Thursday, June 9, 2016

Signers: Virginia

For our last state in our series, we look at the Commonwealth of Virginia, producer of our first President, and several more after that.

  • Carter Braxton (1736-1797), was a farmer who lost most of his property and fortune in the course of the Revolution.  Braxton arrived in the Congress after the death of Peyton Randolph.  He invested heavily in privateers in the war and wound up in debt following the end of the war.
  • Benjamin Harrison (1726-1791), was the patriarch of a political family - his son, William Henry Harrison served as the ninth President.  Benjamin Harrison also served as Speaker of the Virginia Legislature and Governor of Virginia.
  • Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826), was the author of the Declaration and served as the Third President of the United States. A true Renaissance man, Jefferson served in the Virginia legislature, the state's Governor, Minister to France, Secretary of State, Vice President, and President.  The Thomas Jefferson Pizza at Declaration features smithfield ham, arugula, lemon, olive oil, oven roasted tomatoes, fresh mozzarella.
  • Francis Lightfoot Lee (1734-1797), was Richard Henry Lee's younger brother, the only brothers in the Continental Congress.  He was an avid proponent of independence.
  • Richard Henry Lee (1732-1794), is the individual who proposed the resolution on American independence.  He later served as the President of the Congress while also serving in the Virginia House of Burgesses.
  • Thomas Nelson, Jr. (1738-1789), was a farmer and military leader in the early days of the American Revolution.  He served in the Congress until 1779 until frail health led him to return to Virginia.
  • George Wythe (1726-1806), was a prominent member of the Virginia delegation and made his greatest impact in the field of education.  An early abolitionist, Wythe provided for his slaves to receive a portion of his estate's lands in his will.  Upon learning of this, one of Wythe's relatives poisoned several of the slaves with arsenic, also killing Wythe in the process.

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