– Our last delegate from New Hampshire. He was the third delegate to sign the Declaration of Independence and was 46 years old at the time of signing.
– Whipple was one of 16 signers who served as soldiers during the American War for Independence.
– Lived from January 14th, 1730 – November 28th, 1785.
– Born in Kittery, Maine and was the eldest of five children.
– After attending school, he went to sea while still a boy and rose to position of a ship’s captain while he was still in his 20’s. He obtained much fortune and retired from the sea by age 29.
– Went into business as a merchant with his brother in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.
– Married his cousin, Catherine Moffat, and they had one child who died in infancy.
– Represented Portsmouth to the Provincial Congress and was also appointed to the Committee of Safety.
– He was one of two brigadier generals of the New Hampshire militia during the American War for Independence.
– Narrowly escaped death when a British cannonball was shot into his headquarters.
– Whipple was repeatedly chosen to the New Hampshire state legislature from 1780-1784.
– Robert Morris, the superintendent of the finance, appointed Whipple receiver of finances for the state of New Hampshire (1782).
– Served as an associate justice of the Supreme Court of New Hampshire (1782-1785).
– Appointed justice of the peace and quorum throughout the state under the new constitution.
– Ailing health forced him to resign and he died from heart problems at 55 years old.
Here are a couple of different things that have been said about William Whipple’s life:
“His letters showed that he was a forthright, practical-minded man with strong views and an optimistic disposition. Even when the outlook seemed darkest, he never doubted that the colonies would be victorious.” – George E. Ross, Know Your Declaration of Independence and the 56 Signers, 1963
“His life and character present one of those bright examples of self-reliance which cannot be too often present upon the attention of the young; and, although surrounding circumstances had much to do in the development of his talents, yet, after all, the great secret of his success was doubtless a hopeful reliance upon a conscious ability to perform any duty required of him.” – B.J. Lossing, Biographical Sketches of the Signers of the Declaration of Independence; 1856
-Photo credit: Wikipedia public domain
– For You They Signed, 2009, Marilyn Boyer