Thursday, May 26, 2016

Signers: Massachusetts

In today's post, we look at the state that gave us the President of the Congress and it's most vocal supporter of American Independence.

  • John Adams (1735-1826), already covered in the post on the Declaration Committee, was likely the most influential member of the Continental Congress.  After the Declaration, he was appointed Minister to France and helped to negotiate the Treaty of Paris ending the Revolutionary War.  After serving as Washington's Vice President, Adams was elected as the nation's second president.  He died on July 4, 1826, within hours of his ally and later rival, Thomas Jefferson.  At Declaration, you can order a "John Adams" pizza with lobster roll”, celery, chives, and old bay mornay.
  • Samuel Adams (1722-1803), cousin to John Adams, Sam was more of a firebrand, if that were possible.  After leaving the Congress, he returned to Massachusetts and was later elected as the state's governor.
  • Elbridge Gerry (1744-1814), was a merchant who turned to politics, serving in the state legislature.  He later attended the Constitutional Convention, but did not sign that document as he did not endorse its ideals.  He later organized a redistricting effort in Massachusetts to benefit his own party, leading to the term, gerrymandering.  He later served as Vice President, dying in that office in 1814.
  • John Hancock (1737-1793), was a successful merchant whose ships were stopped outside Boston, leading Hancock to organize the Boston Tea Party.  After leaving Congress, he also served as Governor of Massachusetts.
  • Robert Treat Paine (1731-1814), was not as fervent as the other members of the Massachusetts delegation, yet supported the Declaration and signed the document.  He went on to serve as Attorney General of Massachusetts and later served on the State Supreme Court.

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