Founding Fathers

Arms of Signers of the Constitution


  • ARM NAME BLAZON COMMENTS
  • No Arms Graphic

    Baldwin, Abraham (Georgia)

  • No Arms Graphic

    Bassett, Richard (Delaware)

  • Bedford, Gunning, Jr. (Delaware) Graphic

    Bedford, Gunning, Jr. (Delaware)

    [Argent?] three lions' gambs couped erect within a bordure engrailed Sable.

    Tombstone, Immanuel Church, Wilmington, Del.

  • No Arms Graphic

    Blair, John Blair (Virginia)

  • Blount, William (North Carolina) Graphic

    Blount, William (North Carolina)

    Or three twigs fesswise throughout in pale fructed Sable, impaling Or three chevronels Gules (for Clare?).

    Bookplate attributed to the signer's great-great grandfather James Blount; seal of the signer's brother Jacob. Apparently a misrepresentation of the arms of Blount of Kinlet Barry nebuly of six Or and Sable. The sinister impalement is traditionally interpreted as being for Clare, and is so shown, but may in fact be for Lewkenor. See this essay on the arms of James Blount.

  • Brearly, David (New Jersey) Graphic

    Brearly, David (New Jersey)

    Argent a cross potent in dexter chief a fleur-de-lys Gules.

    Bookplate in the collection of the University of British Columbia Library.

  • No Arms Graphic

    Broom, Jacob (Delaware)

  • Butler, Pierce (South Carolina) Graphic

    Butler, Pierce (South Carolina)

    Or a chief indented Azure a bordure indented Ermine.

    The signer was the third son of Sir Richard Butler, Bt., who bore Or a chief indented Azure a martlet for difference and a canton of Ulster. From New England Historical Genealogical Society Roll of Arms, No. 369.

  • Carroll, Daniel (Maryland) Graphic

    Carroll, Daniel (Maryland)

    Argent two lions combatant Gules supporting a sword proper hilted and pommelled Or. (Possible arms).

    These arms were used by the Carrolls of Doughoregan and Carrollton, including Charles Carroll of Carrollton who signed the Declaration of Independence. It is believed that Daniel Carroll was a cousin of this family, but it is not certain that he used these arms.

  • No Arms Graphic

    Clymer, George (Pennsylvania)

  • No Arms Graphic

    Dayton, Jonathan (New Jersey)

  • Dickinson, John (Delaware) Graphic

    Dickinson, John (Delaware)

    Azure a fess between two lions passant Erminois.

    Bookplate; hatchment at Philadelphia Library Company.

  • No Arms Graphic

    Few, William (Georgia)

  • No Arms Graphic

    FitzSimons, Thomas (Pennsylvania)

  • Franklin, Benjamin (Pennsylvania) Graphic

    Franklin, Benjamin (Pennsylvania)

    Argent on a bend between two lions' heads erased Gules a dolphin embowed Argent between two martlets Or.

    Personal seal. Franklin, his elder brother John, and his illegitimate son William (the royal governor of New Jersey) all bore these arms. They also appear the seal of office Benjamin Franklin used jointly with Robert Hunter as co-Postmasters General of British North America.

  • Gilman, Nicholas (New Hampshire) Graphic

    Gilman, Nicholas (New Hampshire)

    Sable a man’s leg palewise couped at the thigh Argent.

    Memorial to the signer's distant cousin Samuel Gilman, Hingham, Mass.; also used by the Exeter, N.H., branch of the family. Her. Jl. I:150-51.

  • No Arms Graphic

    Gorham, Nathaniel (Massachusetts)

  • Hamilton, Alexander (New York) Graphic

    Hamilton, Alexander (New York)

    Quarterly, Gules a mullet Argent between three cinquefoils Ermine, and Gules a heart Or between three cinquefoils Ermine.

    On a bookplate inscribed Alexr. Hamilton, Esq., and traditionally (but perhaps incorrectly) attributed to the signer. Arms almost identical to these were matriculated in Scotland's Lyon Office in the name of Hamilton of Udstone, to which the signer was only remotely connected; it is not clear on what basis he would have used them. Alexander Hamilton's paternal line, the Hamiltons of Grange, bore Gules a lion rampant Argent between three cinquefoils Ermine. Under Scottish armorial law, Alexander Hamilton would have been entitled to matriculate a version of these arms differenced for his father's status as a younger son and his own illegitimacy.

