nominated George Washington to be commander-in-chief.  and 25 years later nominated John Marshall to be Chief Justice of the United State. Further, he largely wrote the Massachusetts State constitution in 1780. He was  the  First Vice President of the United state 1789-1797 and second President of the U. S. 1797-1801. He serve two terms. He was Unitarian. However, his father was a Congregationalist (Puritan) deacon and he was raised as a Puritan.

"The general principles on which the fathers achieved independence were the general principles of Christianity. I will avow that I then believed, and now believe, that those general principles of Christianity are as eternal and immutable as the existence and attributes of God.The Holy Ghost carries on the whole Christian system in this earth. Not a baptism, not a marriage, not a sacrament can be administered but by the Holy Ghost. . . . There is no authority, civil or religious – there can be no legitimate government but what is administered by this Holy Ghost. There can be no salvation without it. All without it is rebellion and perdition, or in more orthodox words damnation.2

Without religion, this world would be something not fit to be mentioned in polite company: I mean hell.3 The Christian religion is, above all the religions that ever prevailed or existed in ancient or modern times, the religion of wisdom, virtue, equity and humanity.4Suppose a nation in some distant region should take the Bible for their only law book and every member should regulate his conduct by the precepts there exhibited. . . . What a Eutopia what a Paradise would this region be!5"



Francis Lewis ( Mar. 21, 1713 Llandaff, Cardiff, Wales- Dec. 31, 1802)  He was an Episcopalian. His father was an Episcopal clergyman and his mother a clergyman's daughter. Orphaned, we lived with his aunt and uncle. Francis  Lewis was educated in Scotland and attended Westminster in England.  In 1735 he move to Whitestone, New York. He was taken prisoner in 1756 while serving as a British mercantile agent and shipped to France. It was after returning home, he entered politics.  In 1775 he was a delegate to the Continental Congress. His wife was taken captive by the British. She died two years after her release due to the confinement.


George Walton (Ga.) (1741-1804) 63  He was born near Farmville, Va. He was secretary of the provincial congress and president of the council of safety in 1775. From 1776 to 1781, he was a delegate to the Continental congress. In 1795/96 he was a U.S. Senator. He was Episcopalian.

 "George Walton was an Episcopalian. The Episcopal Church is the American province of the Anglican Communion. Some sources identify Walton specifically as an "Anglican," rather than an "Episcopalian," which is the more common denominational name by which American Anglicans were known, even during late 1700s. "

"George Walton along with J. J. Zuby and N. W. Jones wrote the following as representative of Georgia from the Continental Congress on July 25,1775 as they talked about a day of prayer on June 19th and 20th: " To  be observed as such, both days have been ob served with a becoming solemnity; and we humbly hope many earnest prayers have been present to the Father of Mercies on that day, through this extensive continent, and that He has heard the cries of the destitute, and will not despise their prayers."

1776 Faith The Christian Worldview of the signers of the Declaration of Independence by Phil Webster. ISBN 9781615794256

Samuel Adams (Mass.) (1722 Boston-1803) 81  After graduating from Harvard college in 1740, he entered into a private business only to be come deeply in debt by 1764. He became the leading spokesman for American independence giving speeches and writing pamphlets. He was a Congregationalist.

Samuel Adams was a signer of the Declaration of Independence, who also helped ratify the Constitution, and was a governor of Massachusetts. He is quoted below concerning his Christian faith

“I . . . [rely] upon the merits of Jesus Christ for a pardon of all my sins. “I conceive we cannot better express ourselves than by humbly supplicating the Supreme Ruler of the world . . .that the confusions that are and have been among the nations may be overruled by the promoting and speedily bringing in the holy and happy period when the kingdoms of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ may be everywhere established, and the people willingly bow to the scepter of Him who is the Prince of Peace.

"He also called on the State of Massachusetts to pray that . . . the peaceful and glorious reign of our Divine Redeemer may be known and enjoyed throughout the whole family of mankind. we may with one heart and voice humbly implore His gracious and free pardon through Jesus Christ, supplicating His Divine aid . . [and] above all to cause the religion of Jesus Christ, in its true spirit, to spread far and wide till the whole earth shall be filled with His glory.14with true contrition of heart to confess their sins to God and implore forgiveness through the merits and mediation of Jesus Christ our Savior15 "


Richard Stockton (N.J.) (1730 Princeton, New Jersey.-1781) 51  In 1776 he served in the Continental Congress and became Chief Justice of the New Jersey Supreme Courts.  "He is responsible for securing John Witherspoon to serve as president of the College of New Jersey." V   S  P. 708

