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Samuel Huntington - One of America's Founding Fathers

Posted on Thursday, December 12, 2019

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Birth: July 16, 1731
Death: January 5, 1796 (age 64)
Colony: Connecticut
Occupation: Lawyer, Politician, Judge
Significance: Signed The Declaration of Independence (at the age of 44); served as President of the Second Continental Congress (1799-1781); and served as Governor of Connecticut (1786-1796)

Samuel Huntington

Samuel Huntington was one of the Founding Fathers of the United States. Born in Connecticut, Huntington had fewer financial means than many of America's other Founding Fathers. Huntington was mostly self-educated, and he studied from borrowed books. He was able to pass the Bar exam, and then he began practicing law in Norwich, Connecticut. Huntington was also politically engaged and was elected to the Connecticut Assembly in 1764, a position he held for more than a decade. 

In 1775, Huntington was voted to be one Connecticut's representatives to the Second Continental Congress. Huntington voted for Independence, and he signed The Declaration of Independence. After signing The Declaration of Independence on August 2, 1776, Huntington continued to serve in the Second Continental Congress for many years, eventually being elected to be the President of the Continental Congress in 1779. Huntington held the position until 1781 when failing health led to Huntington's resignation and return to Connecticut.

While back in Connecticut, Huntington's health improved and he was elected to the Supreme Court of Connecticut. He was elected Lieutenant Governor of Connecticut in 1785 and the following year, he became the Governor of Connecticut. Despite annual elections, the much respected Huntington was able to win eleven consecutive elections and remained Governor of Connecticut until his death in 1796.

Samuel Huntington in Philadelphia

Huntington arrived in Philadelphia as a Delegate to the Second Continental Congress. While serving as a member of the Second Continental Congress, Huntington worked at Independence Hall, and he would eventually sign The Declaration of Independence. A plaque commemorating Huntington for signing The Declaration of Independence can be found on Signers' Walk on the 600 block of Chestnut Street (between 5th & 6th Streets).


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