George Ross

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Founding Fathers
George Ross
State Pennsylvania
Religion Christian- Episcopalian [1]
Founding Documents Declaration of Independence

George Ross (May 10, 1730 – July 14, 1779) was an American Founding Father from Pennsylvania. A lawyer, he was elected to the Provincial Assembly as a delegate to the First Continental Congress where he signed the Continental Association and the Declaration of Independence. He served as a colonel in the Continental Army, Vice president of the Pennsylvania constitutional convention and Judge of the Admiralty Court of Pennsylvania.

Early life

George Ross was born in Newcastle, Delaware, the son of an Episcopal church clergyman.[2] Ross received a classical education at home and began to study law under the tutelage of his older brother. George was called to the Bar in Philadelphia at the age of 20 and established his own practice in Lancaster.


Ross served for some twelve years as Crown Prosecutor to Carlisle until elected to the provincial legislature of his state in 1768. In 1774 he was elected to the provincial conference and elected as a representative of Pennsylvania that same year. At that pont he was loyal to Britain. In 1775, Ross served on the Committee of Safety overseeing the defense of the colony and turned his loyalty to the colony's side. In 1776, he was elected to the Continental Congress after the vote was cast for independence but in time to sign the Declaration. In June 1777, Ross resigned his duties due to failing health. April 1779 he was appointed judge of the court of admiralty for the state of Pennsylvania. He would serve there until his death three months later.[3]

Death and Legacy

In 1779 George Ross died from a violent attack of gout. On his deathbed, Ross said that he was sure he was going to a place where "there were most excellent wines." He was buried at Christ Church, Philadelphia.

The United States Postal Service issued a stamp in 1952 for the 200 year commemoration for the birth of Betsy Ross.[4] The stamp bears the likeness of Ross, George Washington, Robert Morris, and Betsy. Betsy Griscom married into the Ross family with John Ross, who was George's nephew.