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Signers of the Declaration of Independence

Signers of the Declaration of Independence
Those who signed the Declaration of Independence were indeed great individuals who gave up a lot for the sake of freedom, that is enjoyed to this date. Here, we tell you who these great people were - people who gave liberty and freedom its true meaning.
Puja Lalwani
Last Updated: Dec 10, 2017
The signing of the Declaration of Independence was one of the biggest events in American history. Signed on July 4, 1776, this document put an end to the then occurring war between Great Britain and the thirteen colonies of America, and declared these thirteen colonies independent from British rule. This Declaration was drafted by Thomas Jefferson between June 11 and June 28, 1776. The Declaration of Independence voiced the collective thoughts of the people of the nation, regarding their need and desire for independence. It gave a clear justification as to why independence was necessary, and now long overdue. This Declaration is perhaps what is most revered among the people of the United states of America as a symbol of its freedom, with July 4 being celebrated as the American Independence Day, every year. There were a total of 56 individuals who signed the Declaration of Independence, belonging to the thirteen colonies that existed at the time. Here, we take a look at an overview of the drafting committee, and then a list of the individuals who signed the Declaration.
Who Signed the Declaration of Independence?
To create the Declaration of Independence, a drafting committee of 5 members was brought into being. This committee included:
  • Benjamin Franklin (Pennsylvania)
  • John Adams (Massachusetts)
  • Thomas Jefferson (Virginia)
  • Roger Sherman (Connecticut)
  • Robert R. Livingston (New York)

While Thomas Jefferson would write the Declaration of Independence, the remaining members were to assist him and make any alterations if required. The original document was slightly altered by Benjamin Franklin and John Adams, and was finally given to the Congress for approval. Declared as an 'expression of the American mind' by Jefferson, the Declaration clearly stated the numerous grievances of the people of America, against King George III, the then British Emperor. However, it was also one of the most inspired pieces of writing that Jefferson became synonymous with.
The signers of the Declaration of Independence belonged to different professions and trades. Some of them were lawyers and jurors, while others were merchants, farmers and plantation owners. All of them were highly educated individuals.
Roger Sherman 1721-1793
Samuel Huntington 1731-1796
William Williams 1731-1811
Oliver Wolcott 1726-1797
Caesar Rodney 1728-1784
George Read 1733-1798
Thomas McKean 1734-1817
Button Gwinnett 1735-1777
Lyman Hall 1724-1790
George Walton 1741-1804
Samuel Chase 1741-1811
William Paca 1740-1799
Thomas Stone 1743-1787
Charles Carroll 1737-1832
John Hancock 1737-1793
Samuel Adams 1722-1803
John Adams 1735-1826
Robert Treat Paine 1731-1814
Elbridge Gerry 1744-1814
New Hampshire
Josiah Bartlett 1729-1795
William Whipple 1730-1785
Matthew Thornton 1714-1803
New Jersey
Richard Stockton 1730-1781
John Witherspoon 1723-1794
Francis Hopkinson 1737-1791
John Hart 1711-1779
Abraham Clark 1725-1794
New York
William Floyd 1734-1821
Philip Livingston 1716-1778
Francis Lewis 1713-1802
Lewis Morris 1726-1798
North Carolina
William Hooper 1742-1790
Joseph Hewes 1730-1779
John Penn 1741-1788
Robert Morris 1734-1806
Benjamin Rush 1745-1813
Benjamin Franklin 1706-1790
John Morton 1724-1777
George Clymer 1739-1813
James Smith 1719-1806
George Taylor 1716-1781
James Wilson 1742-1798
George Ross 1730-1779
Rhode Island
Stephen Hopkins 1707-1785
William Ellery 1727-1820
South Carolina
Edward Rutledge 1749-1800
Thomas Heyward, Jr. 1746-1809
Thomas Lynch, Jr. 1749-1779
Arthur Middleton 1742-1787
George Wythe 1726-1806
Richard Henry Lee 1732-1794
Thomas Jefferson 1743-1826
Benjamin Harrison 1726-1791
Thomas Nelson, Jr. 1738-1789
Francis Lightfoot Lee 1734-1797
Carter Braxton 1736-1797

Independence comes at a price, it is always said. Not all was hunky dory after the Declaration of Independence was signed. A little-known fact is that in spite of it being accepted by the Congress without any major changes, several of the signers were tortured, burned to death, and lost family and property after they went through with signing of the Declaration. These well-educated men knew what they would have to give up for the sake of freedom of the country, and yet went through with the process in larger interests. Such individuals should be respected, revered, and thanked for their sacrifice. It is only because of them that liberty and freedom are now enjoyed by the people of the United States of America.