John Hart Independence Declaration Signer

john hart

John Hart was a New Jersey farmer. Born in Stonington, Connecticut in 1707, his family move to Hopewell, New Jersey. He later inherited the family farm and was a leading member of his community.  

His first public service was a justice of the peace. In 1761, he served in the New Jersey Assembly until it was dissolved in 1771. In 1775, he was appointed to the local Committee of Safety, the Committee of Correspondence, and a judge to the Court of Common Pleas. He was elected to the newly formed Provincial Congress of New Jersey in 1776 and sent as a delegate for New Jersey to the Continental Congress that year.  

Hart’s property was looted during the Revolutionary War. His wife died on October 8, 1776. When the area was overrun by the British in November of that year, he was forced to hide. He was engaged in public service throughout the war, twice reelected to the Congress served on the Commitee of Safety and as Speaker of the New Jersey assembly. On June 22, 1778 he invited the American army to camp on his farm. Washington had lunch with him, then had his famous Council of War at the nearby Hunt House. Twelve thousand men camped on his fields-during the growing season. After resting and preparing for battle the troops left on the 24th.  

Hart died on May 11, 1779 at the age of 66. 

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