|Religion||Christian- Episcopalian |
|Founding Documents||Declaration of Independence|
John Morton (b. 1724; d. April 1, 1777) is a founding father of America, had an extensive legal career as a Justice, presided in the Stamp Act Congress, Chairman of the committee which reported the Articles of Confederation,  and signed the Declaration of Independence. Noted for his intelligence and hard work.
John was born in Ridley, Chester County Pennsylvania, now called Delaware County. He was the great-grandson of Swedish immigrants. At a young age, John's father died and he was raised by his English stepfather John Sketchley. John Morton was raised a farm boy and started out in surveying. In 1748 he married Ann Justis and they had eight children.
Morton was elected in 1756 to the Provincial Assembly, serving for a decade, sometimes as Speaker. He filled numerous civil offices in Pennsylvania such as justice of the peace and sheriff. In 1774, Moton was elected to the Continental Congress, Morton supported independence and signed the Declaration of Independence. Moton helped draft the Articles of Confederation, but died before their final ratification.
Before signing, his sympathies were with the British. When he changed his mind for independence his friends, relatives, neighbors turned against him and it affected his health. Just eight short months after signing the Declaration he was dead. His last spoken words on his deathbed were, "Tell them they will live to see the hour when they shall acknowledge my signing of the Declaration of Independence to have been the most glorious service that I ever rendered my country."
John Morton was the first of the Signers to die.