Who signed the Declaration of Independence?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

The 56 people who signed the Declaration of Independence in 1776 were made up of a cross-section of America's colonial elite.  Pennsylvania and Virginia had the largest number of signatories, followed by New jersey and Massachusetts.  Many of them are names you would not recognize today as being historically important or famous, although Benjamin Franklin's name is there (he was the oldest to sign at age 70) as well as Thomas Jefferson, and cousins John and Sam Adams.

John Hancock's name is perhaps the most famous today, signed larger than everyone else's, so that he would be better remembered.  I've included a link below to an indexed list of signers from each colony, with biographies on each.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team
Soaring plane image

We’ll help your grades soar

Start your 48-hour free trial and unlock all the summaries, Q&A, and analyses you need to get better grades now.

  • 30,000+ book summaries
  • 20% study tools discount
  • Ad-free content
  • PDF downloads
  • 300,000+ answers
  • 5-star customer support
Start your 48-Hour Free Trial