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George Bryan
Birth: 1731
Death: Jan. 27, 1791

Revolutionary War Patriot. Born in Dublin, Ireland, he came to America at age 20, engaged in mercantile pursuits, and became wealthy as an importer and exporter. He took an active opposition role against the 1765 Stamp Act, and signed a Non-Importation Agreement with other Philadelphia merchants pledging to end importing goods from Great Britain. That bold stand directly lead to his loss of business and his bankruptcy in 1771. In ill health for most of the beginning of the decade when the seeds of revolution were growing, he limited much of his political participation. However, once the Revolution started he fully supported and participated in the fight for freedom. Joining with Benjamin Franklin and James Cannon, the three men largely wrote the Pennsylvania Constitution that was adopted in 1776. Its ratification transformed Pennsylvania from a British Colony to an independent commonwealth ruled only by it's own citizens. It also set up a unicameral legislative body and an executive council, a system of government that George Bryan would fiercely advocate for the rest of his days. On March 5, 1777 he was elected the Vice President of the Supreme Executive Council of Pennsylvania, a post equivalent to the modern day Lieutenant Governor, and would hold this office for two and a half years. He assumed the role of Acting President in May 1778, following the death of President Thomas Wharton, serving until December 1778, when Joseph Reed was elected President of the Supreme Executive Council. When he resigned from the Vice Presidency in October 1779, he was elected the next day to the Pennsylvania Legislature. A staunch abolitionist, he believed slavery was a great moral evil, and a sin on a nation that was fighting for their rights and freedom. In his new role of state assemblyman, he authored legislation that would enact gradual emancipation of African-Americans in Pennsylvania and outlaw slavery in the state. The laws he wrote would become the model for other states' emancipation efforts. In 1780 he was appointed a Judge of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. He strongly opposed the bi-cameral legislature and single executive in the Federal Constitution, and ardently advocated a smaller government that was directly responsible to the people. He was an Anti-Federalist throughout his days. He came a Trustee of the University of Pennsylvania while the Revolution raged, and served as the Boards Treasurer from 1779 to 1788. He died in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and was originally interred in the Arch Street Presbyterian Burial Ground, which was at the corner of Arch and Fifth Street. His remains were re-buried in Laurel Hill Cemetery on December 5, 1867 when that burial ground was removed. (bio by: Russ Dodge) 
 
Family links: 
 Spouse:
  Elizabeth Smith Bryan (____ - 1799)*
 
 Children:
  Jonathan Bryan (1775 - 1858)*
 
*Calculated relationship
 
Burial:
Laurel Hill Cemetery
Philadelphia
Philadelphia County
Pennsylvania, USA
Plot: Section C, Lot 13
 
Maintained by: Find A Grave
Originally Created by: Bernadette Loeffel - At...
Record added: Jun 12, 2006
Find A Grave Memorial# 14588266
George Bryan
Added by: Creative Commons
 
George Bryan
Added by: Russ Dodge
 
George Bryan
Added by: Russ Dodge
 
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- MFPS
 Added: Jan. 27, 2015
Thank you for my freedom!
-Anonymous
 Added: Jan. 27, 2015

- James Snow
 Added: Jan. 27, 2015
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