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The elegant letter of thanks which accompanied the Resolution, was written by Richard Henry Lee: and the grandson of Richard relates, that this mutual authorship remained unknown to them, until, "after the toils and dangers of the Revolution were ended," each produced to the other his original manuscript. Before the war, and during the greater part of its continuance, they respectively served their country, in like manner, on different sides of the Atlantic.
We have already occupied so many pages, that we must be content with subjoining a few mere memoranda of the Signers whom we have not mentioned, in order to remind our readers of their names, and designate their professions.
Chancellor Wtthe, of Virginia—a lawyer; a judge of the purest morals and deepest learning; idle and dissipated until thirty years of age, when he first applied himself to the law: the preceptor of Jefferson.
George Hi.Ad, of Delaware—an eminent lawyer. His biography is ample, interesting, and authentic.
William Williams, of Connecticut—originally a town clerk, but libcrallv educated—then an upright, benevolent merchant; sacrificed the greater part of bis gains to the public service.
Samuel Huntisoton, of Connecticut;—a mere ploughman until his twenty- second year; afterwards an eminent lawyer; president of congress; chief justice of his state, and governor. His biography highly curious.
William Floyd, of New-York; a farmer; a general; enjoyed a large share of state honours.
(".(■m■u: Waltos, of Georgia—originally an apprentice to a carpenter in Virginia; self-educated to the law; a colonel; wounded in battle; twice governor of Georgia; chief justice; senator of the United States.
George CLrxxR, of Pennsylvania; a merchant; fond of literature; a terse, sententious writer; an efficient and honoured patriot. His biography full and interesting, but diffuse.
—" "Goodness bis df■Bght,
V Mom his weullh, and glory his reward."
Bkicjamis Rr,sn; as a physician and an author, omni laude cumulatus; the most celebrated of the American faculty; distinguished also for his political connexions and labours.
Matthew Thornton, of New-Hampshire—a successful practitioner of medicine; army-surgeon before the Revolution; a colonel; president of the provincial convention; a judge of the Supreme Court; a man of wit and humour; continued to practice physic while a judge; wrote political essays for the newspapers, and prepared a metaphysical work for publication, after he was eighty years of age; died in his eighty-ninth year.
William Whipple, of New-Hampshire—originally a cabin-boy and sailor; > captain at the age of twenty-one; then a merchant; a general, who fought with Gates, and elsewhere; arranged the capitulation of Bourgoyne; a judge of the superior court. "As a sailor," says the Biography, "he speedily attained the highest rank in his profession; as a merchant, he was circumspect and industrious; as a congressman, he was firm and fearless; as a legislator, he was honest and able; as a commander, he was cool and courageous; as a judge, he was dignified and impartial; and as a member of many subordinate public offices, he was alert and persevering. He bore all his honours with modesty and propriety."
Dr. Johx WiTHEnspoon, of New-Jersey; an eminent and profound divine; president of Nassau-Hall College; a political writer of force and talent; a statesman of great influence and energy. His biography is ample and instructive.
Robeht Morris, of Pennsylvania; a merchant; the unrivalled financier of the Revolution; the pecuniary soul of the cause. His biography, like that of others, needs compression, but is interesting and correct.
Abraham Clark, of New-Jersey; a surveyor; a lawyer, who gave gratuitous counsel.
Francis Lewis, of New-York; a merchant and soldier, before the Revolution; reiy useful as a rebel; his fine estate on Long-Island destroyed by the British, and his wife carried off a prisoner; she died soon after, from the ill-treatment which she experienced. He was ruined by the part which he took on the American side—died in the ninetieth year of his age.
John Pknx, of North-Carolina; uneducated in early life; became a lawyer, and eminent, by opsiroathy.
James Wilson, of Pennsylvania; a lawyer of rare capacity, and of surpassing faculties as a speaker and writer; an efficient political essayist; the principal advocate of the Constitution of 1787, in the Pennsylvania convention; professor of law; one of the judges of the Supreme Court of the United States. His biography replete with valuable information and political anecdote.
Carter Bbaxton, of Virginia; a planter; became a merchant; lost all, and died of a broken heart.
John Morton, of Pennsylvania; a surveyor; speaker of the General Assembly of Pennsylvania; a judge of the supreme court of the commonwealth; gave the casting vote of the Pennsylvania delegation, for the Declaration of Independence; originally a plough-boy.
Stephen Hopkins, of Rhode-Island; a plain farmer; surveyor; became speaker of the Assembly; chief justice; then governor of Rhode-Island; a man of superior sense, and a good and successful writer; a distinguished mathematician and natural philosopher, though his education was slight; and a member of the American Philosophical Society. His signature to the Declaration is the only crooked and feeble one. "As it indicates," says his biographer, "a very tremulous hand, in perfect contrast with the bold and prominent writing of President Hancock, it may have engendered surmises unfavourable to the determined spirit of Mr. Hopkins. We therefore state, that, for a number of years previous, he had been afflicted with a nervous affection; and when he wrote at all, which was seldom, he was compelled to guide his right hand with his left."
Thomas M'kean, of Pennsylvania; a lawyer of great abilities and ardent revolutionary patriotism; chief justice of the commonwealth; governor; died eighty-three years old. His biography entirely authentic, and replenished with instructive details.
James Smith, of Pennsylvania; lawyer and surveyor; remarkable for facetiousness and eccentricity; practised the law for upwards of sixty years; died a nonagenarian. His article very pleasant.
Thomas Nelson, of Virginia; educated in England; an opulent planter; active military officer; commander-in-chief of the Virginia militia, whom he bravely and skilfully headed at the siege of York-Town; governor of Virginia; died in reduced circumstances, having made enormous pecuniary sacrifices to the revolutionary cause.
Jobefh Hewes, of North-Carolina; a successful merchant; bred a Quaker; died when attending congress, in 1779.
(.11. in. i Taylor, of Pennsylvania; on arriving in America from Ireland, bound himself for a term of years as a common labourer, at the iron-works at Durham, on the Delaware, near Easton; was made clerk to the works; the proprietor dying, he espoused his widow, and finally became, himself, owner of the whole; amassed a large fortune; got into the provincial Assembly; a member of business. Nothing more is recollected of him in the vicinity of his residence, than that "he was a fine man and a furious whig."
John Hart, of New-Jersey; a farmer, surnamed "honest John;" had never held a public office, when he was chosen a delegate to congress; his farm pillaged and destroyed by the Hessians; his biography possesses a peculiar interest, as a very edifying illustration of the character and course of an American yeoman.
Lewis Morris, of New-York; gentleman farmer, and large landed proprietor; his whole domain laid waste and ruined by the enemy; had three gallant sons in the field; the celebrated Gouverneur Morris lushalf-brcther.
Willi A v Elleut, of Rhode-Island; a well educated lawyer; an early revolutionary patriot; a very useful member of congress throughout the war. "He often," says his biographer, "spoke of the signing of the Declaration of Independence; and he spoke of it as an event, which many regarded with awe, perhaps with uncertainty, but none with fear." He used to relate, that he placed himself beside the secretary, Charles Thomson, and eyed each delegate closely as he affixed his name to the document; and he saw dauntless resolution in every countenance. Ellery died, without pain, at the age of ninetyjhrcc, sitting upright in his bed, and reading Tully's Offices, in the Latin.
» of no distemper, of no blast he died.
Ltmax Hall, of Georgia; an emigrant from Connecticut; a well-trained physician; a useful member of congress; made great sacrifices; governor of Georgia, 1783.
OLivr.n Wolcott, of Connecticut; a graduate of Yale College; captain in the army before the Revolution; studied medicine; a major-general of militia; aided in conquering Bourgoyne; a judge; finally governor of Connecticut.
Richard Stockton, of New-Jersey; an accomplished lawyer and scholar, unrivalled at the bar of his state. After acquiring a competent fortune in his profession, travelled with much eclat in Great Britain; one of the judges of the supreme court of New-Jersey; embarked early and vehemently in the Revolution; surprised and captured by the enemy, and committed to the common jail at New-York; congress directed general Washington to interfere in his behalf, and threaten retaliation; his health impaired; his property devastated; died prematurely, of complicated afflictions, occasioned by his patriotism.
Br rTon Gwinhktt, of Georgia; originally a merchant; became a planter; an enthusiastic rebel; president of the provincial Council; killed in a duel with General M'lntosh, in 1777, at the age of forty-five.
JosiAii Bartlett, of New-Hampshire; a successful practitioner of medicine; a leading whig in his province; commanded a regiment; the first who voted in congress for the Declaration, and the second who signed it; chief justice of New-Hampshire; the first republican governor of that state.
Phi Li r Liviugstou, of New-York; one of the committee of five appointed to prepare the Declaration of Independence; a graduate of Yale College; a prosperous and honoured merchant; conspicuous member of the provincial legislature; speaker; died, while attending congress, in 1778, a martyr to his public zeal.
Rogf.r Shermau, of Connecticut; also one of the committee of five; apprentice to a shoemaker, and pursued the business until after he was twenty-two years of age; travelled on foot, with his tools, gaining a livelihood; nourished his mind by various reading; kept a country-store; turned surveyor; applied himself to the law; acquired practice and fame; member of the colonial Assembly; member of the Albany convention of 1754; judge of the superior court of Connecticut, twenty-three years; member of congress from the opening of the first, in 1774, down to the period of his death, in 1793 ; of great authority and usefulness; a member of the convention that framed the present constitution of the United States; took a considerable and influential part in the debate; a senator in congress; a shrewd and ready writer; a logical debater; a model of probity, discretion, and steadfastness; as much revered as any patriot of the times. His biography is full of instruction, but prolix to tediousness.
It is seen, by the foregoing heads, that the Signers consisted of lawyers, doctors, merchants, farmers, and a few rich planters; each of which description could boast members that towered in the most exalted class of the revolutionary worthies: and with regard to these, no province of the confederation could