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  • Who Signed the Constitution?

    by Founder on November 27, 2008

    in Voice of the People

    Done in convention by the unanimous consent of the states present the seventeenth day of September in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and eighty seven and of the independence of the United States of America the twelfth.

    In witness whereof We have hereunto subscribed our Names,

    G. Washington-President. and deputy from Virginia

    New Hampshire: John Langdon, Nicholas Gilman

    Massachusetts: Nathaniel Gorham, Rufus King

    Connecticut: Wm: Saml. Johnson, Roger Sherman

    New York: Alexander Hamilton

    New Jersey: Wil: Livingston, David Brearly, Wm. Paterson, Jona: Dayton

    Pennsylvania: B. Franklin, Thomas Mifflin, Robt. Morris, Geo. Clymer, Thos. FitzSimons, Jared Ingersoll, James Wilson, Gouv Morris

    Delaware: Geo: Read, Gunning Bedford jun, John Dickinson, Richard Bassett, Jaco: Broom

    Maryland: James McHenry, Dan of St Thos. Jenifer, Danl Carroll

    Virginia: John Blair–, James Madison Jr.

    North Carolina: Wm. Blount, Richd. Dobbs Spaight, Hu Williamson

    South Carolina: J. Rutledge, Charles Cotesworth Pinckney, Charles Pinckney, Pierce Butler

    Georgia: William Few, Abr Baldwin

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    Ken Ross October 4, 2011

    About the Signers
    On September 17, 1787, the Constitutional Convention came to an end in the Assembly Room of Independence Hall in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. There were seventy individuals chosen to attend the meetings with the original purpose of amending the Articles of Confederation. Rhode Island did not send any delegates. Fifty-five men attended most of the meetings, there were never more than forty-six present at any one time, and in the end only thirty-nine delegates actually signed the Constitution. While offering great contributions, George Mason of Virginia, Edmund Randolph of Virginia, and Elbridge Gerry of Massachusetts refused to sign the final document because of basic philosophical differences. They were fearful of an all-powerful government and wanted a bill of rights added to protect the rights of the people.

    This is a list of those who signed the Constitution. Many of those who signed the Constitution went on to serve more years in public service under the new form of government.

    William S. Johnson (1727-1819)—He became the president of Columbia College and was then appointed as a United States Senator in 1789. He resigned from the Senate in 1791 to return to Columbia.
    Roger Sherman (1721-1793)—He campaigned strongly for the ratification of the Constitution and served as a United States Representative (1789-1791) and Senator (1791-1793) until his death in 1793 at the age of 72.

    Richard Bassett (1745-1815)—He was appointed as a United States Senator from Delaware (1789-1793), and was instrumental in the organization of the Judiciary of the United States. He favored moving the nation’s capital from New York City to Washington, D.C., and was opposed to Alexander Hamilton’s plan of the assumption of state debts by the federal government. He was elected governor of Delaware (1799-1801).
    Gunning Bedford, Jr. (1747-1812)—President Washington appointed him the first United States district judge for the state of Delaware in 1789, a position he held until his death in 1812.
    Jacob Broom (1752-1810)— He became the first postmaster of Delaware from 1790-1792, and was the head of the board of the Delaware Bank of Wilmington. He was involved in business ventures and was involved with attempts to improve the infrastructure of the state of Delaware in such areas as toll roads, canals, and bridges.
    John Dickinson (1732-1808)—He lived for twenty years after the official ratification of the Constitution but held no public offices. He spent much of his time writing about politics, and criticized the administration of President John Adams. He died in 1808 at the age of 75.
    George Read (1733-1798)—He served for four years as a United States Senator (1789-1793), and became the first chief justice of Delaware in 1793.

    Abraham Baldwin (1754-1807)—He served in the House of Representatives (1789-1799), and was appointed for two terms to the United States Senate (1799-1807).
    William Few (1748-1828)—He was appointed as a United States Senator from Georgia (1789). He moved to New York in 1799 and was elected to the state legislature in 1801.

    Daniel Carroll (1730-1796)—He served one term in the United States House of Representatives (1789-1791), and was appointed by President George Washington to oversee the construction of the federal capital on the Potomac River.
    Daniel Jenifer of St. Thomas (1723-1790)—He did not really take an active part in the development of the Constitution. He did, however, campaign for the Constitution’s ratification and afterwards retired from public life.
    James McHenry (1753-1816)—After the Convention McHenry went back to his home state and served in various positions of the state legislature (1789-1796) and was appointed Secretary of War by President George Washington (1796-1800). President John Adams called for his resignation in 1800. He retired from public office and was stricken with paralysis in both legs. He was bedridden for the remainder of his life.

    Nathaniel Gorham (1738-1796)—When the Constitutional Convention was finished, Gorham retired from public life. He got into land speculation in New York, but his greed eventually got him into deep financial trouble. He died a poor man in 1796.
    Rufus King (1755-1827)—He was a member of the ratification convention in Massachusetts but moved to New York and became a United States Senator (1789-1795; 1813-1825). He failed to win the Federalist Party’s nomination for president in 1816, but was appointed Minister to England in 1824.

    New Hampshire
    Nicholas Gilman (1755-1814)—He was elected to the United States House of Representatives (1789-1797), and was a United States Senator (1805-1814).
    John Langdon (1741-1819)—He served as a United States Senator for twelve years (1789-1801), and served as governor of New Hampshire from 1805-1812 (with the exception of the year 1809).

    New Jersey
    David Brearly (1745-1790)—He lived only three years after the end of the Constitutional Convention. He was a main supporter of the Constitution at the New Jersey ratifying convention, and President Washington rewarded him with an appointment as a federal district judge.
    Jonathan Dayton (1760-1824)—He served in the United States House of Representatives from 1791 to 1799, and was chosen Speaker of the House for four years. He became a United States Senator (1799-1805). Dayton was indicted in 1807 for treason along with Burr in a plot to combine Mexico and the Western Territories of the United States. Dayton’s case was never brought to trial.
    William Livingston (1723-1790)—He helped in the ratification fight for the Constitution and served as the governor of New Jersey until his death in 1790.
    William Paterson (Patterson) (1745-1806)—He was appointed to the United States Senate (1789-1790), and was also appointed by President George Washington as a justice of the United States Supreme Court (1793) until his death.

    New York
    Alexander Hamilton (1755-1804)—After the Convention, Hamilton worked with John Jay and James Madison on a series of articles known as the “Federalist Papers” as propaganda for the Constitution. He served as the first United States Secretary of the Treasury from 1789 to 1795. When Hamilton helped defeat Aaron Burr’s quest for the governorship of New York, Burr challenged Hamilton to a duel. He was killed by Burr on July 12, 1804.

    North Carolina
    William Blount (1749-1800)—Although he signed the Constitution, that action was taken just to prove that he was “present.” He supported its ratification because it would help Western expansion, and he used various elected positions to gain land for his own economic advancement. Blount served as state senator (1788-1790), governor of the territory south of the Ohio River (1790), president of the Tennessee constitutional convention (1796), and as a United States Senator from Tennessee (1796-1797). Blount was impeached by the House of Representatives and expelled by the Senate in 1797. He returned to Tennessee and served in the state senate.
    Richard D. Spaight (1758-1802)—He was elected to three terms as governor of North Carolina beginning in 1792, and was a major force in moving the capital from New Bern to Raleigh. He was elected a member of the United States House of Representatives (1798-1801) and was killed in a duel by his successor in Congress (John Stanly) in 1802.
    Hugh Williamson (1735-1819)—He was elected to two terms in the United States House of Representatives (1789-1793), and then retired from public life. He spent many of his remaining years at the New York Hospital, dedicating much of his time to the study of medicine.