     He was a Presbyterian

[A]s my children will have frequent occasion of perusing this instrument, and may probably be particularly impressed with the last words of their father, I think it proper here not only to subscribe to the entire belief of the great and leading doctrines of the Christian religion, such as the being of God; the universal defection and depravity of human nature; the Divinity of the person and the completeness of the redemption purchased by the blessed Savior; the necessity of the opera¬tions of the Divine Spirit; of Divine faith accompanied with an habitual virtuous life; and the universality of the Divine Providence: but also, in the bowels of a father’s affection, to exhort and charge [my children] that the fear of God is the beginning of wisdom, that the way of life held up in the Christian system is calculated for the most complete happiness that can be enjoyed in this mortal state, [and] that all occasions of vice and immorality is injurious either im¬mediately or consequentially – even in this life.112

Samuel Huntington (Conn.) (July,2, 1731Windham, Conn.-1796) 65  He was born on a farm at Windham, Conn. He represented Connecticut in The Continental Congress from 1776-1784. In 1779 he was elected president of the Congress.  He was appointed chief justice of the superior court of Conn. in 1784  In 1785 he became lieutenant governor of Connecticut. and as governor from 1786-1796. He was an Congregationalist.

It becomes a people publicly to acknowledge the over-ruling hand of Divine Providence and their dependence upon the Supreme Being as their Creator and Merciful Preserver . . . and with becoming humility and sincere repentance to supplicate the pardon that we may obtain forgiveness through the merits and obtain forgiveness through the merits and mediation of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.54


Stephen Hopkins (R.I.) (March 7, 1707 Providence, R.I. -1785) 78  He served in the Rode Island legislature and in 1751 became the Chief Justice.  In 1755 he was elected governor.  He served as a delegate to the Continental Congress from 1774-1775)  He was an Episcopalian with a Baptist ancestry and a devout Christian.

He rendered great assistance to other scientific men, in observing the transit of Venus which occurred in June, 1769. He was one of the prime movers in forming a public library in Providence, in 1750. He was a member of the American Philosophical Society, and was the projector and patron of the Free Schools in Providence.

John Hart (N.J.)(1711?-1779) 68  A farmer by trade. 1761-1771 served in the New Jersey  Assembly where he was speaker in 1776. He was a Presbyterian.

Lewis Morris (N.Y.) (1726 Morrisania, N.Y. -1798) 72 "HE served in the Continental congress from 1775- to 1777, where he  worked on committees supervising supplies of ammunition ad military stores." WBE V. M, P. 670. From 1777 to 1790 he served in the New York state legislature. His rank in the Revolutionary war  was major general of the New York state militia.  He was an Episcopalian.


Abraham Clark (N.J.)(-1794 of sunstroke)68 He was a Presbyterian.

John Morton (Pa.)(1724 Ridley, Pa. -1777) 53  In 1756 he was a member of he Pennsylvania Assembly. From 1774-1777 he was a Delegate to the Continental Congress.  Other offices was an associate judge of the Pennsylvania state Supreme Court and one of the four Pennsylvania delegates to the Stamp Act Congress in 1765.  He was Episcopalian and a devout Christian.

Francis Lightfoot Lee ( a.) (1734 Westmoreland County, Virginia-1797) 63 He was member of the Virginia House of burgesses and helped lead the protest against the Stamp Act and other British Measures.  Further, he helped form the Virginia committee of Correspondence. Lee was elected in 1775 as a delegate to the Continental Congress resigning in 1779 to return to his plantation. He was an Anglican and a devout Christian.

He was placed at an early age under the care of the Reverend Doctor Craig, a Scotch clergyman of eminent piety and learning. His excellent tutor not only educated his head but his heart, and laid the foundation of character, upon which the noble superstructure, which his useful life exhibited, was reared.

John Penn (N. C .) (1740 Caroline County, Va. -1788) 48  He became a licensed lawyer and practice law in Virginia for 12 years. After moving to North Carolina in 1774 he became active as a Revolutionary leader and became a member of the provincial congress. He was a delegate from North Carolina to the continental Congress from 1775 to 1780. After the war he continued his practice of law. He was Episcopalian.

