Lawyers have been around since the 1200s (at least) and played a significant role in history, but many people do not know their role in the foundation of America. With Fourth of July coming up, we think it’s the perfect time to look back at the lawyers who shaped the United States of America as we know it.
Although Thomas Jefferson is often credited with writing the Declaration of Independence in 1776, he was actually only one member of a committee of five (appropriately named the “Committee of Five”). The other four members of the committee were Benjamin Franklin, Roger Sherman, John Adams and Robert Livingston. Of that group, the only member who was not a lawyer was Benjamin Franklin.
Additionally, twenty-five of the fifty-six signers of the Declaration were lawyers, meaning that lawyers made up a greater percentage of the signers than any other profession. Thomas Lynch Jr., Edward Rutledge and Thomas Heyward Jr. were all South Carolina lawyers who signed the Declaration.
Since then, 25 of the 45 American Presidents have been lawyers (including two members of the Committee of Five: John Adams and Thomas Jefferson). Lawyers were incredibly important to this nation’s history and have continued importance in our present.
So, as you celebrate the Independence Weekend, thank a lawyer. And if you need a lawyer in case your weekend didn’t go as planned, give us a call at Ryan Beasley Law.