  • Ingersoll, Jared (Pennsylvania) Graphic

    Ingersoll, Jared (Pennsylvania)

    Or two pallets Gules.

    Bookplate of the signer.

  • No Arms Graphic

    Jenifer, Daniel of St. Thomas (Maryland)

  • Johnson, William Samuel (Connecticut) Graphic

    Johnson, William Samuel (Connecticut)

    Argent a chevron between three lions' heads couped at the neck Gules crowned Or.

    Bookplate.

  • King, Rufus (Massachusetts) Graphic

    King, Rufus (Massachusetts)

    Sable a lion rampant Ermine between three crosses paty fitchy Or.

    Silver and bookplate.

  • No Arms Graphic

    Langdon, John (New Hampshire)

  • Livingston, William (New Jersey) Graphic

    Livingston, William (New Jersey)

    Quarterly, 1st and 4th grand quarters Argent three gilly-flowers slipped Gules within a double tressure flory-counterflory Vert; 2nd grand quarter quarterly, 1st and 4th Gules on a chevron Argent two lions pulling at a rose Gules (for Hepburn), 2nd and 3rd Argent three martlets Gules (for Gourlay); 3rd grand quarter Sable a bend between six billets Or (for Callender).

    Bookplate printed in The Curio, p. 62 (1888)

  • No Arms Graphic

    Madison, James (Virginia)

    There is no evidence that Madison ever used or was entitled to the arms sometimes attributed to him, ‘’Quarterly, 1st and 4th Argent two axes in saltire Sable; 2nd and 3rd Argent on a chevron Sable a mullet Silver.’’

  • No Arms Graphic

    McHenry, James (Maryland)

  • Mifflin, Thomas (Pennsylvania) Graphic

    Mifflin, Thomas (Pennsylvania)

    Or a chevron Azure in sinister chief a mullet of six points Gules.

    Seal of John Mifflin, the signer's father.

  • Morris, Gouverneur (Pennsylvania) Graphic

    Morris, Gouverneur (Pennsylvania)

    Quarterly, 1st and 4th Gules a lion rampant guardant Or; 2nd and 3rd Argent three torteaux in fess.

    From the seal of Lewis Morris, first lord of the manor of Morrisania, N.Y., 1697, grandfather of the signer. However, the signer's own bookplate shows the lion guardant, not regardant.)

  • No Arms Graphic

    Morris, Robert (Pennsylvania)

  • No Arms Graphic

    Paterson, William (New Jersey)

  • Pinckney, Charles (South Carolina) Graphic

    Pinckney, Charles (South Carolina)

    Argent five lozenges conjoined in pale within a bordure engrailed Sable.

    Bookplate.

  • Pinckney, Charles Cotesworth (South Carolina) Graphic

    Pinckney, Charles Cotesworth (South Carolina)

    Argent five lozenges conjoined in pale within a bordure engrailed Sable.

    First cousin once removed of Charles Pinckney and presumed to have borne the same arms.

  • Read, George (Delaware) Graphic

    Read, George (Delaware)

    Gules a saltire between four garbs Or.

    Attributed to the signer by Vermont.

  • Rutledge, John (South Carolina) Graphic

    Rutledge, John (South Carolina)

    Argent a chevron compony Azure and Gules between three crescents Gules.

    Used as temporary seal when he was president of the independent government in 1776. The chevron is sometimes blazoned as Azure charged with three lozenges Gules, but this would violate the rule of tincture.

  • Sherman, Roger (Connecticut) Graphic

    Sherman, Roger (Connecticut)

    Or a lion rampant Sable between three oak leaves Vert.

    Watercolor owned by the signer at time of his death, 1793. Crozier says the arms were granted to a Leicestershire family in 1619, but the Connecticut Shermans apparently came from Dedham, Essex.

  • Spaight, Richard Dobbs (North Carolina) Graphic

    Spaight, Richard Dobbs (North Carolina)

    Argent on a fess Gules three pheons [of the field?].

    Bookplate.

  • Washington, George (Virginia) Graphic

    Washington, George (Virginia)

    Argent two bars in chief three mullets Gules.

    See [[President.Washington">"The Arms of George Washington."

  • No Arms Graphic

    Williamson, Hugh (North Carolina)

    Sable a cross potent Or.

    Watercolor in collection of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania.

  • No Arms Graphic

    Wilson, James (Pennsylvania)

Principal Sources:

Other sources as mentioned in the column entitled "Notes."