John Witherspoon - New Jersey: The American colonies were "not only ripe for the measure but in danger of rotting for the want of it." Those were John Witherspoon’s thoughts on the adoption of the Declaration of Independence expressed during a speech in Congress on July 2, 1776. The only active clergyman among the signers, Witherspoon had emigrated from Scotland to American in 1768 to accept the presidency of the College of New Jersey (later Princeton University).
Peale, Charles Willson, John Witherspoon (1723-1794), and a Founding Father of the United States.Witherspoon embraced the concepts of Scottish Common Sense Realism, and while president of the College of New Jersey (1768–94; now Princeton University), became an influential figure in the development of the United States' national character. Politically active, Witherspoon was delegate from New Jersey to the Second Continental Congress and a signatory to the July 4, 1776, Declaration of Indep