Continental Congressman. He studied law, was admitted to the bar in 1770, and began a practice in 1773. He served as New Jersey's Deputy Provincial Secretary from 1769 to 1778, also holding office as Clerk of the Governor's Council, Clerk of the Supreme Court and the Pleas Court, and Surrogate and keeper and register of New Jersey's Provincial records. He became aide to Governor William Franklin in 1771, and in 1776 became New Jersey's Secretary of State and aide to Governor William Livingston. From 1778 to 1781 he was Assistant Adjutant General on the staff of General Nathanael Greene. He became a member of the American Philosophical Society in 1779. After leaving the Army Pettit settled in Philadelphia, where he became an import-export merchant. He served in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives from 1783 to 1784. He was a member of the Continental Congress from 1785 to 1787, after which he resumed his business pursuits. He was a founder and President of the Insurance Company of North America. Pettit was also interested in education, serving as a Trustee of the University of the State of Pennsylvania, and as Trustee of the University of Pennsylvania after the two colleges merged in 1791. Pettit was married to Sarah Reed, the sister of Continental Congressman Joseph Reed.
Bio by: Bill McKern