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George Read Served our Country

By David Streater, Ph.D.

Burke CountyDavid Streater Burke County foundation forward charters of freedom


This is an American history educational moment of those who made a difference during the Revolutionary War era and how they served our Country.

George Read was born in September 1733, in Maryland and moved to Delaware with his parents while a child.  At 15, Read graduated from the Philadelphia Academy and studied law in the office of John Moland.  George was an honest attorney who quickly earned the respect of New Castle, Delaware citizens.  He served as a Delaware tri-county Attorney General until he resigned in 1774, after being elected to the Continental Congress.

During the 1760s and 1770s, Read served in Delaware’s legislature and the Continental Congress.  George advocated for a peaceful resolution with England and initially voted against the Declaration of Independence.  However, after independence was affirmed, he stood with other colonists and signed the Declaration.

Delaware’s governor Mckinly was taken prisoner during the Revolution.  On his way home to be the acting governor, Read was also captured.  George convinced his captors he was an ordinary citizen, holding no office and unimportant.  The British troops released him, allowing Read to serve as Delaware’s governor between late 1777 to March 1778.

During the Constitutional Convention, Read was a champion for the small New England states.  At one point, he recommended to “do away with states altogether and unite them all into one society.”  In the end, George signed the Constitution to advance the United States.  He also signed the Constitution for John Dickinson, who left the convention due to illness, making him the only person to sign the Constitution twice.

From 1789 to 1793, Read served as a senator from Delaware. Then, George resigned to be the Chief Judge of Delaware, serving until his death at age 65.  George Read was indeed a “small-state man” with visionary ideas for a grand nation!

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.

All 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 local Charters of Freedom setting.  Please contact Dr. Streater ( for engraved legacy paver information and complementary 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.