Near Dupont Circle in Washington, District of Columbia — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
1722 Scotland – Princeton 1794
Signer of the Declaration of Independence.
“For my own part, of property I have some reputation more that reputation staked. That property is pledged on the issue of this contest: and although these gray hairs must soon descend into the sepulchre, I would infinitely rather that they descend thither by the hand of the executioner than desert at this crisis the sacred cause of my country.”
Erected 1908 by the Witherspoon Memorial Association.
Marker series. This marker is included in the Signers of the Declaration of Independence marker series.
Location. 38° 54.417′ N, 77° 2.5′ W. Marker is near Dupont Circle, District of Columbia, in Washington. Marker is at the intersection of Connecticut Avenue and N Street and 18th Street, NW, on the right when traveling north on Connecticut Avenue. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 1301 Connecticut Ave NW, Washington DC 20036, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The National Presbyterian Church (a few steps from this marker); Theodore Roosevelt (within shouting distance of this marker); Henry Martyn Robert General Federation of Women’s Clubs (about 500 feet away); The Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle (about 500 feet away); Nuns of the Battlefield (about 600 feet away); The Paul and Phyllis Nitze Building (about 600 feet away); Hélène De Beir (about 700 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Dupont Circle.
Also see . . .
1. Sculpture entry at the Smithsonian’s Art Inventory Catalog. “John Witherspoon (1722-1794), a Presbyterian clergyman, immigrated to the United States from Scotland and went on to become a leader in the Presbyterian Church and later president of the College of New Jersey at Princeton (Princeton University). In 1774 he became involved in American politics and served in the Second Continental Congress during the Revolutionary War. He signed the Declaration of Independence and helped to ratify the Federal Constitution in 1787.
“This sculpture was erected by the Witherspoon Memorial Association organized by Dr. George Graham, pastor of the National Presbyterian Church. Sculpture was authorized by an act of Congress on May 29, 1908. The sculpture was installed in front of the National Presbyterian Church until the church was torn down in 1966. The sculpture was then installed in its present site, although members of the National Presbyterian Church have lobbied to relocate the sculpture (Submitted on April 10, 2010, by J. J. Prats of Powell, Ohio.)
2. Witherspoon, John. “Not all of Witherspoon’s preaching was done on the road. Indeed, when in Princeton he normally preached twice each Sunday to a mixed congregation of townspeople and students, which only recently had acquired a place of worship apart from the Prayer Room of Nassau Hall. Their church had been constructed at the front of the present campus, where stands today a Presbyterian church of much later construction. According to Benjamin Rush, Witherspoon's manner in the pulpit was ‘solemn and graceful,’ his voice melodious, and his sermons ‘loaded with good sense and adorned’ with ‘elegance and beauty’ of expression. But Rush was impressed above all by the fact that Witherspoon carried no notes into the pulpit, in sharp contrast with the ‘too common practice of reading sermons in America.’ Other contemporary descriptions indicate that he depended upon no oratorical flourishes or gestures. The story is told of a visitor who, observing that Witherspoon’s enthusiasm for gardening was confined to growing vegetables, remarked, ‘Doctor, I see no flowers in your garden,’ to which came the reply, ‘No, nor in my discourses either.’
To the day of his death, (Submitted on April 10, 2010, by J. J. Prats of Powell, Ohio.)
3. John Witherspoon and the Founding of the American Republic. 2005 book by Jeffry H. Morrison on Amazon.com. “Sometime during the debates on July 1 and 2, 1776, a member of the conservative faction ... argued that the country at large was not yet ripe for independence. Witherspoon shot back that in his judgement the colonies were not only ripe for independence but also ‘in danger of becoming rotten for the want of it.’ By so replying, he helped prod Congress towards passing Richard Henry Lee’s Resolution for Independence on July 2, and the Declaration of Independence two days later.” (Submitted on April 10, 2010, by J. J. Prats of Powell, Ohio.)
Categories. • Patriots & Patriotism • War, US Revolutionary •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on April 4, 2010, by Tom Fuchs of Greenbelt, Maryland. This page has been viewed 1,425 times since then and 39 times this year. Photos: 1. submitted on April 10, 2010, by J. J. Prats of Powell, Ohio. 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on April 4, 2010, by Tom Fuchs of Greenbelt, Maryland. 6, 7. submitted on April 10, 2010, by J. J. Prats of Powell, Ohio. • J. J. Prats was the editor who published this page.