The U.S. Constitution was signed by 39 of the 55 delegates who attended the Constitutional Convention. Some delegates had already left the convention at the time of signing, and three delegates refused to sign. William Jackson, the convention secretary, who was not one of the delegates, was the 40th signer.Continue Reading
The first person to sign the U.S. Constitution was George Washington, who was also the president of the convention. The oldest signer was Benjamin Franklin at 81, and the youngest signer was Jonathan Dayton at 26. Roger Sherman of Connecticut was unique as the only signer of the U.S. Constitution who also signed the Declaration of Independence, the Articles of Confederation and the Articles of Association. Other notable signers included James Madison, who became known as the father of the Constitution for his zeal while drafting it, and Alexander Hamilton, who along with Madison originally called on Congress to convene the convention.
Notable political leaders absent from the convention included Thomas Jefferson and John Adams, who were both in Europe as U.S. ambassadors, as well as Samuel Adams, John Hancock and John Jay. Although he was appointed as a delegate, Patrick Henry refused to come, fearing the Constitution would give the federal government too much power at the expense of the individual and the states.Learn more about The Constitution