Showing posts from May, 2023

Founding Fathers - William Whipple

William Whipple Born: January 14, 1730 (Kittery, Massachusetts - now part of Maine) Died: November 28, 1785 (Portsmouth, New Hampshire) On this Memorial Day weekend, I first want to pause and remember those brave souls who served their countries with everything they had.  Every one of us who lives in a land of freedom does so because of the sacrifice of others who gave up their chance at having such a life.  We owe them so much more than our gratitude, but we should certainly give that freely whenever the opportunity presents itself.  Thank you. This week we will meet our third William in this series that focuses on signers of the Declaration of Independence, and with the military emphasis of the holiday I thought it would be fitting to select a Founding Father who proudly wore the uniform of his nation.  Therefore we get to meet William Whipple who was born in modern-day Maine, although it was then part of the Massachusetts colony.  The town of Kittery was a port just across the river

Founding Fathers - Edward Rutledge

Edward Rutledge Born: November 23, 1749 (Charleston, South Carolina) Died: January 23, 1800 (Charleston, South Carolina) This week we return our focus to the gentlemen who signed the Declaration of Independence by traveling once again to one of the southern colonies.  As the last of seven children born to a wealthy aristocrat named Dr. John Rutledge and his wife, Sarah, Edward Rutledge got used to being the youngest early in life.  His father had immigrated to South Carolina from Ireland some 14 years before Edward's birth, and as a young man he was educated by a private tutor named David Smith before eventually following his older brothers to study in England.  Like two of those older brothers, one named John after their father and the other named Hugh, Edward chose to study law and after graduating from Oxford he was admitted to the English bar in 1772 at the age of 22.  The following year he returned to Charleston to begin his legal practice alongside his partner, Charles Cotesw

Founding Mothers - Mary Katharine Goddard

Mary Katharine Goddard Born: June 16, 1738 (New London, Connecticut) Died: August 12, 1816 (Baltimore, Maryland) Happy Mother's Day!  In honor of the special women in each of our lives, I thought it would be interesting to take a slight detour from our usual study and look at the only woman's name to have found its way onto the Declaration of Independence.  While not a voting member of the Continental Congress nor a signer, Mary Katharine Goddard was nevertheless an important figure during the birth of our nation.  Born in New London, Connecticut, Mary was the oldest child of Dr. Giles Goddard, who served as the town's postmaster, and his wife, Sarah.  She had a brother who was two years younger, William, who became an apprentice in the printing trade while he was young.  Upon the death of Dr. Goddard in 1762 his widow and daughter relocated to Providence, Rhode Island where William had opened up his own printing office with the financial support of his mother.  After learn

Founding Fathers - George Wythe

George Wythe Born: ??, 1726 (Hampton, Virginia) Died: June 8, 1806 (Richmond, Virginia) I never cease to be amazed whenever my website hits a new milestone in visitors, and this week it surpassed 75,000.  That's such a staggering number to my imagination, so thank you all for clicking on the links and checking in from time to time.  This week we're turning our attention to a man who was among the most well-respected and accomplished signers of the Declaration, George Wythe.  Born on the farm that had been in the family for three generations, named Chesterville, he was the second of Thomas and Margaret Wythe's three children.  His father was a planter and had an ownership interest in the wharf at Hampton, the nearest town and largest port in Virginia, but he died when George was just three years old.  Margaret was more highly educated than many women of the time and taught him well from the classics, while also engraining her Quaker beliefs into the young boy.  As a teenager

Founding Fathers - Thomas Stone

Thomas Stone Born: 1743 (Welcome, MD) Died: October 5, 1787 (Alexandria, VA) For this week's post, I decided to let my youngest daughter (long-time readers will remember her as Whirly) pick which signer we should learn about next.  After a quick review of the available names she selected Thomas Stone from Maryland, so here we go.  While the month and day of his birth may never have been recorded, history tells us that this young man was born at his family's home named Poynton Manor at the southern end of the colony.  The estate had originally been given to his grandfather, William Stone, in 1654 after his notable service as the governor of Maryland under Lord Baltimore.  Young Thomas was therefore born to a respected family, the second son of David and Elizabeth Stone.  His education did not come easily, however, as he had to ride his horse over 10 miles each day to study under his tutor, named Mr. Blaizedel, before having to borrow money to continue his pursuit of a legal care