Thomas FitzSimons

February 2004
Irish Heroes & Heroines of America;2004, p57
The article profiles Thomas FitzSimons, a signer of the U.S. Constitution, government leader and businessman. FitzSimons has left his fingerprints over many areas of this U.S.'s early history, playing a prominent role in the development of its government, business, commerce and conscience. Born in Ireland in 1741, FitzSimons came to America early in his youth and began a career in shipping, thanks in large part to his marriage to Catharine Meade, whose father, Robert, was a vastly successful merchant. FitzSimons was an early and fervent proponent of the colonies' desire to split away from England. He was elected to the Constitutional Convention in 1782 and was a signer of the original Constitution. Just as importantly, FitzSimons was the loudest voice during that convention in convincing his colleagues to pay all moneys due to its soldiers, saying that debt was one of deepest obligation and honor. He was elected to the first Congress and embraced the government philosophies of Alexander Hamilton, who espoused the importance of a strong federal government with broad powers to nationalize. Not one to shirk civic duties, FitzSimons also served for several years as the president of the Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce, and was the largest contributor to the construction of St. Augustine's church in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.


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