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John Harvie - One of America's Founding Fathers

Posted on Thursday, December 24, 2020

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Birth: 1742 (approximately)
Death: February 6, 1807 (age 64 or 65)
Colony: Virginia
Occupation: Lawyer, Politician, Builder
Significance: Signed The Articles of Confederation (at the approximate age of 35 or 36); served in the Continental Congress (1777-1778)

John Harvie etching by Albert Rosenthal

John Harvie was one of the Founding Fathers of the United States. Born in Virginia to Scottish immigrants, Harvie grew up in close proximity to Thomas Jefferson, with whom he became boyhood friends and the two exchanged letters throughout their lives. Harvie studied law and attained success as a lawyer in Virginia. As tensions grew between the American Colonies and Britain, Harvie became politically involved and served in the 1775 and 1776 Virginia conventions. 

In 1777, Harvie was elected and served in the Second Continental Congress. Harvie traveled to Philadelphia to serve in the Continental Congress before the British victory at Brandywine led to Harvie and the Continental Congress fleeing Philadelphia when the British took over the Capital city. Harvie traveled with the Continental Congress to Lancaster and York, Pennsylvania, before returning to Philadelphia on July 2, 1778 after the British abandoned their hold on Philadelphia. Harvie was among the first signers of the Articles of Confederation on July 9, 1778 after the Articles were ratified by his Colony of Virginia. 

Harvie returned home to Virginia in 1778 and served as a Colonel in the Virginia Militia during the Revolutionary War. Following his return to Virginia, Harvie moved to Richmond, Virginia and transitioned into working as a developer and builder, even designing some buildings as a gentleman architect. Harvie served as the Mayor of Richmond from 1785-1786 and the Secretary of Virginia from 1788-1789. In 1807, Harvie was inspecting the roof a building when he accidently fell from the ladder and died from his injuries at the age of about 64 or 65.

John Harvie in Philadelphia

John Harvie came to Philadelphia in 1777 as a Delegate to the Second Continental Congress. While serving as a member of the Second Continental Congress, Banister worked at Independence Hall, where he signed The Articles of Confederation.

Today, Independence Hall is a stop visited along The Constitutional Walking Tour!

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