Josiah Bartlett

Josiah Bartlett

Amesbury, Essex County, Massachusetts, USA
Death 19 May 1795 (aged 65)
Kingston, Rockingham County, New Hampshire, USA
Burial Kingston, Rockingham County, New Hampshire, USA
Memorial ID 2802 · View Source
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Declaration of Independence Signer. He was also the first man to vote for independence, when the issue came up for vote on July 2, 1776. Born in Amesbury, Massachusetts, the youngest of seven children, where his parents ran a farm called "The Lion's Mouth" in Amesbury, Massachusetts. Josiah's father was also a shoemaker. After some formal schooling, 16 year old Josiah was apprenticed to an Amesbury physician, where for the next five years, he studied medicine and became a doctor, setting up his practice in Kingston, New Hampshire, about ten miles from Amesbury. In 1754, he married his cousin, Mary Bartlett, and they would have twelve children, eight of whom lived to adulthood. In 1765, Dr. Bartlett was elected to the New Hampshire legislature, where he became known as a sharp critic of British policies in the colonies. He was chosen to serve in the First Continental Congress, in 1774, but his house burned down under mysterious circumstances and had to be rebuilt, so he decided not to go. He twice served in the Second Continental Congress, from 1775 to 1776, and again from 1778 to 1779. On July 2, 1776, he was the first congressman to vote for independence, and two days later, he was the first man to vote to approve the Declaration of Independence. During the War for Independence, he worked in Congress to build the American Navy and in spare hours, he worked in a hospital treating wounded soldiers. After the American Revolution, he served as the Chief Justice for the New Hampshire State Supreme Court, from 1788 to 1790, and then as Governor of New Hampshire from 1790 to 1794. In 1787, when the US Constitution was being voted upon in the New Hampshire legislature, he worked tirelessly to have the Constitution adopted. He died at age 65, within a year after leaving office as Governor. The town of Bartlett, New Hampshire, was named after him.

Bio by: Kit and Morgan Benson

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  • Maintained by: Find a Grave
  • Added: 27 Apr 1998
  • Find a Grave Memorial 2802
  • Find a Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Josiah Bartlett (21 Nov 1729–19 May 1795), Find a Grave Memorial no. 2802, citing Plains Cemetery, Kingston, Rockingham County, New Hampshire, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .