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Thomas Stone - One of America's Founding Fathers

Posted on Sunday, January 12, 2020

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Birth: 1743 (Exact Date Unknown)
Death: October 5, 1787 (at the age of approximately 44)
Colony: Maryland
Occupation: Plantation Owner, Lawyer, Politician
Significance: Signed The Declaration of Independence (at the age of approximately 33)

Thomas Stone

Thomas Stone was one of the Founding Fathers of the United States. Stone was born to prominent Maryland family, and he was privately tutored before he studied law. In 1764, Stone opened a law practice in Maryland, and in 1768 he purchased a large piece of property to develop into a plantation and his estate. Stone was elected to Maryland's Annapolis Convention in 1774, and he began his political career.

In 1775, Stone was elected to the Second Continental Congress where he voted for Independence and signed The Declaration of Independence on August 2, 1776. In 1778, Stone was on the committee assigned to write the Articles of Confederation, America's first national government, but Stone instead departed the Continental Congress to care for his wife who had an adverse reaction to a smallpox vaccine.

Back home in Maryland, Stone served in the Maryland Senate from 1779 until 1785. As the health of Stone's wife continued to deteriorate, Stone retired from public life in 1785 and cared for his wife until her death in 1787. Following his wife's death, Stone was said to have been depressed and died a few months later.

Thomas Stone in Philadelphia

Stone arrived in Philadelphia as a Delegate to the Second Continental Congress. While serving as a member of the Second Continental Congress, Stone worked at Independence Hall, and he signed The Declaration of Independence. 

A plaque commemorating Stone for signing The Declaration of Independence can be found on Signers' Walk on the 600 block of Chestnut Street (between 5th and 6th Streets). Signers' Garden pays tribute to the Founding Fathers, including those such as Stone, who signed The Declaration of Independence. Signer's Walk, Signers' Garden, and Independence Hall are all visited on The Constitutional Walking Tour!

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