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 John Morton

John Morton

Birth
Chester County, Pennsylvania, USA
Death 1 Apr 1777 (aged 52–53)
Chester County, Pennsylvania, USA
Burial Chester, Delaware County, Pennsylvania, USA
Memorial ID 2781 · View Source
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Declaration of Independence Signer. Born in Delaware County, Pennsylvania, his father died before he was born. When he was about seven years old, his mother remarried. John attended formal school only for about 3 months; most of his education he learned from his step-father, who taught him many subjects, including law and surveying. John Morton would grow up to become a farmer, a surveyor, lawyer, and judge. He married Ann Justis, and they would have five daughters and four sons. Morton began his political career in 1756 as a member of the Pennsylvania Assembly, serving in the Assembly for 17 years. He was one of four Pennsylvania delegates to the Stamp Act Congress in 1765. In 1774, he was elected as a delegate to the First Continental Congress, and the following year, to the Second Continental Congress. Although most Pennsylvanians in his home area were Loyalists, Morton favored independence. Of the seven Pennsylvania delegates to vote for independence on July 2, 1776, two voted against it, two voted for it, and two did not vote, leaving the decision to John Morton. His decision to vote for independence swung the decision of the colony to independence. As a result of his vote, friend, neighbors and even relatives turned against him. By early 1777, he became extremely ill, suspected to be tuberculosis. As he lay dying, he predicted that one day, people would realize that his voting for independence was “the most glorious service I have ever rendered my country.” John Morton was the first of the 56 signers to die, passing away at his birthplace on April 1, 1777.

Bio by: Kit and Morgan Benson


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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Added: 26 Apr 1998
  • Find A Grave Memorial 2781
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for John Morton (1724–1 Apr 1777), Find A Grave Memorial no. 2781, citing Saint Paul's Burying Ground, Chester, Delaware County, Pennsylvania, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .