Langdon, John

Langdon, John (1739-1805) Signer of the Constitution: Born in Portsmouth, New Hampshire on December, 1739; Langdon received a common school education and became a successful merchant. In 1774, he joined John Sullivan and others in removing armament and military stores from Fort William and Mary in Portsmouth Harbor. Langdon was a delegate to the Continental Congress in 1775, but resigned in June of 1776 to become a navy agent. The next year, when he was speaker of the financially-strapped New Hampshire Assembly; he gave all his money to equip a brigade. That brigade, under the leadership of Gen. John Stark, went on to defeat the Hessians at the Battle of Bennington. Active in the war effort, Langdon took part in the Battle of Stillwater, and commanded a company in Saratoga and on Rhode Island. In 1779, he was Continental Agent in New Hampshire, and served as president of the state convention. Langdon served in the Continental Congress and the state legislature before he was sent as a delegate to the 1787 Philadelphia Convention. There he took part in the creation of the Constitution, and signed the document. After he convention, Langdon became Governor of New Hampshire and US Senator. In 1801, he was chosen to be president of the Senate so that electoral votes for President of the United States could be counted. A Democratic-Republican, he was appointed by President Jefferson to become Secretary of the Navy, an offer he declined. After his service in the Senate, Langdon returned to New Hampshire to serve as Governor from 1805 to 1812, except for one year. Although he was offered the nomination for Vice President, Langdon refused, because of his age and illness. He spent the rest of his life in retirement, and died on September 18, 1819, in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.