Lot 2
  • 2

George Taylor, Signer of the Declaration from Pennsylvania

20,000 - 30,000 USD
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  • Autograph document signed ("Geo. Taylor"), being a payment receipt for the sale of land
  • Paper, Ink
One page (4 1/2 x 2 5/8 in.; 114 x 66 mm), on a slip cut from a larger sheet, [Philadelphia?], 6 December 1774; creased at old folds, trimmed close, just touching the first letter of the first word. 

Catalogue Note

Because of his limited role in public life, Taylor’s signature is among the least common of the Signers. He here acknowledges “from Thomas Adamson One Hundred Pounds being the first payment for the Land sold him as of the above agreement.” The verso bears a fragment of what appears to be the “above agreement” of the land deal referenced by Taylor, which is signed by William Armstrong and Charles Craig, with an endorsement: “And Signed Sealed and Delivered by the said Lewis Gordon the fifteenth day of October Anno 1774 in the presences of Saml Foulke John Shotesbury.”  All of the co-signers appear in records of Philadelphia and Chester County, Pennsylvania.

George Taylor (ca. 1716–1781) was an Irish immigrant who came to America indentured to Samuel Savage, Jr., the master of the Warwick Furnace and Coventry Forge in Chester County, Pennsylvania. In 1757, he became justice of the peace in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. He was elected to the Pennsylvania Provincial Assembly in 1764 and reelected in 1775. When the Second Continental Congress voted for independence on July 2, 1776, Taylor was appointed by the Assembly to replace one of the Loyalist delegates who had resigned. Less than a month later he was signing the Declaration of Independence as part of the Pennsylvania delegation despite not having been present for the actual vote. Taylor was one of eight foreign-born signers, the only ironmaster, and the only former indentured servant to sign.