Did Your Signer Sign the Articles of Confederation?

After the 13 colonies won their Independence from Great Britain, they needed a way to govern the new nation. Each state was used to acting independently, but how were they to come together as a unified country? The Articles of Confederation were the founders’ first attempt at governing, but like many first attempts, it ultimately failed. The colonies were reluctant to give a national government power after fighting a war against a powerful government. 

Under the Articles of Confederation, Congress could not raise funds, regulate trade, or conduct foreign policy without the voluntary agreement of the states. The Articles of Confederation were eventually dissolved, and the founders came together to craft a Constitution. Thankfully, they learned from their mistakes and gave us the government that we still have today. Written in 1787, ratified in 1788, and in operation since 1789, the United States Constitution is the one of the world’s longest surviving written charter of government.

This year’s fall meeting in Lancaster, Penn., includes a tour of the colonial site in York were the Articles of Confederation were signed. All of the states were represented in Congress when the signing of the Articles of Confederation took place, although the states’ delegates were never present at the same time. Sixteen signers of the Declaration of Independence also signed the Articles of Confederation. Did yours?

These men signed both the Declaration of Independence and the Articles of Confederation:

Samuel Huntington

Roger Sherman

Oliver Wolcott

Thomas McKean

John Hancock

Samuel Adams

Elbridge Gerry

Josiah Bartlett

John Witherspoon

Francis Lewis

John Penn

Robert Morris

Thomas Heyward, Jr.

William Ellery

Richard Henry Lee

Francis Lightfoot Lee

We are looking forward to visiting this historic site at our fall meeting, and if you want to join us, you will find more information and registration at this link: https://www.dsdi1776.com/event-registration/  Act soon because time is running out! Hotel registration closes on September 22 and registration for the meeting and other activities closes on September 28.

By the time the Articles became official, many of the individuals who were involved in its original creation were no longer delegates, and some of the delegates who signed were not involved in the initial debates. 

– Stacey Bohning

For more information about the Articles of the Confederation, see this article from the DAR that includes a timeline and discusses the Iroquois Confederacy’s Great Law of Peace that was an inspiration:


Visit this link to see the document that is housed at the National Archives: