George Read

George Read (1733 - 1798)

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George Read
Born in New Munster, North East Cecil, Marylandmap
Husband of — married in Delawaremap
Father of
Died in New Castle, Delaware, USAmap
Profile last modified | Created 19 Aug 2013
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Categories: Signers of the Continental Association | Signers of the United States Declaration of Independence | Signers of the United States Constitution | Delaware Governors | US Senators from Delaware | Immanuel Episcopal Churchyard, New Castle, Delaware | Delaware Project-Managed | Delaware Project Needs Project added as PM | American Founding Fathers | Delaware Notables.

George Read is a part of Delaware History.
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Preceded by
2nd President
Thomas McKean

Office established
March 4, 1789
George Read
3rd President
of Delaware

US Senator (Class 1)
from Delaware
Seal of of the US Senate
Succeeded by
4th President
Caesar Rodney

Succeeded by
Henry Latimer


George Read was a Founding Father in the American Revolution
George Read is Notable.

GEORGE READ 1733 - 1798

from Rossiana pub:1908 by a Read family historian, Major Harmon Pumpelly Read "being a compilation of Original Documents found in the Archives of the Late General John Meredith Read" and further research by the author [1]

George Read was the eldest son of Irish born Colonel John Read, of Maryland and Delaware. He was born on the 18th of September 1733, on one of the family estates in Cecil county, Maryland. After receiving a classical education, he studied law, and was called to the bar at the age of nineteen in the city of Philadelphia.

In 1754 the Read family moved to New Castle, Delaware, and there George married Gertrude Ross on the 9th of January 1763. Gertrude's father was the Rev. George Ross, rector of Emmanuel Church in New Castle.

George Read was tall, slight and graceful, with a finely-shaped head, strong, but refined features, and dark-brown, lustrous eyes. His manners were dignified, and he could not tolerate the slightest familiarity, but he was most courteous, and at times captivating; and he dressed with the most scrupulous care and elegance.

He was one of the two statesmen, and the only Southern statesman to have signed all three of the great State papers on which American constitutional history is based.

Eleven years before the Declaration of Independence, having been appointed attorney-general under the crown at the early age of 29, George Read felt it his duty to warn the British government of the danger of attempting to tax the colonies without giving them direct representation in Parliament, an opinion expressed in correspondence with his friend, Sir Richard Neave, afterwards Governor of the Bank of England. George Read opposed the Stamp Act and other similar measures of Parliament, supported anti-importation measures and dignified protests, but was quite reluctant to pursue the option of outright independence. [2]

From 1764 George Read led the Delaware Committee of Correspondence, he was author of the address from Delaware to King George lll which Lord Shelbourne reported, so impressed George III. that he read it over twice. [3]

With Great Britain showing no evidence of a change in position toward the American colonies, George Read resigned the attorney-generalship and accepted a seat in the First Congress, which met at Philadelphia in 1774.

At first, still hoping to find some accomodation between Britain and the Colonies, he voted against the motion for independence, finally signing the Declaration of Independence when he found there was no hope reconcilliation.

George Read was president of the Constitutional Convention in 1776; author of the first Constitution of Delaware, and of the first edition of her laws.

In 1782 he was appointed by Congress to be a judge in the national Court of Appeals in Admiralty. Three years later he was appointed one of the commissioners of a federal court to determine an important controversy in relation to territory between New York and Massachusetts.

In 1786 he was a delegate to the convention which met at Annapolis, Maryland, and took an active part in those proceedings which culminated in the calling together, in 1787, of the convention in Philadelphia which framed the Constitution of the United States. Immediately after the adoption of the Constitution, which Delaware was the first to ratify,

George Read was elected to the Senate of the United States, and re-elected for a second term. He resigned in 1793, and accepted the office of chief justice of Delaware. He was in office as Chief Justice until his death in Delaware on the 21st of September, 1798.

George Read was buried in Immanuel Episcopal Churchyard, New Castle in New Castle County, Delaware.


  1. Resigned to become Chief Justice of Delaware. Vacant from September 18, 1793 – February 7, 1795.
  • Title: U.S., Sons of the American Revolution Membership Applications, 1889-1970 Publication: Name: Online publication - Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2011.Original data - Sons of the American Revolution Membership Applications, 1889-1970. Louisville, Kentucky: National Society of the Sons of the American Revolution. Microfilm, 508 rolls
  • Address:
  • Biographical directory of the United States Congress [4]
  • George Read on Wikipedia
  • Find A Grave Memorial# 2777
  • ROSSIANA - Papers and Documents Relating to the History and Genealogy of ..... ROSS of Ross-shire, Scotland, and ..... the Ancient and Historic Family of READ by Major Harmon Pumpelly Read [5]


Thank you to John DeFalco for creating WikiTree profile Read-1385 through the import of Johns Complete Tree_2013-08-17.ged on Aug 17, 2013. Click to the Changes page for the details of edits by John and others.

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No known carriers of George's Y-chromosome or his mother's mitochondrial DNA have taken yDNA or mtDNA tests.

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Images: 2
George Read
George Read

Signing the Declaration of Independence
Signing the Declaration of Independence


George is 16 degrees from Kay Sands, 17 degrees from Grant Wood and 15 degrees from Victoria of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland on our single family tree. Login to find your connection.

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