INTERESTING HISTORY NEWSLETTER
July 6, 2009
Although many of us are familiar with some of the more famous
signers of the United States Declaration of Independence (like John Hancock, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, and
Samuel Adams), there were actually 56 signers. One of the men that signed the document was a delegate from Delaware
by the name of George Read.
George Read was born September 18, 1733 in Cecil County, Maryland.
His father, John Read was one of the founders of Charlestown, Maryland but moved the family to Delaware when George
was an infant. George studied law in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, was admitted to the bar and then returned to
Delaware to practice law in 1754.
Read soon got involved with politics and was the leader of the
majority “Court Party” in Delaware. Like many of the colonists at the time he was opposed to the Stamp Act and
other laws passed by the British Parliament and often spoke out against them. Once the Declaration of Independence
was adopted, Read became the President of the Delaware constitutional convention tasked with drafting a
constitution for the state which became the Delaware Constitution of 1776.
Read served as the Speaker in both the 1776/77 and the 1778/79
sessions of the Delaware General Assembly and also served as the third President of Delaware from October 20, 1777
to March 31, 1778 and continued to serve in the Legislative Council through the 1778/79 session.
What makes George Read different than all the other signers
of the Declaration of Independence? Although Read had many disagreements with the British Parliament, he sided with
most of the citizens of Delaware who favored reconciliation with Great Britain rather than outright independence.
So on July 2, 1776 when the vote was taken to declare independence from Great Britain, Read voted against it. When
it was adopted anyway, he signed it.
Click here to sign up for the Interesting History
DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE BOOK
The Declaration of Independence With Short Biographies
of Its Signers
Click picture to buy this book
Drafted by Thomas Jefferson between June 11 and June 28, 1776, the Declaration of
Independence summarizes America's founding political philosophy.At once a cherished symbol of
liberty and an expression of Jefferson's monumental talents as a writer, the document captures in
unforgettable phrases the ideals of individual liberty that formed the backbone of American's
In setting forth these "self-evident truths" alongside a list of grievances against
King George's Britain, the Declaration of Independence justified the breaking of ties with "Mother
England" and the formation of a new country. This gift edition, printed in two colors on acid-free
paper, contains illustrations and biographies of the signers alongside the document itself.