signers of the Declaration

Signers of the Declaration of Independence

Short biographies on each of the 56 Declaration signers

Carter Braxton


Representing Virginia at the Continental Congress

by Ole Erekson, Engraver, c1876, Library of Congress
Born:September 10, 1736
Birthplace:Newington Plantation, Va.
Education:William and Mary College (Farmer)
Work:Virginia House of Burgesses, 1770-85; Delegate to the Continental Congress, 1774-75; Member, Virginia patriot's Committee of Safety, 1774; Signer of the Declaration of Independence, 1776.
Died:October 10, 1797

Carter Braxton was born of a wealthy family in Newington Plantation Virginia. He lost nearly all of his wealth in the course of the revolution, partly through his support of the Union, and partly through attack by the British forces. He was educated at William and Mary College. He married at age 19, but his wife died about two years after. He then went to England for a little more than two years. In 1760 he returned, married again, and was appointed to represent King William county in the Virginia House of Burgesses. He was in attendance 1765, when Patrick Henry's Stamp Act resolutions agitated the Assembly. In 1769 he joined the "radical" faction of the Burgesses in support of Virginia's sole right to tax inhabitants. When the house was dissolved in 1774 he joined the patriot's Committee of Safety in Virginia, and represented his county in the Virginia Convention. In 1775, upon the sudden death of Peyton Randolph, Braxton was selected to assume his place in the Continental Congress. He attended two years, after which he returned to Virginia to continue service to the House of Burgesses. During the War, he had loaned £10,000 sterling to support the revolutionary cause. He had also used his wealth to sponsor shipping and privateering during the conflict, the losses from which eventually resulted in debt. He never recovered, and, in 1786, was forced to leave his inherited country estate for simple quarters in Richmond. He died at age 61.

Josiah Bartlett
Charles Carroll

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