Roger Sherman (Conn.) (1721 Newton, Mass. -1793) 72  In 1743 he moved to Connecticut. From 1766 to 1789 he served as a judge of the Connecticut Superior Court.  He is the only man to signed all four documents: The articles of Association 1774, The Declaration of Independence 1776, the Articles of Confederation 1777, and the United States Constitution 1787.  "During the Constitutional Convention of 1787, Sherman presented the famous Connecticut Compromise that resolved the differences between the large and small states on representation in the national legislature." V. S   P. 324  He was a U. S. Congress representative from 1789 to 1791 and a senator from 1791 to 1793. He was a Congregationalist.

William Whipple (N. H.) (1730-1785) 55   He was born in Kittery, Me. Moving from there to New Hampshire, he eventually  became a delegate to the provincial congress in 1775 and the continental Congress 1775-76,1778. He was a brigadier general in the Revolutionary war. From 1780-1784 he was a state assembly man. In 1782 he became an associate justice of the superior court until his death. He was a Congregationalist.

John Witherspoon (N.J.) (Feb. 5, 1723 Parish of Yester, Near Edinburgh, Scotland-1794) 71  Rev. Witherspoon was born in Scotland and ordained a Presbyterian minister before coming to America in 1768 to become he president of what is now called Princeton University. He, too, served in the continental congress.  After the Revolutionary War, he returned to his duties as college president.  He was a Presbyterian.

John Witherspoon was a Presbyterian clergyman. He was the only clergyman to sign the Declaration of Independence. (Many other signers were the sons of clergymen, however, and essentially all of the signers were Christians, mostly devout.)

Doctor Witherspoon was a member of Congress from the period of his first election until 1782, except a part of the year 1780, and so strict was he in his attendance, that it was a very rare thing to find him absent. He was placed upon the most important committees, and entrusted with delicate commissions. He took a conspicuous part in both military and financial matters, and his colleagues were astonished at the versatility of his knowledge.

After the restoration of peace in 1783, Doctor Witherspoon withdrew from public life, except so far as his duties as a minister of the gospel brought him before his flock

[C]hrist Jesus – the promise of old made unto the fathers, the hope of Israel [Acts 28:20], the light of the world [John 8:12], and the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth [Romans 10:4] – is the only Savior of sinners, in opposition to all false religions and every uninstituted rite; as He Himself says (John 14:6): “I am the way, and the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father but by Me.”137

N]o man, whatever be his character or whatever be his hope, shall enter into rest unless he be reconciled to God though Jesus Christ.138

[T]here is no salvation in any other than in Jesus Christ of Nazareth.139

I shall now conclude my discourse by preaching this Savior to all who hear me and entreating you in the most earnest manner to believe in Jesus Christ; for “there is no salvation in any other” [Acts 4:12].140

It is very evident that both the prophets in the Old Testament and the apostles in the New are at great pains to give us a view of the glory and dignity of the person of Christ. With what magnificent titles is He adorned! What glorious attributes are ascribed to him!… All these conspire to teach us that He is truly and properly God – God over all, blessed forever!141

[I]f you are not rec¬onciled to God through Jesus Christ – if you are not clothed with the spotless robe of His righteousness – you must forever perish

H]e is the best friend to American liberty who is the most sincere and active in promoting true and undefiled religion, and who sets himself with the greatest firmness to bear down profanity and immorality of every kind. Whoever is an avowed enemy of God, I scruple not to call him an enemy to his country.143


William Ellery (R. I.) (1727 Newport-1820) 93  He served  from 1754 to 1770 as a naval officer and then the Continental Congress from 1776-1781 and 1783-1785. He was appointed commissioner of the Continental Loan Office for Rode Island in 1786 and served as collector of customs for Newport from 1790 till his death.  He was a Congregationalist and a devout Christian.

William Hooper (N.C.) (1742-1790) 48   He graduated from Harvard College where he studied law. From 1774-1777 served on the Continental Congress. He was an Episcopalian.

Hooper was born in Boston, Mass., in 1742, the first child of William Hooper, a Scoth immigrant and Congregationalist clergyman who 5 years later was to transfer to the Anglican Church. Groomed for the ministry in his youth, Hooper undertook 7 years of preparatory education at Boston Latin School. This qualified him in 1757 to enter Harvard College in the sophomore class. He graduated 3 years later, but much to the chagrin of his father rejected the ministry as a profession. The next year, he further alienated his Loyalist father and isolated himself from his family by taking up the study of law under James Otis, a brilliant but radical lawyer.

