George Ross
Burial Location Visited DoI Signer Grave #
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania June 18, 2007 5th Visited


The Christ Church Burial Ground holds the                                  George Ross' nephew was the first spouse
remains of five signatories of the Declaration                               of Elizabeth Griscom, known to many as
of Independence. Markers honoring Joseph                                 Betsy Ross, the legendary upholsterer. His
Hewes and George Ross sit there side-by-                                   wife's sister, Gertrude, married George
side.                                                                                        Read, another signer of the Declaration.

                                       *** Interesting Facts ***

* Delegate George Ross, who represented Pennsylvania in the Continental Congress, was born in 1730 in Delaware. In his childhood he showed "promising talents" that his father, a pastor, tried to improve and refine while educating him. Ross began studying law in his late teens under the tutelage of his elder brother, who was a lawyer of note in Philadelphia. George was able to pass the bar himself later on, though he chose to not stay in the big city. He was aware that attorneys were abundant there and that he would fare better in another place.

* Ross chose to establish himself in Lancaster, located about seventy miles west of Philadelphia. It was there that he met Ann Lawler, who belonged to a respectable family. The two wed in August of 1751 and had three children together. George, strongly devoted to his career, saw his practice become quite successful over the next few years. He made more progress in 1756, when he was chosen to be the Crown prosecutor in Pennsylvania. Ross held that position for a length of twelve years, surrendering his post when he entered politics.

* It was in 1768 that George Ross was first voted into public office. Elected to the Pennsylvania Legislature, he took his seat that October. For his efforts in the assembly during his tenure, he earned the respect of both his fellow legislators and his constituents. During his time in the assembly, Ross became more and more aware of the growing tension between Britain and its North American colonies and found himself favoring the colonists. He believed that the king was wronging them and that the colonies would have to cooperate "to secure their liberties".

* In time, other colonists felt as strongly as Ross did about banding together and chose to have a gathering of delegates from each of the colonies. Seven men were designated to represent Pennsylvania, including Ross himself. At the same time, he was tasked with drawing up a set of guidelines that he and his colleagues were to abide by as members of what would be called the First Continental Congress. After devising a set of standards, Ross took his seat in the assembly on September 5, 1774.

* For a period of three years, Ross represented the colony of Pennsylvania to the best of his ability. As a member of the First Continental Congress, he approved of and signed the Continental Association, which instated a trade boycott with Great Britain. Later, while serving in the Second Continental Congress, he affixed his name to the Declaration of Independence, the act for which he is best known. Then, in 1777, Ross left his position as a Pennsylvanian delegate due to a decline in his health. He did not retire from the public eye, however, serving his colony in many ways until his death in 1779, brought on by "a violent attack of the gout". Just months before his passing, Ross had been appointed to the Pennsylvania Court of Admiralty.

Spouse: Ann Lawler Ross (1731-1773)

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