The Declaration of Independence is a document that changed America. The Declaration of Independence was one of the first and greatest achievements made by our forefathers that led to the establishment of our country and the freedoms, rights and privileges that make America great. There were many men who played a role in the events that led up to the actual signing of the Declaration of Independence and many more who would continue in the fight for freedom long after the Declaration was written. Listed below are just a few of the more common important figures that are associated with the Declaration of Independence.
Thomas Jefferson was arguably the most important figure that contributed to the Declaration of Independence. Thomas Jefferson was the chosen writer of the Declaration of Independence and aside from a few changes made, it is his original writing that we read today. Jefferson was elected president in 1801. He continued producing great feats of writing including the 12 amendments and delivering the State of the Union address in writing. Thomas Jefferson retired from the office of President in 1808. He then went on to establish the University of Virginia alongside his good friend James Madison. Shortly before his death in 1826, Jefferson told Madison that he wished to be remembered only for his work as the Author of the Declaration of Independence, and as the founder of the University of Virginia.
Born in Pennsylvania, Benjamin Franklin assisted Thomas Jefferson by editing the Declaration of Independence. Benjamin Franklin was independently wealthy from his work as a businessman, writer, publisher, and scientist and was a popular and prominent member of society because of his work as a diplomat, legislator, and social activist. Benjamin Franklin was also one of the earliest and strongest advocates for the abolition of slavery as he believed that all people were entitled to the same rights that he supported in the Declaration.
John Hancock was the President of the Continental Congress and is known for penning the largest and most obvious signature on the Declaration. Although John Hancock did not shy away from attention, his large signature was less to boost his own ego and more to show that he was not afraid of the British’s threats to capture him for his “treasonï¿½? against them.
John Adams signed the Declaration of Independence as an already established figure of importance. Adams nominated Washington to be commander-in-chief of the colonial armies and was later elected Vice President of the United States under George Washington in 1789.John Adams then served as President in 1796 and ended his term in 1801.
In signing the Declaration of Independence, all involved were putting themselves at risk for persecution from the British and any others who were fighting against the establishment of rights for the colonies. All of the men involved were men of influence. Some had popularity; others had wealth, education, or successful businesses. These were no ordinary men. These men were so dedicated to improving life and liberty not only for themselves but for all people in this nation that they all deserve to be considered important figures and so a complete list of those who signed the Declaration of Independence is listed below:
John Hancock, Josiah Bartlett, William Whipple, Matthew Thornton, Samuel Adams, John Adams, Robert Treat Paine, Elbridge Gerry, Stephen Hopkins, William Ellery, Roger Sherman, Samuel Huntington, William Williams, Oliver Wolcott, William Floyd, Philip Livingston, Francis Lewis, Lewis Morris, Richard Stockton, John Witherspoon, Francis Hopkinson, John Hart, Abraham Clark, Robert Morris, Benjamin Rush, Benjamin Franklin, John Morton, George Clymer, James Smith, George Taylor, James Wilson, George Ross, Caesar Rodney, George Read, Thomas McKean, Samuel Chase, William Paca, Thomas Stone, Charles Carroll of Carrollton, George Wythe, Richard Henry Lee, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Harrison, Thomas Nelson, Jr., Francis Lightfoot Lee, Carter Braxton, William Hooper, Joseph Hewes, John Penn, Edward Rutledge, Thomas Heyward, Jr., Thomas Lynch, Jr., Arthur Middleton, Button Gwinnett, Lyman Hall, and George Walton.
More posts like this one in History.