Virginia’s Famous Signers
” . . . we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.”
In the crucial decade before the American Revolution, Williamsburg was a training ground for a remarkable body of men. When it became clear that war with Great Britain could not be avoided, George Wythe, Richard Henry Lee, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Harrison, Thomas Nelson, Francis Lightfoot Lee, and Carter Braxton met in Philadelphia with representatives from other colonies to declare independence from the mother country. On July 4, 1776, the Continental Congress formally adopted the Declaration of Independence and took the first momentous step toward establishing a new nation.
George Washington did not sign the Declaration of Independence because in July 1776 he was in New York preparing to defend Manhattan against the British.