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Founding Fathers and How They Served Our Country—Thomas Stone

By David Streater, PhD

Burke Countyfounding fathers and how they served our country


This is an American education moment concerning our Founding Fathers and how they served our Country.

Thomas Stone was born in 1743, coming of age in Charles County, Maryland.  As an adolescent who enjoyed learning, his father reluctantly allowed Thomas to travel 10 miles to school.  At the Blaizedel School, Thomas studied Greek and Latin.  During the 1760s, he borrowed money to read law under Thomas Johnson, a prominent attorney in Annapolis.  In 1764, Stone was admitted to the Maryland Bar.

By the early 1770s, Stone was a budding attorney known for his quiet, yet strong way he opposed British authority over the colonies.  Being on the local Committee of Correspondence, led him to other key positions.  On August 2, 1776, he signed the Declaration of Independence and continued to advocate for a peaceful resolution with Britain because he detested war.

Thomas was elected to the Continental Congress and served on the committee that authored the Articles of Confederation.  In 1787, he was elected to represent Maryland at the Constitutional Convention but did not attend.  Instead, he remained at home to care for his wife, who was chronically ill because of smallpox.  Unfortunately, she died several months later.  Being greatly in love with Margaret, Thomas became deeply depressed and died four months after his wife, when he was 44.

Thomas Stone was a signer of the Declaration of Independence who is remembered as the “Quiet Man Who Hated War” and “The Signer Who Died of a Broken Heart”.  At 33, he was the youngest member of the Maryland delegation to vote for independence on July 4, 1776.

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 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 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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