July 4, 1776

Entrepreneurs Who Made the Revolution

Long before there were politicians (of any like), there were merchants, lawyers, farmers, and other entrepreneurs who got together in Philadelphia 241 years ago to sign the Declaration of Independence and start the revolution.  These men, most of who could be viewed as small business owners, risked it all:

“We mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.”

July 4, 1776

Here’s a list from the National Archives of the signers and their occupations to remind us that our businesses, our jobs, and our lives can be on the line when freedom is at stake.

Signers Occupation
John Adams Lawyer
Samuel Adams Merchant
Josiah Bartlett Physician
Charles Carroll Merchant, plantation owner
Samuel Chase Lawyer
Abraham Clark Lawyer, surveyor
George Clymer Merchant
William Ellery Lawyer, merchant
William Floyd Land speculator
Benjamin Franklin Scientist, printer
Elbridge Gerry Merchant
Button Gwinnett Merchant, plantation owner
Lyman Hall Physician, minister
John Hancock Merchant
Benjamin Harrison Plantation owner, farmer
John Hart Land owner
Joseph Hewes Merchant
Thomas Heyward Jr. Lawyer, plantation owner
William Hooper Lawyer
Stephen Hopkins Merchant
Francis Hopkinson Lawyer, musician
Samuel Huntington Lawyer
Thomas Jefferson Lawyer, plantation owner, scientist
Francis Lightfoot Lee Plantation owner
Richard Henry Lee Plantation owner, merchant
Francis Lewis Merchant
Philip Livingston Merchant
Thomas Lynch Jr. Lawyer
Arthur Middleton Plantation owner
Lewis Morris Plantation owner
Robert Morris Merchant, land surveyor
John Morton Farmer
Thomas Nelson Jr. Merchant, plantation owner
William Paca Lawyer, plantation owner
Robert Treat Paine Lawyer, scientist
John Penn Lawyer
George Read Lawyer
Caesar Rodney Plantation owner, military officer
George Ross Lawyer
Dr. Benjamin Rush Physician
Edward Rutledge Lawyer, plantation owner
Roger Sherman Lawyer
James Smith Lawyer
Richard Stockton Lawyer
Thomas Stone Lawyer
George Taylor Merchant
Matthew Thornton Physician
George Walton Lawyer
John Witherspoon Minister
Oliver Wolcott Lawyer
George Wythe Lawyer

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.”

Happy 4th to all!

Note: I wrote about this two years ago, and I wanted once again to recognize these great men on this great day.



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