Born: September 18, 1733 at Cecil County, Province of Maryland
Died: September 21, 1798 (aged 65) at New Castle, Delaware
Spouse: Gertrude Ross Till (m. 1763 – 1798)
Children: George Read II, William Read, John Read, Isabelle Mariah Read
Chief Justice of Delaware (1793 – 1798)
United States Senator from Delaware (1789 – 1793)
President of Delaware (1777 – 1778)
Continental Congressman from Delaware (1774 – 1777)
Political Party: Federalist
Facts about George Read
His home, Stonum, is now a historic landmark. On The Strand in New Castle is the house built by his son, George Read, II. It is owned by the Delaware Historical Society, restored and opened to the public. There is a school named for him in New Castle and a dorm at the University of Delaware.
He led the ratification movement in Delaware which, partly as a result of his efforts, became the first state to ratify. He voted against independence on July 2, 1776, the only signer of the Declaration to do so.
George Read is the only person who signed the Constitution twice: Read’s friend and fellow delegate John Dickinson took ill and could not be present for the signing, and Read was the authorized person who signed for him.
Read was one of only two statesmen who signed all three of the great State papers on which the countrys history is based: the original Petition to the King of the Congress of 1774, the Declaration of Independence, and the Constitution of the United States.
George Read Childhood
George Read was born in Cecil County, Maryland to an Irish-born father. George and his five brothers were given a classical education. They attended private schools in Chester and afterward at the Reverend Francis Alison’s Academy.
At fifteen he graduated and proceeded to study law at the office of John Moland in Philadelphia. In 1753, George was admitted to the Philadelphia Bar at age nineteen. He would move back to New Castle and started a law practice. Read would marry widow Gertrude Ross Till, the sister of George Ross. She bore him five children.
Where is George Read buried?
He was buried at New Castle in the Immanuel Episcopal Church Cemetery.
How did George Read die?
Read died by natural cause at his mansion in New Castle on September 21, 1798.
George READ Biography
READ, George, a Delegate and a Senator from Delaware; born near North East, Cecil County, Md., September 18, 1733; completed preparatory studies; studied law; admitted to the bar and began practice in New Castle, Del., in 1752; attorney general for lower Delaware 1763-1774; member, provincial assembly 1765-1777; Member of the Continental Congress 1774-1777; a signer of the Declaration of Independence; president of the State constitutional convention in 1776; vice president of the State under this constitution; member, State house of representatives 1779-1780;
Judge of the United States Court of Appeals in admiralty cases 1782; representative at the Annapolis convention 1786; delegate to the Federal Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia in 1787 and one of the signers of the Constitution; elected to the United States Senate in 1789, reelected in 1790, and served from March 4, 1789, to September 18, 1793, when he resigned, having been appointed chief justice of Delaware; served as chief justice until his death in New Castle, Del., September 21, 1798; interment in Immanuel Churchyard.