Witherspoon, John, 1723-1794

Alternative names
Birth 1723-02-05
Death 1794-11-15

Biographical notes:

John Witherspoon became one of the most outspoken supporters of the revolutionary cause, even before the colonies and the British fired the first shots of war in 1775. His radical outlook influenced students at the College of New Jersey (now Princeton) where he was president, including James Madison and Aaron Burr. In 1776, Witherspoon was sent by the State of New Jersey as a delegate to the Continental Congress. Later that year, he signed the Declaration of Independence as one of the delegates representing New Jersey. His political activities were not confined to the national level; he was elected as member of the New Jersey State Legislature for a term of one year in 1783.

From the description of John Witherspoon papers, 1766-[ca. 1841]. (New Jersey Historical Society Library). WorldCat record id: 53873041

Signer of the Declaration of Independence from New Jersey, Continental Congressman, President of Princeton, Presbyterian minister.

From the description of ALS, 1777 February 3 : Pequia, to Captain Joseph Blewer, Philadelphia. (Copley Press, J S Copley Library). WorldCat record id: 14186721

At this time, John Witherspoon was a delegate from New Jersey to the Continental Congress. William Woodford was a respected general from the French and Indian War.

From the description of Letter to William Woodford, 1779 November 8. (University of Pennsylvania Library). WorldCat record id: 155866523

Presbyterian clergyman and educator.

From the description of Papers, 1766-1784. (New Jersey Historical Society Library). WorldCat record id: 70955106


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  • Fund raising
  • Teachers
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  • Presbyterian Church--Clergy
  • Postsecondary education
  • American diaries--18th century
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  • Clergy
  • College presidents


  • North Carolina (as recorded)
  • Princeton (N.J.) (as recorded)
  • Great Britain (as recorded)
  • New Jersey--Princeton (as recorded)
  • Princeton (N.J.) (as recorded)
  • New Jersey (as recorded)
  • Scotland (as recorded)
  • New Jersey (as recorded)
  • New Jersey--Princeton (as recorded)
  • New Jersey--Princeton (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)
  • Princeton (N.J.) (as recorded)