Dayton, Jonathan

Dayton, Jonathan (1760-1824) Signer of the Constitution, Speaker of the House: Born in Elizabethtown, New Jersey, on October 16, 1760, Dayton attended the College of New Jersey (now Princeton). After graduating in 1776, he studied law, and was admitted to the bar. After entering the Continental Army, he served as paymaster of the regiment led by his father, Elias Dayton. Young Dayton received many commissions during the Revolutionary War, and fought in many battles, including the Battle of Yorktown. After the war, he became a member of the New Jersey House of Representatives, chosen as its Speaker in 1790. At the Constitutional Convention, Dayton represented New Jersey, and signed the Constitution in 1787. In 1791, Dayton was elected to the US House of Representatives, and re-elected for three consecutive terms. He was chosen to be Speaker of the House for his last two terms, until 1799. The same year, he was elected to the US Senate, of which he was a member until 1805. Dayton was arrested for conspiracy with Aaron Burr, but was never tried. He died on October 9, 1824, in Elizabethtown, New Jersey