Cover Honors Founding Father Hugh Williamson
Own this cover picturing Hugh Williamson (1742-1798). The 15-Star Fort McHenry Flag stamp is tied to the cover with a Edenton, North Carolina, postmark. Williamson settled here during the Revolution. The date on the postmark represents the 236th anniversary of his birth.
Williamson was a physician and scientist. In 1773, he sailed to Europe to further his education. While in England, he became friends with fellow scientist Benjamin Franklin. Williamson traveled on to the Netherlands, where he continued to study and published pamphlets in support of the independence movement across the Atlantic. When Williamson heard America had declared independence, he quickly returned. He volunteered for the Medical Department of the Continental Army, but they had no openings. Williamson decided to begin importing medicine and other supplies needed by the army and moved to Edenton, North Carolina to establish his base of operations.
When the British threatened the south, North Carolina raised a militia and Williamson was chosen as the state's Physician and Surgeon General. His medical innovations and procedures were years before their time and saved the lives of many soldiers.
After the war, Williamson was elected to several terms of the North Carolina legislature. He was chosen as a delegate to the Constitutional Convention. He was a supporter of a strong central government. After the Constitution was signed, Williamson wrote articles in plain language explaining the advantages of it and urging ratification. He was later elected to US Congress before retiring to continue his intellectual pursuits.