Robert Morris (Pa.) (1734 Liverpool, England-1806)  72 In 1747 with little money to America and used his business talent to build  a network of business connections in America and Europe resulting in making him rich.  The years 1776 to 1778 found him heading two of the most important Continental Congress committees: obtaining war material and instructing he country's diplomats in Europe. He served as American superintendent of finance from 1781-1784. He became a Federalist and represented Pennsylvania from 1789- to 1795 in the United States Senate.  He was an Espiscopalian.

When Congress fled to Baltimore , on the approach of the British across New Jersey, Mr. Morris, after removing his family into the country, returned to, and remained in Philadelphia. Almost in despair, [George] Washington wrote to him, and informed him that to make any successful movement whatever, a considerable sum of money must be had. It was a requirement that seemed almost impossible to meet. Mr. Morris left his counting-room for his lodgings in utter despondency. On his way he met a wealthy Quaker, and made known his wants. "What security can'st thou give?" asked he. "My note and my honor," promptly replied Mr. Morris. The Quaker replied: "Robert, thou shalt have it." -- It was sent to Washington, the Delaware was crossed, and victory won!


Benjamin Harrison (Va.)( Apr. 5,1726- Apr. 24,1791) 65  Chairman of the Committee of the Whole with the responsibility of presiding over the debates that resulted in the Declaration of Independence.  He served as governor of Virginia from 1782-1784.  His great-grandson became the 23rd President to the USA.  He was an Episcopalian.

William Williams (Conn.) (April 18,1731 Lebanon, Conn.--1811) 80  "He was a delegate to the Continental Congress from 1776- to 1778, and in 1783 and 1784. He helped frame the Articles of the Confederation." [ The World Book Enc. V. WXYZ p. 262]He was a Congregationalist. 'His grandfather and father were both minsters of the gospel, and the latter was for more than half a century pastor of a Congregational Society [a Congregationalist congregation], in Lebanon, Connecticut,." He did study theology.

Benjamin Franklin (Pa.)(Jan. 17,1706 Boston, Mass.-1790) 84  He was a printer, newspaper owner, scientist, politician, Postmaster 1737, Diplomat to France, started the library, invented an efficient heating stove, invented bifocal lenses,  proved lighting was electricity, and on and on. Benjamin Franklin was raised as an Episcopalian but was a Deist as an adult.

His final public act was signing a memorial to Congress recommending dissolution of the slavery system

As to Jesus of Nazareth, my opinion of whom you particularly desire, I think the system of morals and His religion as He left them to us, the best the world ever saw or is likely to see.30


William Paca (Md.) (1740 nlear Abingdon, Md.-1799) 59  He attended (later be called) the University of Pennsylvania. He started his life long participation in American politics in 1771. From 1774 to 1779 he served in the Continental Congress and was governor of Maryland from 1782 to 1785. He was appointed by President George Washington to the judgeship of the court of Maryland in 1789. He was an Episcopalian and a devout Christian. 

Francis Hopkinson (N.J.) (1727-1791) 64  Francis was born in Philadelphia where he was the first student to enroll in the Philadelphia Academy, and the first to  be given a diploma by the College of Philadelphia.   He was a writer, musician, artist, lawyer and political leader.  He claimed credit for designing the American flag.  In 1776 he was elected to the Continental Congress.  Among his judgeships he was judge of the U S Court of the Eastern district of Pennsylvania from 1789-1791. He was an Episcopalian.

Thomas Stone (Md.) (1743 Charles County, Maryland-1787) 44  He studied law at Annapolis.  He urged negotiation with Great Britain instead of war, served in the Second Continental Congress, and helped frame the Articles of Confederation. As a Maryland senator he was elected three time dying during his third term. He was an Episcopalian.

Shun all giddy, loose, and wicked company; they will corrupt and lead you into vice and bring you to ruin. Seek the company of sober, virtuous and good people… which will lead [you] to solid happiness.113

Charles Carroll (Md.) ( Sept. 19, 1737 Annapolis-1832) 95   The last surviving signer of the Declaration of Independence.  He served in the Continental Congress from 1776 to 1778,1789 to 1792 and was United states senator from Maryland.  In 1828 he helped found the Baltimore and Ohio railroad: first important passenger railroad in the U.S. He was considered one of the riches men in the U S at the time of his death. Catholic

"When he was only eight years of age, his father, who was a Roman Catholic, took him to France, and entered him as a student int he Jesuit College at St. Omer's. There he remained six years, and then went to another Jesuit seminary of learning, at Rheims. After remaining there one year, he entered the College of Louis le Grand, whence he graduated at the age of seventeen years, and then commenced the study of law at Bourges..."

