Read, George

Read, George, 1733–98, American jurist, signer of the Declaration of Independence, b. near Northeast, Cecil co., Md. He was admitted to the bar in 1753 and later (1763–74) was attorney general of the Lower Counties (Delaware) and a member of the Continental Congress (1774–77). Initially opposed to the resolution for independence, he later signed the Declaration of Independence. He was president of the Delaware constitutional convention in 1776 and president of Delaware (1777–78). Read was a member of the Constitutional Convention (1787) and helped to make Delaware the first state to ratify the Constitution (Dec. 7, 1789). A U.S. Senator (1789–93), he resigned to become (1793) chief justice of Delaware.

See W. T. Read, Life and Correspondence of George Read (1870).

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