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William Hooper - One of America's Founding Fathers

Posted on Thursday, December 12, 2019

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Birth: June 28, 1742                                                                                                                
Death: October 14, 1790 (age 48)
Colony: North Carolina
Occupation: Lawyer, Politician
Significance: Signed The Declaration of Independence (at the age of 34)

William Hooper

William Hooper was one of the Founding Fathers of the United States. Born in Boston, Hooper grew up within the city, attended Boston Latin School and gradiated from Harvard in 1760. Hooper then studied law, but upon the completion of his studies, he decided it would be too difficult to find work in Boston, and so he traveled South, settled in North Carolina and began practicing law. Hooper was elected to the North Carolina General Assembly in 1773, and then in 1775, he was elected to the North Carolina House of Burgesses.  

In 1774, Hooper was voted to be one North Carolina's representatives to the First Continental Congress. The following year, Hooper was re-elected and served in the Second Continental Congress. Hooper was in North Carolina and missed the vote for Independence, but he arrived in Philadelphia in time to sign The Declaration of Independence. After signing The Declaration of Independence on August 2, 1776, Hooper continued to serve in the Second Continental Congress until 1777.  

Upon leaving the Continental Congress, Hooper returned to North Carolina and worked as a judge and held positions in the North Carolina assembly. Hooper died in North Carolina in 1790 a the age of 48.

William Hooper in Philadelphia

Hooper arrived in Philadelphia as a Delegate to the First Continental Congress which met at Carpenters' Hall in September 1774. Hooper returned the following year in 1775 as a delegate to the Second Continental Congress. While serving as a member of the Second Continental Congress, Hooper worked at Independence Hall, and he signed The Declaration of Independence. A plaque commemorating Hooper 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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