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The Religious Affiliation of
a Signer of the U.S. Constitution
and a U.S. Representative in the First U.S. Federal Congress (1789-1791)
Hugh Williamson 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 North Carolina.
Hugh Williamson was also a U.S. Representative in the First U.S. Federal Congress (1789-1791).
Hugh Williamson was a Presbyterian.
He was identified as a Presbyterian by North Carolina State Library and the Library of Congress. A Worthy Company: Brief Lives of the Framers of the United States Constitution by M. E. Bradford was cited as the source stating he was a Deist. (Source: Ian Dorion, "Table of the Religious Affiliations of American Founders", 1997).
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 218-220:
Few men have enjoyed so varied a career as Hugh Williamson--preacher, physician, essayist, scientist, businessman, and politician. He traveled and studied in Europe, witnessed the Boston Tea Party, participated in the Revolution, served as a U.S. Congressman, and numbered among the leading scientific authors of his day. In addition to all these achievements, he was one of the leading lights at the Constitutional Convention.
The versatile Williamson was born of Scotch-Irish descent at West Nottingham, Pa., in 1735. He was the eldest son in a large family, whose head was a clothier. Hoping he would become a Presbyterian minister, his parents oriented his education toward that calling. After attending preparatory schools at New London Cross Roads, Del., and Newark, Del., he entered the first class of the College of Philadelphia (later the University of Philadelphia) and took his degree in 1757.
The next 2 years, at Shippensburg, Pa., Williamson spent settling his father's estate. Then training in Connecticut for the ministry, he soon became a licensed Presbyterian teacher but was never ordained. Around this time, he also took a position as professor of mathematics at his alma mater.
...His pursuit of scientific interests continued, and in 1768 he became a member of the American Philosophical Society... He was also a founder of the Literary and Philosophical Society of New York and a prominent member of the New York Historical Society. In 1819, at the age of 83, Williamson died in New York City and was buried at Trinity Church.
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.
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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