John Morton

John Morton Biography.com

U.S. Representative(c. 1724–c. 1777)
John Morton was a delegate to the Stamp Act Congress and the First and Second Continental Congresses, as well as a signer of the Declaration of Independence.

Synopsis

John Morton was born in 1724 in Pennsylvania. In 1765, he was a delegate to the Stamp Act Congress. He was also a delegate to the First and Second Continental Congresses 1774–1777. In 1776, his vote for America's independence meant that Pennsylvania supported independence by a majority of one. He also served as the chairman of the committee on the adoption of the Articles of Confederation.

Profile

Signer of the American Declaration of Independence. Born in 1724 in Pennsylvania. Before his entrance into public service, Morton worked as a surveyor and farmer in Chester (now Delaware) County in Pennsylvania. He was elected a member of the Provincial Assembly from Chester County in 1756 and served in that position for the next ten years. After losing his seat in 1767, Morton was reelected in 1769 and served seven more terms, including a stint as speaker of the Assembly beginning in 1775. In addition to his work as an assemblyman, Morton at times also served as high sheriff and justice of the peace of Chester County.

In 1765, Morton was one of four Pennsylvania delegates to the Stamp Act Congress, which met in New York to frame a statement of the American colonies' opposition to the attempt by the British Parliament to raise money by directly taxing all colonial legal and commercial papers through the infamous Stamp Act. He was also a delegate to the First and Second Continental Congresses from 1774 until early in 1777. In July 1776, Morton's vote for America's independence, together with those of Benjamin Franklin and James Wilson, meant that Pennsylvania supported independence by a majority of one. Morton also served as the chairman of the committee on the adoption of the Articles of Confederation, which were not ratified until after his death in 1777.

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