1728–84, American political leader, signer of the Declaration of Independence, b. near Dover, Del. He was a member of the Delaware assembly (1761–70, 1772–76), its speaker (1769, 1773–76), and a delegate to the Stamp Act Congress (1765). As a member of the Continental Congress (1774–76), he advocated independence and is celebrated for traveling overnight from Dover to Philadelphia to vote for the Declaration. Later, he was a general commanding Delaware militia in the Revolution and was (1778–81) president (i.e., governor) of Delaware.
See his correspondence, ed. by G. H. Ryden (1933, repr. 1970); biography by J. H. Scott (2000).
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