Representing the State of Virginia
Age at signing – 39
Carter Braxton was a Virginia aristocrat who was initially an outspoken opponent of American independence, calling the idea impractical and imprudent. He had a change of heart and mind shortly before signing the Declaration of Independence.
The son of a politically influential plantation owner, Braxton was orphaned as a child and inherited great wealth. He loaned substantial amounts of money to the Revolutionary War, financing risky shipping and privateering operations for the patriots. Many of his ships were lost to the British while his landholdings were ravaged in the war.
Heavily in debt after the war, Braxton never recovered financially from his losses and he was forced to leave his country estate in Virginia for simpler quarters in Richmond, where he died at the age of 61 in 1797.