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Benjamin Harrison - One of America's Founding Fathers

Posted on Thursday, December 12, 2019

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Birth: April 5, 1726
Death: April 24, 1791 (age 65)
Colony:Virginia
Occupation: Plantation Owner, Merchant, Politician
Significance: Signed The Declaration of Independence (at the age of 50); served as Governor of Virginia (1784-1788)

Benjamin Harrison

Benjamin Harrison was one of the Founding Fathers of the United States. Born in Virginia to a wealthy family, Harrison inherited his family's plantation after his father's death. Harrison followed in his father's footsteps, and he became a politician and represented his town in the Virginia House of Burgesses. Harrison was among the first signers of an agreement to boycott British goods in 1770, and he became a leader in Virginia in the fight for the Colony's rights.

In 1774, Harrison was chosen to be one of Virginia's representatives to the First Continental Congress. The following year, Harrison served in the Second Continental Congress. Harrison voted for Independence, and he signed The Declaration of Independence. After signing The Declaration of Independence on August 2, 1776, Harrison served in the Continental Congress until October of 1777.  

Upon leaving the Continental Congress, Harrison returned to Virginia and retook his seat in the House of Burgesses. In 1781, Harrison became the fifth Governor of Virginia, a position he held until 1784. In 1788, Harrison participated in Virginia's ratification of the United States Constitution.

Benjamin Harrison in Philadelphia

Harrison arrived in Philadelphia as a Delegate to the First Continental Congress which met at Carpenters' Hall in September 1774. Harrison returned the following year in 1775 as a Delegate to the Second Continental Congress. Harrison remained in Philadelphia as a member of the Second Continental Congress until the British victory at Brandywine forced Congress to evacuate Philadelphia. While serving as a member of the Second Continental Congress, Harrison worked at Independence Hall, and he signed The Declaration of Independence. A plaque commemorating Harrison for signing The Declaration of Independence can be found on Signers' Walk on the 600 block of Chestnut Street (between 5th and 6th Streets).

 

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