Bullet-Point Bio: Thomas McKean

-Thomas McKean was a signer of the Declaration of Independence from Delaware

-McKean was born in March 1734 in New London Township Pennsylvania.

-McKean studied at the New London Academy, and at the age of 16 he started to study law under his cousin David Finney.  In 1755 he was admitted to the Bar of the Lower Counties.

-Between 1756 and 1771 he served as many different places in Delaware including deputy Attorney General for Sussex County, member of the General Assembly of the Lower Counties until he became the Speaker, and judge of the Court of Common Pleas.

-In 1765 during the Stamp Act Congress, McKean and Caesar Rodney went to represent Delaware.  While there, McKean proposed a voting procedure which Congress later adopted as their procedure.

-McKean’s primary residency was in Philadelphia but still served as a leader for American Independence in Delaware. He served in both the First and Second Continental Congresses representing Delaware.

-McKean was a strong advocate for independence and a very influential player in persuading people to break off from Great Britain.

-McKean cast his vote and then left Congress to serve as a colonel in the Fourth Battalion of the Pennsylvania Associators.  Since he was gone while the Declaration was being signed, he signed it at a later date.  Because of that, his name was not on the first authenticated copy.

-In 1776 McKean drafted the first Delaware Constitution which was then adopted in September 1776.

-McKean helped to draft the Articles of Confederation and then voted for them on March 1, 1781.

-In July 1781 McKean was elected as President of Congress, after the previous president had to resign because of poor health.

-In 1777 McKean became the Chief Justice of Pennsylvania and continued in that position until 1799.  After he ended that position, he was elected as the Governor of Pennsylvania and served from 1799 till 1808.

-McKean was a big advocate of free education and spent much time and energy expanding free education throughout his life.

-Thomas McKean died in 1817 and was buried in the First Presbyterian Church Cemetery. Though later his body was moved to the Laurel Hill Cemetery. He is known for his many high standing political positions throughout his life and was the center of many points of controversy in light of his fiery and quick-tempered personality. Though he had many strong views on independence and the like, he was a very influential player in the founding of our country.


Taken from Wikipedia and The Signers of the Declaration of Independence

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s