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Founding Father William Whipple

By David Streater, PhD

Burke Countyfounding father william whipple Dr. David Streater Blue Ridge Christian News Founding Fathers Francis Hopkinson


This is an American history educational moment of our Founding Fathers and how they served our Country.

William Whipple was an ambitious man who was born on January 30, 1730.  He was raised in Kittery, Maine, attending the local common school.

As a teenager, William followed his father as a mariner.  Whipple first served as a crew member and quickly ascended to the rank of ship’s captain.  In 1759, William surrendered his nautical career to become a business merchant with his brothers.  Sixteen years later, Whipple shifted his attention to political issues that were exhausting the colonies.

Soon after being voted to local positions, Whipple was elected to the Continental Congress, representing New Hampshire.  Shortly thereafter, William signed the Declaration of Independence and became one of 16 signers to fight in the Revolutionary War.  During this time, Brigadier General Whipple announced that he was not only fighting the war for independence, he also denounced and fought against slavery.

While serving as a superior court circuitriding judge, Whipple died by falling from his horse while on his way to court on November 28, 1785.

William had a fruitful and interesting 55year life.  He started by signing his name to a ship’s register as a modest “cabin boy”.  Then, years later he signed the Declaration of Independence.

Please visit your Charters of Freedom setting in most western North Carolina counties.  A Charters of Freedom setting consists of the Declaration of Independence, the United States Constitution, and the Bill of Rights.  They are on permanent display analogous to the Charters of Freedom in the National Archives, Washington, DC.  Please visit our website ( to learn more about our existing settings.

Teachers are encouraged to contact Dr. Streater for information and complementary student education materials to enhance experiential field trips to a Charter of Freedom settings.  Everyone is welcome and urged to obtain a personalized engraved legacy paver for placement at their Charters of Freedom setting.  Please contact Dr. Streater ( for an engraved legacy paver information and free educational materials.


Dr. David Streater is the director of education for Foundation Forward.  He is a retired college instructor and administrator, and a retired probation and parole officer/administrator.  David is a criminologist who has an acute history interest, served in the Navy, and is a resident of Burke County, NC.

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Read more about our founding fathers HERE.