National Archives and Records Administration


Delegates to the Constitutional Convention

On February 21, 1787, the Continental Congress resolved that:
... it is expedient that on the second Monday in May next a Convention of delegates who shall have been appointed by the several States be held at Philladelphia for the sole and express purpose of revising the Articles of Confederation...
Independence Hall in Philadelphia

Assembly Room in Independence Hall, Philadelphia,
site of the signing of the Constitution in 1787.
Photo courtesy of Independence National Historical Park.

 The original states, except Rhode Island, collectively appointed 70 individuals to the Constitutional Convention, but a number did not accept or could not attend. Those who did not attend included Richard Henry Lee, Patrick Henry, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Samuel Adams and, John Hancock.

In all, 55 delegates attended the Constitutional Convention sessions, but only 39 actually signed the Constitution. The delegates ranged in age from Jonathan Dayton, aged 26, to Benjamin Franklin, aged 81, who was so infirm that he had to be carried to sessions in a sedan chair.


For a short biographies of each of the Founding Fathers who were delegates to the Constitutional Convention, select the states below. ( * indicates delegates who did not sign the Constitution)

Ellsworth (Elsworth), Oliver*
Johnson, William S.
Sherman, Roger

Bassett (Basset), Richard
Bedford, Gunning, Jr.
Broom, Jacob
Dickinson, John
Read, George

Baldwin, Abraham
Few, William
Houstoun, William*
Pierce, William L.*

Carroll, Daniel
Jenifer, Daniel of St. Thomas
Martin, Luther*
McHenry, James
Mercer, John F.*

Gerry, Elbridge*
Gorham, Nathaniel
King, Rufus
Strong, Caleb*

 New Hampshire
Gilman, Nicholas
Langdon, John

New Jersey
Brearly (Brearley), David
Dayton, Jonathan
Houston, William C.*
Livingston, William
Paterson (Patterson), William

New York
Hamilton, Alexander
Lansing, John, Jr.*
Yates, Robert *

 North Carolina
Blount, William
Davie, William R.*
Martin, Alexander *
Spaight, Richard D.
Williamson, Hugh

Clymer, George
Fitzsimons, Thomas
Franklin, Benjamin
Ingersoll, Jared
Mifflin, Thomas
Morris, Gouverneur
Morris, Robert
Wilson, James

South Carolina
Butler, Pierce
Pinckney, Charles
Pinckney, Charles Cotesworth
Rutledge, John

Rhode Island
Rhode Island did not send any delegates to the Constitutional Convention.

Blair, John
Madison, James
Mason, George *
McClurg, James*
Randolph, Edmund J.*
Washington, George
Wythe, George*

Exploring Constitutional Conflicts