Who Was the First to Sign the Declaration of Independence?

As the President of the Continental Congress, John Hancock of Massachusetts was the first person to sign the Declaration of Independence on Aug. 2, 1776. The last person to sign the document was Thomas Kean of Delaware, and it is believed he signed after January 1777.

The other signers did so with their state delegations. The signatures were placed in five columns, beginning in the upper-right corner with signers from the northernmost state, New Hampshire, and ending with the signatures from the southernmost state, Georgia. The Declaration of Independence was drafted by Thomas Jefferson and edited by Benjamin Franklin with John Adams. The final document was written by Jefferson as he incorporated the edits of Adams and Franklin.