The Signers Carter Braxton

Carter Braxton


Carter Braxton, grandson of the wealthiest man in Virginia, was a well-connected planter and public servant. He served in the House of Burgesses from 1761 to 1775 and was known to be moderate in his politics. When the last royal governor of Virginia, Lord Dunmore, removed the gunpowder from Williamsburg's Magazine under cover of darkness, Braxton helped avert violence by promising the angry militiamen under Patrick Henry that the powder would be paid for out of royal accounts.

Virginia sent Braxton to the Continental Congress in February 1776, where he became a magnet for controversy. He was slow to take up the cause of independence. There were rumors of loyalists in his family. He wrote a pamphlet that advocated a more conservative view of government than was favored by other patriots. Eventually, the Virginia Convention voted to recall Braxton from Congress, but he served there just long enough to vote for independence and sign the Declaration.

Back in Virginia, Braxton took a seat in the new House of Delegates. During the Revolution his personal fortune was hit hard, including the loss of a ship, leaving him in a state of virtual insolvency.

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