Declaration of Independence

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.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Elizabeth Montgomery Witherspoon

Elizabeth Montgomery married Rev. John Witherspoon, D.D., future President of Princeton College and future signer of the Declaration of Independence, in Scotland soon after he completed his education at Edinburgh University in 1743. Dr. Witherspoon's biographers described Elizabeth as "a Scotch woman of little education, but whose piety, benevolence, and graciousness made her beloved by all who knew her."

John and Elizabeth were parents of ten children. Elizabeth wanted to stay near her family and friends and discouraged John from accepting an offer to become the President of Princeton College. When Richard Stockton traveled to Scotland in 1768, he was able to convince John to accept the position. The Witherspoon family arrived in Princeton in August 1768, including John, Elizabeth and their five living children: James, John, David, Anna, and Frances.

Elizabeth died in 1789, and her widower married the young (twenty-three years old) widow of Dr. Dill of Philadelphia eighteen months later. This couple apparently had one daughter, but nothing more is known of the second wife or her daughter.

Facts and quotes are from Wives of the Signers: The women behind the Declaration of Independence, pp. 139-141.

No comments:

Post a Comment