THORNTON, Matthew, a Delegate from New Hampshire; born in Ireland in 1714; immigrated to the United States in 1716 with his father, who settled in Wiscasset, Maine; moved to Worcester, Mass.; completed preparatory studies; studied medicine and commenced practice in Londonderry, N.H., in 1740; surgeon of New Hampshire troops in the expedition against Cape Breton; member of the New Hampshire Assembly when it was organized in 1758 and again in 1760 and 1761; justice of the peace; delegate to the first Provincial Congress in 1775 and served as its president; chairman of the committee of safety in 1775; speaker of the general assembly from January 5 to September 12, 1776; colonel of the State militia during the Revolutionary War; Member of the Continental Congress in 1776 and 1777; a signer of the Declaration of Independence; chief justice of the court of common pleas; judge of the superior court of New Hampshire 1776-1782; moved to Exeter, N.H., in 1779; member of the general assembly in 1783; served in the State senate in 1784; State councilor in 1785; moved to Merrimack, N.H., in 1789, where he purchased a farm and spent his remaining years in literary pursuits; died in Newburyport, Mass., June 24, 1803; interment in Thornton’s Ferry Cemetery, Merrimack, N.H.
BibliographyAdams, Charles Thornton. Matthew Thornton of New Hampshire: A Patriot of the American Revolution. Philadelphia, Pa.: Dando Print and Publishing Company, 1903.
Source: Biographical Directory of the United States Congress, 1771-Present