Thursday, January 27, 2011

Founding Father George Read

George Read (1733-1798) is one of our greatest men. He was one of only six men to sign both the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. He was elected a U.S. Senator from 1789-1793. Read was the President of the Delaware State Constitutional Convention, where he wrote the rough draft of the State Constitution in 1776. A High-Federalist, Read wanted a strong central government, with a Constitution that strictly protected States' Rights. Once the Constitution granted his requests, his state was the first to ratify. Read was an Orthodox Christian, who died three days after his 65th birthday, and was buried at Immanuel Episcopal Churchyard.
Among Mr. Read's papers I find a document in his handwriting, indorsed "Original Draft of the System of Government of the Delaware State, with Amendments," which makes it certain that he framed this first Constitution of Delaware. These amendments are four in number, one of them being the paragraph of Article 22, requiring all officers, before entering on the execution of their offices, to make and subscribe a declaration of their faith in the doctrines of the trinity in unity, and the divine inspiration of the Holy Scriptures.  
-Life and Correspondence of George Read : A Signer of the Declaration of Independence; with notices of some of his contemporaries / by his grandson, William Thompson Read. P. 186-187. Philadelphia: J.B. Lippincott & Co., 1870.

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