    George Clymer (1739-1813)—He was elected to the United States House of Representatives (1789-1791) and became involved in civic and cultural activities in and around Philadelphia. He served as the president of the Bank of Philadelphia.
    Thomas Fitzsimons (1741-1811)—Fitzsimons served as a member of the United States House of Representatives (1789-1795) and strongly supported the financial plan of Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton. When he left Congress, he spent the remainder of his life in private business, and served as president of the Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce.
    Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790)—At the same time that Franklin was attending the Constitutional Convention, he was also the president of the Pennsylvania Society for Promoting the Abolition of Slavery (1787). He died in 1790 at the age of eighty-four.
    Jared Ingersoll (1749-1822)—He served as Attorney General of Pennsylvania from 1790 to 1799, and also as city solicitor of Philadelphia from 1789 to 1801. He ran as the vice presidential candidate under George Clinton in the election of 1812 against James Madison and Elbridge Gerry and lost.
    Thomas Mifflin (1744-1800)—He was elected the first governor of Pennsylvania in 1790 and held that position until 1799. He also served as a major general and commander-in-chief of the Philadelphia militia.
    Gouverneur Morris (1752-1816)—He was appointed by President George Washington as the United States Commissioner to England (1790-1791) and the United States Minister to France (1792-1794). He became a United States Senator (1800-1803).
    Robert Morris (1734-1806)—Morris was chosen as the first United States Senator from Pennsylvania and served in that position from 1789 to 1795. President George Washington asked him to become the first Secretary of the Treasury but he declined the position and recommended Alexander Hamilton instead. After governmental service, Morris was deeply involved in land speculation in the District of Columbia and in Ohio. Morris died penniless in 1806.
    James Wilson (1742-1798)—Wilson returned to Pennsylvania after the Constitutional Convention and played a major role in its successful ratification. He served on the United States Supreme Court (1789-1798) and as a professor of law at the University of Pennsylvania. He died in 1798.

    South Carolina
    Pierce Butler (1744-1822)—He was appointed one of the state’s first two senators (1789) and served until he resigned in 1796. He was appointed a seat in the United States Senate in 1803 but resigned before the end of his appointment in 1804.
    Charles Pinckney (1757-1824)—He was elected governor of South Carolina three different times and also served as a United States Senator (1798-1801). He resigned his senate seat to become minister to Spain from 1801-1809, served in the South Carolina state legislature (1810-1814), and then became a member of the House of Representatives from 1819-1821 where he adamantly opposed the Missouri Compromise.
    Charles Cotesworth Pinckney (1746-1825)—He served as the United States Minister to France during the administration of George Washington. He ran unsuccessfully for the vice presidency as the Federalist candidate along with John Adams in 1800. Pinckney also lost his bid for the presidency against Thomas Jefferson in 1804 and James Madison in 1808.
    John Rutledge (1739-1800)—Rutledge was appointed an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court (1789-1791). He was then appointed Chief Justice of the Supreme Court in 1795, but was not confirmed because of his negative feelings toward the Jay Treaty.

    Rhode Island
    Rhode Island did not send any delegates to the Constitutional Convention.

    John Blair (1732-1800)—His accomplishments were overshadowed by contributions of James Madison, but his support for the Constitution was rewarded by President George Washington with an appointment to the United States Supreme Court in 1789. He served in that position until his retirement due to ill health in 1796.
    James Madison (1751-1836)—When the work of the Constitutional Convention was completed, Madison went on to play a major part in its ratification process by joining John Jay and Alexander Hamilton in writing the “Federalist Papers.” He became a member of the House of Representatives (1789-1797), was United States Secretary of State (1801-1809), and President of the United States (1809-1817). He outlived all of the other Founding Fathers.
    George Washington (1732-1799)—Washington served for eight years as the first President of the United States under the new Constitution. His first four years were dominated by domestic issues and the second four years by foreign policy issues. During the administration of President John Adams there was a threat of war with France, and again, Washington came back to serve his country in the capacity of Commander-in-Chief. He died on December 14, 1799.


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