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BIOGRAPHIES

OF THE

SIGNERS

OF THE

Declaration of Endependence.

SAMUEL ADAMS,

Was one of the earliest patriots of the revolution, was born in Boston, Massachusetts, on the 22d of Sept., 1722. He was educated at Harvard College, for the gospel ministry, though he never entered on the profession of divinity, as he seemed inclined rather to be conspicuous in the halls of legislation than in the pulpit. In his youth he tried his pen as a political writer, and felt the weight of his country's wrongs on his shoulders, before others of his age thought there were any evils to complain of. The stamp act, and the imposition of duties on the necessaries of life, gave him ample topics for complaint and he used them with great effect. When the massacre was perpetrated in Boston, in March 1770, he behaved with great spirit and determination, and was the organ of the people in insisting that the troops quartered on the town should be removed. He was a representative from Boston in the general court, and a leader in all the measures of that body against the royal government. He was sent as a delegate from Massachusetts to the continental congress, and took an active part in that body. In the

general pardon extended to those who had been aetive in the cause of freedom, he, with John Hancock, were exempted. In 1776, he was the foremost among those who were desirous of a declaration of indepen dence. On leaving congress, he was constantly employed by his native state in some high official capacity, and was particularly active in framing the constitution of Massachusetts, under which he was chosen lieutenant governor, and then chief magistrate. He was corporally and morally brave, and his eloquence and unquestionable talents gave him a high and commanding authority in his whole progress to political eminence. At the crisis in which he flourished, he was such a man as was wanted; and the name of Samuel Adams will fill a large space in American history. He died Oct. 2, 1803, aged 81.

BARTLETT,

One of the delegates from New Hampshire, was born at Amesbury, Massachusetts, Nov. 1729. He was instructed in the rudiments of classical learning, under the care of Dr. Webster, a clergyman of distinguished talents. Mr. B. studied physick at the same place, when he removed to Kingston, in New Hampshire. Here, he was hurried into the vortex of politicks, and sent to the legislature, where he opposed the royal officers, and their arbitrary measures and resisted the flattering attentions and munificent offers of the chief magistrate of the colony. In 1775, he was one of the committee of safety, colonel of a regiment, and member of congress. He fulfilled all these functions in a prudent but fearless manner, and was the first who signed the declaration of Independence after John Hancock. On his return home he

JOSIAH

was appointed judge of the court of common pleas and afterwards raised to the bench of the supreme court. He was a member of the convention called in New Hampshire for adopting the federal constitution, and took an active part in its favour. After this, he was elected president of the state of New Hampshire, and then governor. He died May 19, 1795, in the 66th year of his age.

CARTER BRAXTON,

Was born in Newington, Virginia, on the 10th September, 1736, and after his preparatory studies, was liberally educated at the college of William and Mary. Mr. Braxton was left in affluent circumstances by his father, and embarked for England to improve himself in mind and manners. He returned to America, in 1760, when he was called to the house of burgesses; and, in 1765, particularly distinguished himself, at the time that Patrick Henry brought forward his celebrated resolutions on the stamp act. In 1775, Peyton Randolph died at Philadelphia, while in congress, and Mr. Braxton was appointed his successor in that body where he continued until the declaration of independence was brought forward, to which he willingly placed his signature. From this time, he was actively engaged in the legislature and councils of his native state, until the 10th of Oct. 1797, when he was removed to another world, by an attack of paralysis, in the 61st year of his age. Mr. Braxton was a gentleman of cultivated mind and respectable talents; and although his eloquence was not so impressive as that of Henry and Lee, his oratory was easy and flowing, and his manners peculiarly agreeable.

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