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Thomas Stone

Signer of the Declaration of Independence

THOMAS STONE was born at Pointon Manor in Charles County, Maryland in 1743, the son of David Stone. Young Stone had an unusual fondness for learning and at the age of fifteen, he obtained his father's reluctant consent to enter the school of a Mr. Blaizedel for the study of the Greek and Latin languages. This school was more than ten miles from his home and young Stone arose early every morning and rode on horseback to acquire his education. After completing his schooling with Mr. Blaizedel, Stone desired to pursue the study of law. Although his father had considerable fortune, young Stone found it necessary to borrow the money to further his education. He studied under Thomas Johnson a respectable lawyer in Annapolis, and upon finishing his studies, he entered practice in Fredericktown.

Thomas Stone married when he was twenty-five and in a candid display of love for his wife, Margaret Brown, built her one of the finest homes in all of Maryland, ‘Habre-de-Venture' near Port Tobacco.  Stone's business was not lucrative, and the soil of his farm was poor so that he found it difficult to obtain a decent livelihood. The expenses of his family were increased by the responsibility of four brothers, who were quite young and of this own three children. However, his law practice flourished and he was elected to the Continental congress when two members were added to the Maryland delegation in 1774, taking his seat on May 15, 1775. In July he was re-elected for another year and again on May 21, 1776.

Although Stone did not have an active part in the debates of congress, he served on many important committees. He was appointed the only member from his province to the committee on confederation, and he remained on this committee working diligently until the Articles of Confederation were finally settled and agreed to by the vote of November 15, 1777. Stone declined a re-election to the congress and entered the Maryland senate where he felt he could be more useful to the patriotic cause.

In 1787 Stone's wife became alarmingly ill. She had received a small pox inoculation and because she had received careless treatment, she experienced a long state of weakness and decline. Stone watched over her with unwearied devotion and a deep and abiding melancholy overtook his spirit. At length, however, in the middle of that year, she sank to the grave. From this time, the health of Stone evidently declined. In the autumn of the same year his physicians advised him to take a sea voyage and in obedience to that advice, he traveled to Alexandria, to embark for England. Before the vessel was ready to sail, however, he suddenly expired, on October 5, 1787 in the forty-fifth year of his age.





Source: Centennial Book of Signers

For a High-resolution version of the Stone Engraving  

For a High-resolution version of the Original Declaration of Independence

We invite you to read a transcription of the complete text of the Declaration as presented by the National Archives.

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The article "The Declaration of Independence: A History," which provides a detailed account of the Declaration, from its drafting through its preservation today at the National Archives.  

   

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