Matthew Thornton on congressional activity, Philadelphia, 1776

Contributed by Maine Historical Society


Matthew Thornton came to America with his family at the age of three. The Scotch-Irish immigrants settled near Wiscasset. In 1722, after narrowly escaping an Indian attack, the family moved to Worcester, Massachusetts where Thornton eventually became a doctor.

Thorton established his practice in New Hampshire and served as a surgeon in King George's War. In the mid-18th century, he served the colonial assembly and vigorously opposed the Stamp Act. He grew increasingly opposed to British policy and became a major player in New Hampshire's patriot movement.

Thornton served the colony at the Second Continental Congress, but did not take his seat until November 4, 1776. In full support of independence, he and five others signed the Declaration after August 2, 1776.

Written just days after his arrival in Philadelphia, Thornton’s letter to Meshech Weare stated he was busily involved with congress. He wrote of the British move from White Plains to New Jersey and the Continental Army’s efforts to prevent them from leaving the coast.

View/Add Comments


Item has a transcription view a full transcription

About This Item

  • Title: Matthew Thornton on congressional activity, Philadelphia, 1776
  • Creator: Thornton, Matthew
  • Creation Date: 1776-11-12
  • Subject Date: 1776-11-12
  • Town: Philadelphia
  • County: Philadelphia
  • State: PA
  • Media: Ink on paper
  • Dimensions: 33.02 cm x 20.32 cm
  • Local Code: Coll. 420, Box 59/26
  • Collection: John S. H. Fogg autograph collection
  • Object Type: Text

Cross Reference Searches

Standardized Subject Headings


Other Keywords

For more information about this item, contact:

Maine Historical Society
485 Congress Street, Portland, ME 04101
(207) 774-1822 x230

Use of this Item is not restricted by copyright and/or related rights, but the holding organization is contractually obligated to limit use. For more information, please contact the contributing organization. However, watermarked Maine Memory Network images may be used for educational purposes.

Please post your comment below to share with others. If you'd like to privately share a comment or correction with MMN staff, please use this form.