The Signers Three Who Did Not Sign

Three Who Did Not Sign

Robert R. Livingston (a member of the Committee of Five) urged postponement possibly because New York had not authorized her delegates to vote for independence. He left Philadelphia to participate in the formation New York state government. Subsequently, he was elected chancellor of New York and it was in that office in 1789 he administered the presidential oath of office to George Washington.

Believing the colonies were not yet ready to fight a successful war, John Dickinson of Pennsylvania opposed the Declaration of Independence. Nevertheless, as a colonel of the First Philadelphia Battalion he led troops north to fight the British in northern New Jersey.

Thomas Willing, also from Pennsylvania, voiced similar reasons. He was no loyalist, however, and refused to take the oath of allegiance to King George III when the British took Philadelphia months later.

Return to the Signers timeline