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The Religious Affiliation of
David Brearly
a Signer of the U.S. Constitution


David Brearly is regarded as one of the Founding Fathers of the United States of America. He was one of the signers of the Constitution of the United States of America. He was a delegate from New Jersey.

David Brearly was a devout Episcopalian.

From: Robert G. Ferris (editor), Signers of the Constitution: Historic Places Commemorating the Signing of the Constitution, published by the United States Department of the Interior, National Park Service: Washington, D.C. (revised edition 1976), pages 148-149:

Brearly avidly backed the Revolutionary cause. The British apprehended him for high treason, but a group of patriots freed him. IN 1776 he took part in the convention that drew up the State constitution [of New Jersey]...

Brearly's subsequent career was short, for he had only 3 years to live [after the Constitutional Convention]. He presided at the New Jersey convention that ratified the Constitution in 1788, and served as a Presidential elector in 1789. That same year, President Washington appointed him as a Federal District Judge and he served in that capacity until his death.

When free from his judicial duties, Brearly devoted much energy to lodge and church affairs. He was one of the leading members of the Masonic Order in New Jersey, as well as State vice president of the Society of the Cincinnati, an organization of ex-Revolutionary War officers. In addition, he served as a delegate to the Episcopal General Conference (1786), and helped write the church's prayer book. In 1783, following the death of his first wife, he had married Elizabeth Higbee.

Brearly died in Trenton at the age of 45 in 1790. He was buried there at St. Michael's Episcopal Church.

He was identified as an Episcopalian by the Library of Congress. (Source: Ian Dorion, "Table of the Religious Affiliations of American Founders", 1997).

Note that numerous sources and authoritative references have been consulted in order to ascertain the religious affiliation of the American Founding Fathers. Note that the excerpts and references mentioned on this page are not the only references used in order to identify this person's religious affiliation.

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Portrait: from Robert G. Ferris (editor), Signers of the Constitution: Historic Places Commemorating the Signing of the Constitution, published by the United States Department of the Interior, National Park Service: Washington, D.C. (revised edition 1976).

Webpage created 19 November 2005. Last modified 19 November 2005.

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