signers, signing
[The Declaration of Independence, signatories]

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The signatories to the
Declaration of Independence

  Although the Declaration of Independence is officially dated from the fourth of July 1776 it was actually signed into formal existence from 2 August of that year. The delay largely arising from the technical processes involved in the preparation, on parchment, of the Declaration of Independence.

  The actual process of the signing of the Declaration of Independence began on 2 August. The first of the signatories was John Hancock, the President of the Congress, who signed, in bold, below the text and in the centre of the Declaration. Other delegates, starting with those from the northernmost state - New Hampshire - and continuing unto the southermost state - Georgia - then began to sign. There were to be in all fifty-six signers, not all of these signed on 2 August. Two delegates that had actually voted in assent on the fourth of July did not, in the event, sign at all!!! One of these John Dickinson seems to have demurred in the hope of a reconciliation with Great Britain, the other, Robert R. Livingston, one of the Committee of Five, seems to have thought that the Declaration was premature.

At the signing of the Declaration of Independence the new established "States of America" were represented as follows:

New Hampshire:

  Josiah Bartlett, William Whipple, Matthew Thornton


  John Hancock, Samual Adams, John Adams, Robert Treat Paine, Elbridge Gerry

Rhode Island:

  Stephen Hopkins, William Ellery


  Roger Sherman, Samuel Huntington, William Williams, Oliver Wolcott

New York:

  William Floyd, Philip Livingston, Francis Lewis, Lewis Morris

New Jersey:

  Richard Stockton, John Witherspoon, Francis Hopkinson, John Hart, Abraham Clark


  Robert Morris, Benjamin Rush, Benjamin Franklin, John Morton, George Clymer, James Smith, George Taylor, James Wilson, George Ross


  Caesar Rodney, George Read, Thomas McKean


  Samuel Chase, William Paca, Thomas Stone, Charles Carroll of Carrollton


  George Wythe, Richard Henry Lee, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Harrison, Thomas Nelson, Jr., Francis Lightfoot Lee, Carter Braxton

North Carolina:

  William Hooper, Joseph Hewes, John Penn

South Carolina:

  Edward Rutledge, Thomas Heyward, Jr., Thomas Lynch, Jr., Arthur Middleton


  Button Gwinnett, Lyman Hall, George Walton


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The signatories to the
Declaration of Independence