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History :: John Morton

The man who cast the deciding vote on the Declaration of Independence as well as one of its signers, John Morton was known in his youth for his quick intelligence and habit of hard work. His stepfather, a well-educated surveyor from England, educated him in practical matters and surveying. In 1756, Morton was elected to the Provincial Assembly and was elected president of the Assembly in 1775. He filled numerous civil offices in Pennsylvania including Justice of the Peace, High Sheriff and Presiding Judge of the General Court and the Court of Common Pleas. In 1774, he was appointed Associate Judge of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania. That year, he was elected to the Continental Congress where he was a member of several committees and chairman of the committee, which reported the Articles of Confederation. He died soon after that report was presented to Congress, at the age of fifty-three. Morton is buried in Chester’s historic Old Swedes Cemetery where a monument now stands in his honor.