Individual Biographies of the Delegates to the Constitutional Convention
It has often been remarked that in the journey of life, the young rely on energy to counteract the experience of the old. And vice versa. What makes this Constitutional Convention remarkable is that the delegates were both young and experienced. The average age of the delegates was 42 and four of the most influential delegates—Alexander Hamilton, Edmund Randolph, Gouvernor Morris, and James Madison—were in their thirties. Over half of the delegates graduated from College with nine from Princeton and six from British Universities. Even more significant was the continental political experience of the Framers: 8 signed the Declaration of Independence, 25 served in the Continental Congress, 15 helped draft the new State Constitutions between 1776 and 1780, and 40 served in the Confederation Congress between 1783 and 1787.
* indicates delegates who did not sign the Constitution
Rhode Island did not send delegates to the
73 delegates were appointed to the Constitutional Convention. 18 declined their appointments: Richard Henry Lee (Virginia), Thomas Nelson (Virginia), Patrick Henry (Virginia), Abraham Clark (New Jersey), John Neilson (New Jersey), Richard Coswell (North Carolina), Willie Jones (North Carolina), George Watson (Georgia), Nathaniel Pendleton (Georgia), Henry Laurens (South Carolina), Francis Dana (Massachusetts), Gabriel Duvall (Maryland), Robert Hansen Harrison (Maryland), Thomas Stone (Maryland), Charles Caroll (Maryland), Thomas Sim Lee (Maryland), John Pickering (New Hampshire), and Benjamin West (New Hampshire).