On the mercy of my Redeemer I rely for salvation and on His merits, not on the works I have done in obedience to His precepts.22Grateful to Almighty God for the blessings which, through Jesus Christ Our Lord, He had conferred on my beloved country in her emancipation and on myself in permitting me, under circumstances of mercy, to live to the age of 89 years, and to survive the fiftieth year of independence, adopted by Congress on the 4th of July 1776, which I originally subscribed on the 2d day of August of the same year and of which I am now the last surviving signer.I, Charles Carroll. . . . give and bequeath my soul to God who gave it, my body to the earth, hoping that through and by the merits, sufferings, and mediation of my only Savior and Jesus Christ, I may be admitted into the Kingdom prepared by God for those who love, fear and truly serve Him.24


Thomas Jefferson (PA.) (April 13,1743 Albemarle county, Virginia -July 4,1826 Monticello, Virginia) 83 He married Martha Wayles Skelton Jan 1,1772. she died 1782. 1776, he wrote the Declaration of Independence. In 1779 he was elected governor of Virginia. He was appointed minister to France in 1785, In 1789 He became the secretary of state followed by being elected Vice-President of the United stated in 1796. Jefferson was elected President of the United state in 1801. In 1819 he founded the University of Virginia.  Other achievement in sending Lewis and Clark  to scout out the Louisiana Territory. They went all the way to the Pacific Coast in 1805.  He stressed that the United States not be all Presbyterian, Methodist, etc., but have freedom to choose ones own religion.  He did not separate religion from government. That was put in later.


President Thomas Jefferson was a Protestant. Jefferson was raised as an Episcopalian (Anglican). He was also influenced by English Deists and has often been identified by historians as a Deist. He held many beliefs in common with Unitarians of the time period, and sometimes wrote that he thought the whole country would become Unitarian. He wrote that the teachings of Jesus contain the "outlines of a system of the most sublime morality which has ever fallen from the lips of man." Wrote: "I am of a sect by myself, as far as I know." Source: "Jefferson's Religious Beliefs", by Rebecca Bowman, Monticello Research Department, August 1997 [URL:].

The doctrines of Jesus are simple, and tend all to the happiness of man.64

The practice of morality being necessary for the well being of society, He [God] has taken care to impress its precepts so indelibly on our hearts that they shall not be effaced by the subtleties of our brain. We all agree in the obligation of the moral principles of Jesus and nowhere will they be found delivered in greater purity than in His discourses.65 I am a Christian in the only sense in which He wished anyone to be: sincerely attached to His doctrines in preference to all others.66   I am a real Christian – that is to say, a disciple of the doctrines of Jesus Christ.67

George Taylor (PA.) (1716 Ireland-1781) 65  He moved to America about 1736.  From 1764 to1769 and 1775 he served in the provincial assembly.  In 1775 he became a colonel in the Pennsylvania militia and served as a member of the  Continental Congress.  He was elected a member of the First Supreme Executive Council  of Pennsylvania in 1777, but had to retire due to illness. He was a Presbyterian.

Edward Rutledge (S.C.)(1749 near Charleston, S.C.-1800) 51   He studied law in England and practice in Charleston S. C. From 1774 to 1776 he was a delegate to the Continental Congress.  In 1780 he was captured by the British in the siege of Charleston. after the war he serve in the state legislature and then governor of Charleston from 1798 to 1800. He was an Anglican.

Joseph Hewes (N.C.)  (1730-1779) 49  He was born in Kingston, N.J. From 1774-1777 and 1779, he served in the Continental Congress. He was the first executive head of the U. S. Navy and appointed John Paul Jones a nay officer providing him with a ship.  Joseph Hewes was a Quaker and an Episcopalian

James Smith (PA.)( 1719? Ireland-1806) As a child came to Pennsylvania.  He is known for urging a boycott of British goods, a delegate to a 1774 conference in Philadelphia, helping to draft a resolution of independence at the June 177t6 provincial conference, and serving in the Continental Congress from 1776 to 1778. In 1781 he became the judge of the Pennsylvania High Court of Errors and Appeals. He was a Presbyterian.

