Hugh Williamson

Burial Location Visited Constitution Signer Grave #
New York, New York May 15, 2011 12th Visited


Trinity Church, which is located                                                                 While thousands flock each year
in Manhattan's financial district.                                                                 to the graves of Ben Franklin
                                                                                                             and George Washington, hardly
                                                                                                             anyone visits the burial site of
                                                                                                             fellow Constitution signer Hugh


Hugh Williamson is interred in the                                                             Because his name is not on his
Apthorp family vault, the Apthorps                                                            grave, most of those who stroll
being his wife's family. Their last                                                               past the marker at Trinity do
name is inscribed on the slab                                                                    not know about the important
above the vault, but Williamson                                                                 figure buried beneath them.
receives no mention.

                                       *** Interesting Facts ***

* Hugh Williamson was born on December 5, 1735 in Chester County, Pennsylvania to his parents, John and Mary. Their eldest son was the recipient of a good education, attending several private academies before enrolling at the College of Philadelphia. He graduated from that establishment in 1757. Williamson intended to become a Presbyterian minister afterward, but he eventually abandoned that dream and returned to the College of Philadelphia.

* Williamson earned his masters degree in 1760 and secured a position teaching mathematics at his alma mater, which is now the University of Pennsylvania. Four years later, he departed for Scotland. In Edinburgh, Williamson studied in the field of medicine. He also spent time in London and in the Netherlands, and it was in the latter place that he received his medical degree. The Pennsylvanian returned home in 1768.

* After his arrival in Philadelphia, Williamson became a member of the American Philosophical Society and opened his own medical practice. He remained an advocate for education, and was on his way to England in 1773 to do some fundraising for Newark Academy when the ship he was riding aboard stopped in Boston. While he was there, Williamson witnessed the Boston Tea Party. It was at this point that he became interested in politics and the battle between Britain and its colonies.

* During his stay in England, which lasted several years, Williamson became acquainted with Benjamin Franklin and other colonists overseas that were for freedom. In 1776, after he caught wind of the adoption of the Declaration of Independence, Williamson set sail for home. He was captured during his voyage, but the colonist managed to escape. The following year, he settled in Edenton, North Carolina, where he opened several businesses and established a medical practice. Subsequently, he served as a military physician during the American Revolution.

* In 1782, he was elected to the North Carolina House of Commons, as well as Continental Congress. Williamson was also an attendee of the Annapolis Convention and the Constitutional Convention, being one of thirty-nine people to sign the U.S. Constitution. Additionally, he was elected to two terms as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives. In 1789, Williamson wed Maria Apthorp, with whom he had two sons. Not long after giving birth to their second child, Maria passed away. Hugh Williamson subsequently retired from public service and lived with his wife's family in New York City. He was buried there after his death in 1819.

Spouse: Maria Apthorp Williamson (      -1790)

Political Party:
 Federalist Party

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