Fun Facts About The Signers of the Declaration of Independence

Posted by: Shel Harrington 4 July, 2014 8 Comments

Fun Facts About the Signers of the Declaration of IndependanceWho are those people responsible for this holiday where we get to take off work, eat hot dogs, watch awesome firework displays, and celebrate being a citizen of one of the most amazing, independent countries in the world? Here are five fun facts about that group of men to give you something to chat about as you flip burgers on the grill!

Fun Facts About the Signers of the Declaration of Independence

Of the 56 men who signed, only two never married and two become presidents. Can you name the presidents? (*Answer at bottom)

Fun Facts About the Signers of the Declaration of Independence

The signers sired a total of 325 children. It was believed that about 8 of the men didn’t have children. However, Carter Braxton, William Ellery, and Robert Sherman picked up the slack by having (respectively) 18, 17 and 15 children.

Fun Facts About the Signers of the Declaration of Independence

This was not a group of politicians – there was only one in the bunch. The others included 23 lawyers, 12 merchants, 12 farmers/agricultural work, 4 physicians, 2 manufacturers, a printer and a minister.

Fun Facts About the Signers of the Declaration of Independence

While most of the paintings we see depict a bunch of gray-hairs, the group wasn’t as old as you may think. Only 7 were over 60. Eighteen were in their 30s and 3 were in their 20s. Ben Franklin, 70, was the oldest of the group and 26-year-old Edward Rutledge the youngest.

Fun Facts About the Signers of the Declaration of Independence

Many of the signers put their money – and their health – where their mouth was. Some pledged their fortunes for the cause of independence, some lost their health, family members, property and wealth. And some lost their lives. OK – so that’s not a ‘fun’ fact –                                                         but it is a fact worth remembering.


Fun Facts About the Declaration of Independence Signers* Thomas Jefferson and John Adams.

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  • Okay, twice I’ve tried to post, so we’ll hope 3rd time is the charm. We were in Kansas with family on the 4th, and it would have been wonderful except for one neighbor two doors down. He had a For Sale sign in his yard, and all afternoon he and drinking buddies set off firecrackers. From 11-midnight they set off cherry bombs (which I’ve since learned are illegal, so we don’t know where he got them). Not only were they deafening, but one landed on a picnic blanket in his back yard and started a fire!
    The next day we learned he’s British, retired, but still irritated the July 4th American tradition, and decided he wanted to make his own statement. Ah, Independence Day! The neighbors are ready to pool their resources and buy his house so he’ll move.

    • Shel Harrington

      The third time was the charm, Marylin – I appreciate your persistence! I don’t know what happened, but after seeing your note about trying twice I used a fake name to leave myself a message to see if it was working. Of course, to my embarrassment, my picture popped up next to it! I couldn’t delete it fast enough!

      I never gave a thought to how someone from England would view the holiday. Surely he was aware of the tradition prior to MOVING here?? Kind of makes one wonder why DID he move here. I hope that his house sells before the next 4th of July so that you and your neighbors can enjoy a safe holiday!

  • Very interesting facts, Shel. “This was not a group of politicians”…if it had been, we probably would have been working yesterday.
    I hope you had a great 4th!

    • Shel Harrington

      So true, Jill! Have had a delightful weekend so far and am delighted that we have another day of it left to rest up from all the delight! Hope yours was enjoyable, too!

  • What fun! I knew who the two presidents were, but I have no clue which two never married. Are you going to fill us in?

  • I love hearing how young many of them were–a few even in their 20s.

    • Shel Harrington

      I was surprised by that. I loved that there was such range – twenty-somethings on up to a 70-year-old working together for the common cause.

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