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|Founding Documents||Declaration of Independence|
William Hooper (June 28, 1742 – October 14, 1790) is an American Founding Father. Hooper was a Harvard graduate, established his own a law firm and was appointed Deputy Attorney General for the Colony. He was elected to General Assembly of North Carolina and he was a delegate from North Carolina to sign the Declaration of Independence in the Continental Congress. Also, Hooper would be a state Senator and Federal District Judge. He was known to be an aggressive opponent of British rule and taxation.
William Hooper was born in Boston, Massachusetts to a Scotch Congregationalist minister. His father had intended for William to follow him and become a minister. The young William chose law instead. He would graduate from Harvard and gained employment in the James Otis law offices. Hooper received his Bar after he moved to Wilmington, North Carolina with his new bride Anne Clark. She would bear him three children. In 1770, his popularity earned him the position of Attorney General for North Carolina. In 1773, elected to the colonial legislature and in 1774, the Continental Congress.
By the time Hooper reached the Continental Congress his mind was made up. He held out hope that the breakup would not lead to war, still he wanted out of British rule. Hooper's father was loyal to the King of England and unhappy with his son's beliefs. In 1776, his law business was suffering and he had to spend much of his time out of Philadelphia, only returning to cast a vote for independence. In December of 1776 he was elected to his third term in Congress but by February 1777 he would resign in order to devote more time to his business.
Hooper was a marked man and the British were hunting him down. He alluded them by moving to Hillsboro, North Carolina. Wilmington fell to the British and they torched his estate and destroyed his property. He would stay in Hillsboro and serve as a state legislator.
By 1787, Hoopers health had deteriorated. At the age forty-seven he was appointed to the Federal Bench, and he retired a year later. He died in Hillsboro at the age of forty-eight.
- William Hooper, Virtuology.com
- William Hooper, USHistory.org