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How Many Lawyers Signed the Declaration of Independence?

July 2, 2015

As we celebrate the Fourth of July two days from now, marking the adoption by the Continental Congress of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776, how much do we really know about this document?

There are many surprising facts about one of our most important founding documents that most of us simply don't know.  On the 239th birthday of the United States, let's take a look at some of them, particularly as they relate to lawyers and our state of Connecticut:

  • Of the 56 signers of the Declaration of Independence, 25 were lawyers -- merchant and plantation owner were other popular occupations of our founding fathers
  • Connecticut had four signers, three that were lawyers:
    • Roger Sherman (1721-1793), 55 years old in 1776, lawyer
    • Samuel Huntington (1731-1796), 45 years old in 1776, lawyer
    • William Williams (1731-1811), 45 years old in 1776, merchant
    • Oliver Wolcott (1726-1797), 49 years old in 1776, lawyer
  • Connecticut had as many signers of the Declaration as Maryland, New York and South Carolina
  • Connecticut had more signers than five other states -- Delaware, Georgia, New Hampshire, North Carolina and Rhode Island
  • Connecticut had less signers than four other states -- Massachusetts, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Virginia

If you want to know even more little-known facts about the Declaration of Independence, please read "9 Things You May Not Know About the Declaration of Independence."  If you'd like to see the complete list of signers, please click here.

Now go forth and enjoy the Fourth!

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