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.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Nathaniel Gorham

                    Nathaniel (sometimes spelled Nathanial) Gorham was a politician and a merchant.  He served under the Articles of Confederation as the fourteenth President of the United States in Congress; he attended the Constitutional Convention and signed the United States Constitution on September 17, 1787, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  He was a member of the Congregationalist religion.

                    Gorham was born May 27, 1738, in Boston or Charlestown, Massachusetts.  He was the son of Captain Nathaniel Gorham and his wife Mary Soley.  His ancestor John Howland (c. 1599-1673) was one of the Pilgrims who traveled from England to North America on the Mayflower; he signed the Mayflower Compact and was one of the founders of the Plymouth Colony.  Gorham's sister Elizabeth Gorham married John Leighton and was the ancestor of Edith Kermit Carow Roosevelt, the second wife of Theodore Roosevelt and First Lady from 1901-1909.

                    Nathaniel Gorham married Rebecca Call, daughter of Caleb Call and Rebecca Stimson, on September 6, 1763, in Charlestown, Massachusetts. Rebecca was a widow with nine children when she married Nathaniel.  She was born on May 14, 1744, in Charlestown, Massachusetts and died on November 18, 1812, in Charlestown, Massachusetts.  Nathaniel and Rebecca were the parents of nine children:  Nathaniel, Rebecca, Mary, Elizabeth, Ann, John, Benjamin, Stephen, and Lydia.  His descendants number in the thousands, and some of them also descend from President John Quincy Adams.

                    Gorham was active in the American Revolution and was a member of the Massachusetts General Court (Legislature) from 1771 until 1775.  He was a delegate to the Provincial congress from 1774 until l775 and a member of the Board of War from 1778 until 1781 when it was dissolved.  He served in the State constitutional convention in 1779.  He was a delegate to the Continental Congress from 1782 until 1783 and again from 1785 until 1787; he served as president of this body for five months, June 6 to November 5, 1786, after John Hancock resigned.  He served one term as judge of the Middlesex County, Massachusetts Court of Common Pleas.

                    Gorham was a Massachusetts delegate to the Constitutional Convention for several months in 1787.  While there he "frequently served as Chairman of the Convention's Committee of the Whole;" this means that he - rather than George Washington, the President of the Convention - "presided over convention sessions during the delegates' first deliberations on the structure of the new government in late May and June 1787."  He worked hard later to insure that Massachusetts ratified the Constitution.

                    Nathaniel Gorham died on June 11, 1796, at age 58, in Charlestown, Massachusetts.  He was buried in the Phipps Street Cemetery in Charlestown, MassachusettsGorham Street in Madison, Wisconsin, is named in his honor.

No comments:

Post a Comment