George Ross (PA.) (1730 New Castle, Delaware-1779) 49  His occupation in Pennsylvania was as a lawyer. From 1768 to 1776 he was a member of the PA. assembly and helped draft PA 's first constitution in 1776.  During part of this time he was a de delegate to  the Continental Congress (1774-1777). His final year he spent as an admiralty judge to the state of Pennsylvania. He was Episcopalian. Also called Anglican. "

"His father was a highly esteemed minister of the Episcopal Church in that town, and he educated his son with much care, having experienced the great advantage of a liberal education." "The oldest son of an Anglican clergyman who had immigrated from Scotland, Ross was born in 1730 at New Castle, Del. After a preliminary classical education, he read law with his stepbrother John at Philadelphia and in 1750 entered the bar."

George Clymer (PA.)(1739 Philadelphia-1813) 74  He headed a committee to persuade Philadelphia merchants not to sell British tea sent over in 1773, served on the Pennsylvania Committee of Safety, and was in the first U. S. House of Representatives from 1789-1791.  Further, he was president of the Philadelphia bank and the Academy of Fine Arts. George Clymer was a Quaker and an Episcopalian.

Thomas Heyward, Jr. (S.C.) (1746-1809) 63 He was born on his father's plantation in Saint Luke's Parish, S.C. He studied law in England. In 1774 and 1775 he serviced in the provincial congresses of S. C.  1775 to 1778 was a delegate to the Continental Congress.  He was a patriot, statesman, soldier, and judge.  Thomas Heyward Jr. was an Episcopalian.

"In 1779 Heyward was wounded during Brig. Gen. William Moultrie's repulse of a British attack on Port Royal Island, along the South Carolina coast near Heyward's home. The following year, the British plundered White Hall and carried off all the slaves. When they took Charleston, they captured Heyward, who as helpless to defend the city. He was imprisoned at St. Augustine, Fl., until July 1781. Shortly before his release, he celebrated Independence Day by setting patriotic verses to the British national anthem. "God save the King" because "God save the thirteen States," a rendition that soon echoed from New Hampshire to Georgia. "

Button Gwinnett (Ga.) (1735 Gloucestershire, England-1777) 42  Leaving England he first settled in Charleston, S. C., then moved to Savannah, Ga. and became a merchant and acquired a plantation on St. Catherine's Island. In 1769 he served in the Georgia Assembly , then in 1776 and 1777 in the Continental Congress.  Also in 1777 he acted as governor. He was killed in a duel with Genial Lachlan McIntosh over rivalry for the post of  brigadier geranial of troops raised in Georgia. He was an Episcopalian and a Congregationalist.

George Read (Del.) (1733 North East, Md.-1798) 65  He moved to Delaware where he served in the Continental Congress from 1774-1777, voting at first against independence. During the war he served as president of Delaware. Later he was a member of the federal Constitution Convention a U. S. Senator from 1789 to 1793, and a chief justice of Delaware from 1793 to death. He was an Episcopalian.

James Wilson (PA.) (1742 Scotland -1798) 56  He came to America in 1765. In 1774 he wrote and circulated  a pamphlet rejecting the authority of the British Parliament over the American Colonies.  In he Pennsylvania convention he was a leader and favored ratifying the Constitution. From 1789 to 1798 he was an associate justice of the United States Supreme Court.

He was an Episcopalian and a Presbyterian, and a devout Christian.

Thomas Lynch, Jr. (S.C.)(1749 Near Georgetown, S.C.-1779)  30  After Graduating from Cambridge University, he studied law in London.  He served in south Carolina's first general assembly and in the Second Continental congress. While serving in the revolutionary war in 1775 he was struck by a severe illness that left him a semi-invalid.  In hopes of regaining his health he sailed on a voyage only for his ship to be lost at sea. He was an Episcopalian.

Samuel Chase (MD) (Apr. 17,1741-Jun. 11, 1811) 70 He served in the Maryland general assembly and the Continental Congress.  While serving as an associate justice of the U S Supreme court he was impeached for illegal conduct. . The next year he was acquitted and after that the U. S  Senate denied that judge might be removed on largely political grounds. He joined the Supreme court in 1796 and served until his death.  He was an Episcopalian.

 His father was a clergyman of the protestant Episcopal church [i.e., the Episcopal Church, the American province of the Anglican Communion], and possessing an excellent education himself, he imparted such instruction to his son in the study of the classics, and in the common branches of an English education...

Carter Braxton (VA.) (1736 Newington, Va. -1797) 61 He attended William and Mary college. From there he became a member of the House of Burgesses in 1761 serving until 1771 and in 1775.  At that time he jointed the continental Congress and the Congress of Confederation servicing from 1775 to 1776, and 177-1783, and again in 1785.  He was an Episcopalian.

Benjamin Rush (PA.) ( Dec. 24,1745 Byberry, PA.-1813) 68 He graduate from Princeton University at the age of 15.  Dr. Benjamin Rush was an American physician taking his degree in medicine from the University of Edinburgh. He worked for social reform establishing in 1786 The first free clinic in the United States.  In 1793 he fought the yellow-fever epidemic in Philadelphia.  further he helped found the first American antislavery society, and Dickinson College.  Besides all this he was a delegate to the Continental Congress.  During the war he served as a surgeon general in the Continental Army.  Joining James Wilson. They led a successful fight to ratify the Federal Constitution at Pennsylvania.  Benjamin helped frame the Pennsylvania State Constitution and served as treasurer of the U. S. Mint from 1797 to 1813. He was a Presbyterian and a devout Christian.

As a patriot, Doctor Rush was firm and inflexible; as a professional man he was skillful, candid, and honorable; as a thinker and writer, he was profound; as a Christian, zealous and consistent; and in his domestic relations, he was the centre of a circle of love and true affection. Through life the Bible was a "lamp to his feet" -- his guide in all things appertaining to his duty toward God and man. Amid all his close and arduous pursuit of human knowledge, he never neglected to "search the Scriptures" for that knowledge which points to the soul aright in its journey to the Spirit Land. His belief in revealed religion, and in the Divine Inspiration of the Sacred Writers, is manifested in many of his scientific productions; and during that period, at the close of the last century, when the sentiments of infidel France were infused into the minds of men in high places here, Doctor Rush's principles stood firm, and his opinions never wavered.

The Gospel of Jesus Christ prescribes the wisest rules for just conduct in every situation of life. Happy they who are enabled to obey them in all situations! . .My only hope of salvation is in the infinite tran¬scendent love of God manifested to the world by the death of His Son upon the Cross. Noth¬ing but His blood will wash away my sins [Acts 22:16]. I rely exclusively upon it. Come,Lord Jesus! Come quickly! [Revelation 22:20]98 I do not believe that the Constitution was the offspring of inspiration, but I am as satisfied that it is as much the work of a Divine Providence as any of the miracles recorded in the Old and New Testament.99 By renouncing the Bible, philosophers swing from their moorings upon all moral subjects… It is the only correct map of the human heart that ever has been published.100

[T]he greatest discoveries in science have been made by Christian philosophers and . . . there is the most knowledge in those countries where there is the most Christianity.101

[T]he only means of establishing and perpetuating our republican forms of government is the universal education of our youth in the principles of Christianity by means of the Bible.102

The great enemy of the salvation of man, in my opinion, never invented a more effective means of limiting Christianity from the world than by persuading mankind that it was improper to read the Bible at schools.10

[C]hristianity is the only true and perfect religion; and… in proportion as mankind adopt its principles and obey its precepts, they will be wise and happy.104

The Bible contains more knowledge necessary to man in his present state than any other book in the world.105

The Bible, when not read in schools, is seldom read in any subsequent period of life… [T]he Bible… should be read in our schools in preference to all other books because it contains the greatest portion of that kind of knowledge which is calculated to produce private and public happiness.106

Lyman Hall (GA.) (1724 Willinford-1790) 66 He was born in Wallingford, Conn. and studied for the ministry at Yale College but decided to be a doctor and practiced medicine  in Georgia.  He served as a delegate to the Continental Congress. He was a Congregationalist. "He graduated from Yale College in 1747 at the age of 23, returned home, and heeded a family call to the Congregational ministry. An uncle, Rev. Samuel Hall, trained him in theology. In 1749 he began preaching in Bridgeport and adjacent towns.

A typhus epidemic claimed Rush's life at the age of 67 in 1813.


Caesar Rodney (Del.) (1728 Dover, Del. -1784) 56  He rode 80 miles on horse back to vote for independence  at the Continental Congress in 1776 arriving on time.  He had experience in many county offices and he led opposition to British laws . He was a delegate from 1761 to 1776 except 1771. Caesar Rodney commanded the Delaware militia in 1777. In 1778 he was elected president of the state for a three-year term.  He was an Episcopalian.

Thomas Nelson Jr. (VA.) (1738 Yorktown, VA. -1789) 51 His delegation from Virginia in the Continental Congress was 1775 to 1777 and 1779.  He commanded the Virginia militia during the war. He was an Episcopalian.

