The Signers of the Declaration of Independence: A Biographical and Genealogical Reference

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None of the 56 men who signed the Declaration of Independence in 1776 could have imagined a few years earlier that they would be part of such an event. All had been loyal British subjects earlier in their lives, and several had held British government posts in their home colonies. In 1743, Samuel Adams became one of the first to advocate for independence and he was gradually joined by others as English control became increasingly oppressive.

A biography and genealogical history of the 56 signers, and of Secretary Charles Thomson who attended all meetings and witnessed the original broadside with John Hancock but did not actually sign it, are presented in this unique reference work. Each of the 57 entries open with a biography of the man, focusing on his education, political career and the events that led him to advocate for independence, based in large part on contemporary sources. This is followed by a narrative genealogical history, providing names, birth and death dates, marriages, children and other details of the signer's ancestors. Photographs of the men are included.

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Editorial Reviews

should be found in every genealogical library
Midwest Book Review
impressive.... A valued contribution to any school or public library
Midwest Book Review
Impressive.... A valued contribution to any school or public library.
Should be found in every genealogical library.
Choice Magazine
Solid...will be of greatest value in the growing number of libraries that support genealogical research.
Concise biographical and genealogical information...attractive, informative, and well written.
Catholic Library World
Unique...well-written and extensively researched reference for students of early American History and for genealogists as well. It is recommended for both public and academic libraries.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780786417049
  • Publisher: McFarland & Company, Incorporated Publishers
  • Publication date: 8/27/2003
  • Edition description: ALT
  • Pages: 340
  • Product dimensions: 10.00 (w) x 7.00 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

A former genealogical consultant, Della Gray Barthelmas now lives in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

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Table of Contents

Foreword 1
Preface 3
1 John Adams 7
2 Samuel Adams 17
3 Josiah Bartlett 25
4 Carter Braxton 31
5 Charles Carroll 37
6 Samuel Chase 43
7 Abraham Clark 47
8 George Clymer 51
9 William Ellery 55
10 William Floyd 61
11 Benjamin Franklin 65
12 Elbridge Gerry 79
13 Button Gwinnett 85
14 Lyman Hall 89
15 John Hancock 95
16 Benjamin Harrison V 101
17 John Hart 107
18 Joseph Worth Hewes 111
19 Thomas Heyward, Jr. 115
20 William Hooper 119
21 Stephen Hopkins 123
22 Francis Hopkinson 129
23 Samuel Huntington 133
24 Thomas Jefferson 139
25 Francis Lightfoot Lee 149
26 Richard Henry Lee 153
27 Francis Lewis 159
28 Philip Livingston 163
29 Thomas Lynch, Jr. 167
30 Thomas McKean 171
31 Arthur Middleton 177
32 Lewis Morris 181
33 Robert Morris 185
34 John Morton 193
35 Thomas Nelson, Jr. 197
36 William Paca 203
37 Robert Treat Paine 207
38 John Penn 213
39 George Read 217
40 Caesar Rodney 221
41 George Ross 225
42 Benjamin Rush 229
43 Edward Rutledge 235
44 Roger Sherman 239
45 James Smith 245
46 Richard Stockton 249
47 Thomas Stone 253
48 George Taylor 257
49 Charles Thomson 261
50 Matthew Thornton 267
51 George Walton 271
52 William Whipple 275
53 William Williams 279
54 James Wilson 285
55 John Witherspoon 291
56 Oliver Wolcott 295
57 George Wythe 301
App. I Interrelationships Among Signers and Their Families 305
App. II The Declaration of Independence 307
Selected Bibliography 311
Index 319
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