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John Blair - One of America's Founding Fathers

Posted on Friday, December 20, 2019

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Birth: April 17, 1732
Death: August 31, 1800 (age 68)
Colony: Virginia
Occupation: Lawyer, Politician, Judge
Significance: Signed the United States Constitution (at the age of 55); and served as Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States (1790-1795)

John Blair Statue in Signers' Hall at the National Constitution Center

John Blair was born in Virginia to a prominent family, and his father served for a time as Royal Governor of the Colony of Virginia. Blair was privately tutored and then attended the College of William and Mary where he graduated in 1754. Blair continued his education in London at Middle Temple, and then he returned home to practice law. Blair also served in the Virginia House of Burgesses from 1766 to 1771. During the Revolutionary War, Blair continued to serve in the Virginia state government on the Virginia Executive Council and then later as a judge. 

As a representative of Virginia, Blair was named a member of the Constitutional Convention which met in Philadelphia during the Summer of 1787. At the Constitutional Convention, Blair was a strong supporter of James Madison's plans for a new government, and he sided with Madison and Washington in a needed vote in support of the United States Constitution as both Edmund Randolph and George Mason of Virginia voted against the Constitution of the United States.

After the ratification of the United States Constitution, George Washington named Blair one of the first Associate Justices of the Supreme Court of the United States, which met at Old City Hall.

John Blair in Philadelphia

Blair first lived in Philadelphia when he helped to write the United States Constitution as a member of the Constitutional Convention, which met at Independence Hall in 1787. Blair also worked in Old City Hall as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States while Philadelphia was the Capital city of the United States. Today, you can also see a statue commemorating Blair for his role in the creation of the United States Constitution in the Signers' Hall exhibit of the National Constitution Center. Signers' Garden pays tribute to the Founding Fathers, including those such as Blair who signed the Constitution of the United States. The National Constitution Center, Old City Hall, Signers' Garden and Independence Hall are all visited on The Constitutional Walking Tour!

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