Carter Braxton

Carter Braxton

King and Queen County, Virginia, USA
Death 10 Oct 1797 (aged 61)
Elsing Green, King William County, Virginia, USA
Burial* King William, King William County, Virginia, USA

* Alleged or in dispute burial location

Memorial ID 2803 · View Source
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Declaration of Independence Signer. Born in Newington, Virginia, he was the son of a wealthy planter. He was named for his grandfather, Robert Carter, who was nicknamed "King Carter" because he owned 42 plantations. Carter Braxton's mother died at his birth, and when he was 13 years old, his father died. He attended the College of William and Mary, but dropped out after one year to marry Judith Robinson, who died two years later, in 1756, giving birth to their second child. A few years later, he would remarry, to Elizabeth Corbin, and with her he would have sixteen more children. He had a prosperous and pleasant life, owning several plantations and going into various business ventures with Robert Morris (of Pennsylvania; another signer) and other prominent merchants. In 1761, he became a member of the House of Burgesses, where he served until 1771, and again in 1775. In 1775, he became a member of the Virginia delegation to the Second Continental Congress. The American Revolution threatened his comfortable way of life, so for a long time he was uncertain about independence. As late as April 14, 1776, he wrote a letter to his uncle saying that he believed America was not ready for independence. A month later, in May 17, 1776, he wrote another letter to his uncle stating that America "with one united voice" should seek independence. He came to believe that the country would be harmed if Congress appeared to be divided over the issue of independence, so he voted for independence, signed the Declaration, and then left Congress to return the next year. Back in Virginia, he supported a bill to recruit slaves to fight for the Revolution, to be given freedom in exchange for their service. The bill was defeated, but Braxton then embraced the effort to win American freedom, and purchased supplies for the army out of his own pocket. He was a member of the Continental Congress and the Congress of the Confederation, from 1775 to 1776 and 1777 to 1783, and again in 1785. Later in life, he made some poor business decisions, and lost most of his fortune, and in 1797, he suffered a stroke and died at the age of 61. Braxton County in what is now West Virginia was named for him.

Bio by: Kit and Morgan Benson

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  • Maintained by: Find a Grave
  • Added: 27 Apr 1998
  • Find a Grave Memorial 2803
  • Find a Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Carter Braxton (10 Sep 1736–10 Oct 1797), Find a Grave Memorial no. 2803, citing Chericoke, Carter Family Estate, King William, King William County, Virginia, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .