William Williams Essay

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William Williams; Signer of Declaration of Independence “Then, sir, you deserve to be hanged, for not having done your duty.” This was William Williams reply to Benjamin Huntington, a member of the safety for Connecticut council, when he said that he should be exempt from the gallows if Britain were to win since he did not sign the Declaration of Independence nor did he write anything bad against the British government. Williams felt so strongly for America, and against Britain, that he was willing to risk his life. This is why I think he was an important signer of the Declaration because he was not afraid to stand for what he believed in and stand up against what he thought was wrong. William Williams was originally from Wales and came from a family of strong Christians. His grandfather and father were both ministers. Williams attended Harvard at the age of 16, and after graduating from there, he went home to study theology. During this time, a battle broke out at Lake George during the French and Indian War. Williams decided he wanted to go with his father’s cousin to fight. His relative was killed in the battle. This made him have bad feelings about the British officers and generals. He said they, “haughtily regarded the colonist as inferior men, and deserving of but little of their sympathy.” After this he stopped his study of theology and began working as a merchant in Lebanon. He was very successful. He became the town clerk when he was just 25 years old. Soon afterward, he was chosen as member of the Connecticut Assembly and later elected to the General Congress in 1775. Williams missed the opportunity to vote for the Declaration of Independence, but he was able to sign it. Williams felt so strongly about his country that he was willing to end his job as a successful merchant so that he could devote himself to the cause of his country.

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