Delegates of Southern States

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The following delegates of Virginia signed the Declaration of Independence: Thomas Jefferson ("freethinker" who called himself a Christian), Benjamin Harrison, Thomas Nelson, Jr., Carter Braxton, and George Wythe (Episcopalian); and Christians Francis Lightfoot Lee and Richard Henry Lee who also signed the Articles of Confederation. Other Virginia delegates who signed the Articles of Confederation included John Banister, Thomas Adams, and John Harvie. Episcopalians John Blair, Jr., James Madison, Jr., and George Washington signed the US Constitution. George Wythe and James McClurg left before signing, and George Mason (Episcopalian) and Edmund Randolph (Episcopalian) refused to sign the Constitution without a bill of rights. \nVirginia was an Anglican colony whose religious order was ruled by England. During the Revolution, Virginian's maintained the same form of worship, but chose their own bishops to govern the new American Episcopal Church.

George Mason
George Mason stated before the General Court of Virginia: "The laws of nature are the laws of God, whose authority can be superseded by no power on earth." George Mason was the author of the Virginia Constitution and the Virginia Bill of Rights. He refused to sign the United States Constitution because it did not abolish slavery and did not keep the Federal Government's power from infringing on the States. George Mason later insisted that Congress add a bill of rights. \nOn August 22, 1787, George Mason addressed the Continental Congress, saying, "Every master of slaves is born a petty tyrant. They bring the judgement of heaven upon a country. As nations cannot be rewarded or punished in the next world, they must be in this. By an inevitable chain of causes and effects, Providence punishes national sins, by national calamities."

Edmund Randolph
After Benjamin Franklin's appeal for prayer during the Constitutional Convention, Edmund Randolph moved "That a sermon be preached at the request of the convention on the 4th of July, the anniversary of Independence; & thenceforward prayers be used in ye Convention every morning." Congress has opened with prayers ever since. On the 4th of July all the members of the Constitutional Convention assembled in the Reformed Calvinistic Church to hear a sermon by Rev. William Rogers.

Richard Henry Lee
According to B.J. Lossing's "Signers of the Declaration of Independence,"(1848) "Mr. Lee was a sincere practical Christian, a kind and affectionate husband and parent, a generous neighbor, a constant friend, and in all the relations of life, he maintained a character above reproach. 'His hospitable door,' says Sanderson, 'was open to all; the poor and destitute frequented it for relief, and consolation...'"

Francis Lightfoot Lee
B.J. Lossing described Francis Lightfoot Lee in "Signers of the Declaration of Independence"(1848): "Possessed of ample wealth, he used it like a philosopher and a Christian in dispensing its blessings for the benefit of his country and his fellow men."

John Blair, Jr.
John Blair, Jr. wrote a letter to his sister upon her husband's death, in which he quotes Hebrews 9:27 and I Corinthians 2:9: " being appointed for all men once to die...Let us seek for comfort where alone it may be as our Holy Religion teaches we may contemplate him translated to a better Life and ineffably enjoying all that variety of Bliss which Eye hath not seen nor Ear heard nor the Heart conceived. May the Celestial vision forever preserve you from the Gloominess of Grief and reconcile you to all the Dispensations of Him who cannot err. My situation both with Respect to my Family and Fortune (all being in the Power of the Enemy and much in their possession) is bad enough. But I trust for a happy issue and for power to bear all His appointments as I ought."

The following delegates of Maryland signed the Declaration of Independence: Samuel Chase (Episcopalian), Thomas Stone, William Paca (Christian), and Charles Carroll of Carrollton (Roman Catholic). John Hanson and Daniel Carroll (Roman Catholic, who also signed the US Constitution) signed the Articles of Confederation. James McHenry (Presbyterian) and Daniel of St Thomas Jenifer (Episcopalian) signed the US Constitution, but Episcopalians Luther Martin and John Francis Mercer left early. Named for Catholic Queen Mary, Maryland had a high Catholic population, which was represented by two delegates.

Samuel Chase
Samuel Chase was appointed by George Washington as a U.S. Supreme Court Justice, 1796-1811. Justice Chase gave the court's opinion in Runkel v. Winemiller (1799): "Religion is of general and public concern, and on its support depend, in great measure, the peace and good order of government, the safety and happiness of the people. By our form of government, the Christian religion is the established religion; and all sects and denominations of Christians are placed upon the same equal footing, and are equally entitled to protection in their religious liberty."

William Paca
B.J. Lossing describe William Paca in "Signers of the Declaration of Independence"(1848): He was a pure and active patriot, a consistent Christian, and a valuable citizen, in every sense of the word. His death was mourned as a public calamity; and his life, pure and spotless, active and useful, exhibited a bright exemplar for the imitation of the young men of America."

Charles Carroll
Charles Carroll, a Roman Catholic, wrote to Charles W. Wharton on September 27, 1825: "On the mercy of my Redeemer I rely for salvation and on His merits not on the works I have done in obedience to His precepts." He wrote to Rev. John Stanford on October 9, 1827, stating: "To obtain religious as well as civil liberty I entered jealously into the Revolution, and observing the Christian religion divided into many sects, I founded the hope that no one would be so predominant as to become the religion of the State. That hope was thus early entertained, because all of them joined in the same cause, with few exceptions of individuals." Roman Catholics believe that church traditions and Papal decrees are equal to the Bible in authority.

