Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Heritage Trail: Jacob Broom

The Signer statue at Norris Court in Philly
Constitutional signer Jacob Broom from Delaware is my husband's fifth-great-grandfather, and an intriguing man in part because he is the only signer without a portrait.  An excellent recent examination of the lives of the signers called him "the invisible signer"and noted that although he was normally a quiet man, Jacob saved the Constitutional Convention from shutting down at a critical juncture  (Kiernan & D'Agnese, 2011, p. 135). 

Jacob founded Wilmington's first public library and left money for two societies after his death, one helping women in need and the other educating black children. Jacob Broom's home is still standing in Wilmington, Delaware; it became part of the du Pont empire and is now a private residence.  (We haven't seen that yet.)

In 2009 we visited the National Archives and National Cathedral in Washington DC, where one can admire Jacob's signature on the Constitution and his name on a  plaque.

National Cathedral, Washington DC

This summer, we were in Philadelphia and saw Independence Hall where he worked with the other signers in a sweltering summer, and City Tavern where the signers celebrated the Constitutional completion.  Jacob didn't miss attending a single session of the Convention.
Independence Hall
the upstairs (rebuilt) room at City Tavern where the signers celebrated the signing of the Constitution
138 2nd Street, Philadelphia PA
We also visited Christ Church on 2nd Street, where Jacob is buried (he died while in Philadelphia on business in 1810).  However, his exact gravesite is uncertain and thus there is only a memorial plaque in his honor.  We were humbled and honored to learn more about him and his exemplary life.
Christ Church, Philadelphia

Emulating their sixth great-grandfather!

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