Nathaniel Gorham

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Nathaniel Gorham (May 27, 1738 – June 11, 1796, his first name is sometimes spelt Nathanial) was the fourteenth President of the United States in Congress assembled, under the Articles of Confederation. He also attended the Constitutional Convention and was one of the signers of the United States Constitution on September 17, 1787, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.



Early life and family

Gorham was born in Charlestown, Massachusetts, the son of Captain Nathaniel Gorham and Mary Soley.[1] He was a descendant of John Howland, (c. 1599–1673) who was one of the Pilgrims who traveled from England to North America on the Mayflower, signed the Mayflower Compact, and helped found the Plymouth Colony.[2][3]

His sister, Elizabeth Gorham, who married John Leighton, was the ancestor of Edith Kermit Carow Roosevelt the second wife of Theodore Roosevelt and served as First Lady of the United States during his presidency from 1901 to 1909.[4]


He married Rebecca Call who was a widow with 9 children[5] on September 6, 1763 in Charlestown, Massachusetts. She was born on May 14, 1744 in Charlestown, Massachusetts and died on November 18, 1812 in Charlestown, Massachusetts. She was the daughter of Caleb Call and Rebecca Stimson.[6] Nathaniel and Rebecca were the parents of nine children.[1]


He took part in public affairs at the beginning of the American Revolution, he was a member of the Massachusetts General Court (Legislature) from 1771 until 1775, a delegate to the Provincial congress from 1774 until 1775, and a member of the Board of War from 1778 until its dissolution in 1781. In 1779 he served in the State constitutional convention. He was a delegate to the Continental Congress from 1782 until 1783, and also from 1785 until 1787. Gorham also served a term as judge of the Middlesex County, Massachusetts Court of Common Pleas.[7]

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