Luther Martin
Luther Martin proposed the "electoral college" system for selecting the President that we still use today. Individuals vote for Presidential candidates in November, and then each state's members of the electoral college vote in December; therefore it is possible for a Presidential candidate to win the popular vote but lose the election for lack of electoral college votes. He strongly opposed a central government which would usurp State authority. Luther Martin described himself as being devoted to "The sacred truths of the Christian religion."

James McHenry
Doctor James McHenry served with distinction under General Washington. As president of the first Bible society in Baltimore, Maryland, he sought funds for distributing Bibles to the public: "In vain, without the Bible, we increase penal laws and draw intrenchments around our institutions. Bibles are strong intrenchments. Where they abound, men cannot pursue wicked courses, and at the same time enjoy quiet conscience. ...It is a book of councils and directions, fitted to every situation in which man can be placed. It is an oracle which reveals to mortals the secrets of heavens and the hidden will of the Almighty. ...It is an estate, whose title is guaranteed by Christ, whose delicious fruits ripen every season, survive the worm, and keep through eternity. It is for the purpose of distributing this divine book more effectually and extensively among the multitudes, whose circumstances render such a donation necessary, that your cooperation is most earnestly requested."

The following delegates of North Carolina signed the Declaration of Independence: William Hooper (Episcopalian) and Joseph Hewes (Episcopalian); and John Penn who also signed the Articles of Confederation. Cornelius Harnett, Jr. (Episcopalian/Deist) and John Williams also signed the Articles of Confederation. William Blount (Presbyterian), Richard Dobbs Spaight, Jr. (Episcopalian), and Hugh Williamson (Presbyterian) signed the US Constitution, but Alexander Martin (Presbyterian/Episcopalian) and William Richardson Davie (Presbyterian) left the convention early. Presbyterians had no tie to the Anglican Church, whereas the Episcopalian Church was derived from the Anglican Church. Presbyterians were Protestants who primarily followed John Calvin's reformed theology.

Hugh Williamson
Hugh Williamson studied for the ministry, visiting and praying for the sick in his neighborhood. "In 1759 he went to Connecticut, where he pursued his theological studies and was licensed to preach. After returning from Connecticut, he was admitted to membership in the Presbytery of Philadelphia...\[and there\] preached nearly two years." \nHugh Williamson's book, "Observations of the Climate in Different Parts of America," provided scientific explanations for Noah's flood and the miracles of the exodus.

The following delegates of South Carolina signed the Declaration of Independence: Arthur Middleton, Thomas Lynch, Jr., and Edward Rutledge (Anglican); and Thomas Heyward, Jr. who also signed the Articles of Confederation. Other delegates who signed the Articles of Confederation were Henry Laurens (Huguenot), William Henry Drayton, John Mathews, and Richard Hutson (Presbyterian). Episcopalians John Ruteledge, Charles Cotesworth Pinckney, Charles Pinckney III, and Pierce Butler signed the US Constitution. \nHuguenots were French Protestants who referred to themselves as reformers who followed the teachings of John Calvin. They suffered tremendous persecution in France for their beliefs.

Charles Cotesworth Pinckney
Charles Cotesworth Pinckney learned "to love Christ and the Church." As the first president of the Charleston Bible Society, he distributed Bibles to Negroes, and laid aside finances to evangelize the slaves and teach them to read the Bible.

Henry Laurens
Henry Laurens stated, "I had the honor of being one who framed that Constitution. In order effectually to accomplish these great ends set forth in the Constitution, it is especially the duty of those who bear rule to promote and encourage respect for God and virtue and to discourage every degree of vice and immorality."

The following delegates of Georgia signed the Declaration of Independence: Button Gwinnett (Episcopalian), Lyman Hall (Congregationalist), and George Walton (Anglican). John Walton, Edward Telfair, and Edward Langworthy (Episcopalian) signed the Articles of Confederation. William Few (Methodist) and Abraham Baldwin (Congregationalist) signed the US Constitution, but Episcopalians William Leigh Pierce and William Houstoun left the convention before signing. Georgia had a large Baptist population at the time. Baptists believe in salvation by faith in Jesus Christ sealed by immersion, and unable to be changed, leading to the phrase "once saved, always saved".

Lyman Hall
Lyman Hall's epitaph reads as follows: "Beneath this stone rest the remains of the Hon. Lyman Hall, Formerly Governor of this State, who departed this life the 19th of Oct., 1790, in the 67th year of his age." \n"In the cause of America he was uniformly a patriot. In the incumbent duties of a husband and a father he acquitted himself with affection and tenderness. But, reader, above all, know from this inscription that he left the probationary scene as a true Christian and an honest man."


Term Definition
Baptist Protestants who believe in salvation by faith in Jesus Christ sealed by immersion, and unable to be changed; leading to the phrase "once saved, always saved"
calamity a state of deep distress or misery caused by major misfortune or loss
consolation alleviation the grief; comfort
electoral college selected members of each state who vote for President in December
entrenchments trenches especially for defense
Episcopalian American denomination which maintained Anglican liturgy while governed by American bishops
Huguenots French Protestants with Calvinist doctrines who referred to themselves as reformers
ineffably without being expressed in words
Presbyterian Protestants who primarily followed John Calvin's reformed theology
Roman Catholic someone who believes the present Catholic Church officiated from Rome is Christ's one true church, and its traditions and the teachings and decrees of the Pope are equal to the Bible in authority