Arthur Middleton (S.C.) (1742 Charleston, C.C.-1787) He was a delegate to the Continental Congress in 1777 and 1781. He opposed the Tories and served as a member of of the South Carolina  Council of safety.  In 1780 the British captured him at the siege of Charleston.  He was an Episcopalian.

Abraham Clark (N.J.)(-1794 of sunstroke)68 He was a Presbyerian.

Signed August 27.

George Wythe (Va.)  (1726 Back Ricer, Va. -1806) 80  He attended the College of William and Mary and was admitted to the bar in 1757. In 1779 is was appointed to the nation's first law professorship being established that year at William and Mary by Thomas Jefferson. George Wythe wrote the original Virginia protest against the Stamp Act in 1764.  Due to its fiery tones it had to be rewritten. He served the Second Continental Congress in 1775,1776. He helped draft the Virginia constitution. In 1778 he became a judge of the court of chancery of Virginia and in 1786 chancellor of the state. He was an Episcopalian.

From: Political Graveyard website (; viewed 7 December 2005):

Wythe, George (1726-1806) - of Virginia. Born in Elizabeth City County, Va. (now part of Hampton, Va.), 1726. Member of Virginia state legislature, 1758-68; Delegate to Continental Congress from Virginia, 1775-77; signer, Declaration of Independence, 1776; state court judge in Virginia, 1777; member, U.S. Constitutional Convention, 1787; delegate to Virginia state constitutional convention, 1788. Episcopalian. Apparently murdered -- poisoned by his grandnephew -- and died two weeks later, in Richmond, Va., June 8, 1806. Interment at St. John's Churchyard, Richmond, Va. Wythe County, Va. is named for him.

Signed September 4

Richard Henry Lee  (1732 Stratford, Va. -1794) 62  He was educated in England.  In 1758 he was elected to the Virginia legislature.  He was very active in the Virginia's campaign of resistance to the Stamp Act and the Townsend Acts.  Richard Henry Lee  was a delegate from Virginia to the First Continental Congress in Philadelphia in 1774.  On June 7, 1786 he introduce a resolution that "these united colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent states; that they are absolved from the allegiance to the British Crown; and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain is, and ought to be, totally dissolved." This was adopted on July 2 and signaled American independence. He was elected President of the Congress in 1784.  Finally, he encouraged support for  the addition of the Bill of rights to the Constitution.  He was an Anglican and a devout Christian.

Elbridge Gerry (Mass.) (1744 Marblehead, Mass-1814) 70 He graduated from Harvard in 1762 and then joined his family's business. In 17712 he was elected to the Massachusetts general court. Elbridge Gerry was a delegate from Massachusetts to the Continental Congress and to the Federal Convention of 1787. He was Vice President of the United states under President James Madison in 1813 and 1814. He was an Episcopalian.

Oliver Wolcott (Conn.) (1726 Windsor-1797 East Windsor) 71  From 1775 to 1778 and 1780 to 1784 he served in the Continental Congress. "He commanded 14 Revolutionary War regiments that helped defend New York in 1776." V. WXYZ p. 312. He served as governor of Connecticut from 1796 until his death. He was a Congregationalist and a devout Christian.

"As a patriot and statesman, a Christian and a man, Governor Wolcott presented a bright example; for inflexibility, virtue, piety and integrity, were his prominent characteristics."

Signed November 19

Matthew Thornton (N. H.) (1714? Ireland-1803) 89  Dr. Matthew Thornton came to American about 1718. In 1740 he practice medicine in in Londonderry and in 1745 served as surgeon to the New Hampshire troops in Louisbourg expedition.  Dr. Thornton was president of the first New Hampshire Provincial Congress in 1775. Both in 1776 and 1778 he was a delegate to the Continental Congress. He was a Presbyterian and a devout Christian.

Dr. Thornton was greatly beloved by all who knew him, and to the close of his long life he was a consistent and zealous Christian. He always enjoyed remarkably good health, and by the practice of those hygeian virtues, temperance and cheerfulness, he attained a patriarchal age.

Signed in 1781

Thomas Mc Kean (Del.)  (1743 New London, Pa.-1818) 75  He studied law and wrote most of the the Delaware state constitution.  He was a delegate to The Continental Congress and The Congress of the  confederation from 1774 to 1783, and was governor of Pa.  from 1799 to 1808. He was a Presbyterian.


On July 8 the general population was able to read the Declaration. It was properly approved July 15.

Source: The World book Encyclopedia c.1967