Richard Stockton was born in 1730 at Morven
near Princeton. He attended Princeton University and
became a lawyer. Richard married Annis Boudinot and
had six children. He was a member of the executive
council of New Jersey from 1768 to 1776, associate
justice of the State Supreme Court from 1774 to 1776,
and a member of the Continental Congress in 1776. He
was taken prisoner by the British during the American
Revolution and they destroyed all of his possessions.
After George Washington protested to the British,
Richard was released in a prisoner exchange. Richard
made an unsuccessful bid for Governor of New Jersey
in 1776 and was elected chief justice of the State
Supreme Court, but declined the office. He died at
Morven in 1781.
Abraham Clark was born in 1726 near Elizabeth.
He attended private schools and became a lawyer. He
married Sarah Hatfield and they had ten children.
Several of his sons fought in the American Revolution.
Abraham was sheriff of Essex County, member of the
New Jersey provincial congress in 1775, member of
three Continental Congresses, served on the state
general assembly in 1776 and 1783 to 1785, and served
on the legislative council in 1778. Clark Township is
named in Abraham’s honor. He died in 1794 in Rahway.
John Hart was born in 1713 in Stonington, CT. He
moved with his parents to Hopewell Township, NJ. He
attended private school and became a farmer. John
married Deborah Scudder and they had thirteen
children. He was a member of the Provincial Assembly
of New Jersey from 1761 to 1771 and 1775 to 1776, a
judge of Hunterdon County courts from 1768 to 1775, a
member of the committee of safety in 1775 and 1776;
elected to the first State General Assembly under the
State constitution in 1776, 1777, and 1778, and chairman
of the New Jersey Council of Safety in 1777 and 1778.
John was referred to as “Honest John Hart”. Hessian
mercenaries destroyed his farm and he had to hide in the
forests. John died at home near Hopewell in 1779.
Francis Hopkinson was born in 1737 in Philadelphia,
PA. He attended the University of Pennsylvania. He
married Anne Borden, they had five children, and lived
in Bordentown. Francis was the first American born
composer of secular songs. He was a layer, a member
of the Provincial Council of Pennsylvania, customs
collector in Salem, NJ and New Castle, DE in 1772,
member of the Provincial Council of New Jersey from
1774 to 1776, elected in 1776 to serve on the Navy Board
at Philadelphia, treasurer of the Continental Loan Office
in 1778, judge of the Admiralty Court of Pennsylvania in
1779, 1780, and 1787, member of the Constitutional
Convention in 1787, and judge of the United States
District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania
from 1789 to1791. During the American Revolution,
Hessian soldiers ransacked his house. Francis helped
design the first national flag in 1777. He died in
Philadelphia of a stroke in 1791.
John Witherspoon was born in Gifford, Scotland,
in 1723. He attended Edinburgh University and
became an ordained minister. John, with his wife
and five of his children, came to Philadelphia in
1768. They settled in Princeton. He became
president of Princeton University in 1768. John
was a member of the committee on correspondence from Somerset County in 1775, member of the Provincial Congress
of New Jersey in 1776, member of the secret
committee of the Congress on the conduct of the
war in 1778, member of the Board of War in 1778,
member of the State Council in 1780, served in the
State General Assembly in 1783 and 1789, and was
a member of the State ratification convention in
1787. He was the only clergyman to sign the
Declaration of Independence. The British burned
his library and his oldest son was killed at the
battle of Germantown. John died on his farm near
Princeton in 1794.