The John Morton Project: Rediscovering a Founding Father

About the Project

John Morton, a hero of American independence, was the descendent of Finnish immigrants. The John Morton Project, begun by former U.S. Ambassador to Finland Marilyn Ware, is a collaborative effort to revive the history of John Morton who cast the tie-breaking vote for independence as a member of the Pennsylvania delegation to the Continental Congress in 1776. John Morton then signed the Declaration of Independence at great personal risk.

The John Morton Project, a partnership of donors, scholars, and diplomats from Finland and the United States, is a truly multicultural endeavor.

Using current research and innovative strategies, the John Morton Project seeks to reveal Morton's life as a colonial statesman and the origins of his ancestors by discovering new documentary evidence in the United States, Finland, and Sweden.

Morton is absent from many stories of American independence, but historical records paint a different picture. Morton's service included representing Pennsylvania in the mysterious Stamp Act Congress that adopted a Declaration of Rights and Grievances for the British government. He was later chosen as a Pennsylvania delegate to the First Continental Congress and selected again for the Second Continental Congress, where he cast the decisive ballot that swung the Pennsylvania delegation over to an affirmative vote for independence.