TAYLOR, GEORGE. (1716?–1781). Signer. Ireland-Pennsylvania. What is reasonably certain about Taylor's early life is that he settled in East Nantmeal, Pennsylvania, in 1736, became clerk in aniron works, rose to the position of manager, and in 1742 married his boss's widow, whose legacy hastened his success. Around 1754 he moved to Durham, Pennsylvania, opened a successful ironworks, and settled in Easton, Pennsylvania, in 1764, being elected that year to the first of five one-year terms in the provincial assembly. He became a leader of the proprietary party, opposing Franklin and those who favored crown rule. He was a member of the local committee to choose delegates for the Stamp Act Congress, and he later was chairman of the Northampton County meeting to protest the Boston Port Bill in 1774. After being named to the county committee of correspondence, in July 1775 he became colonel of the Third Battalion of the Bucks County militia, and on 20 July 1776 he became a delegate to the Continental Congress when it was decided to replace the representatives who refused to sign the Declaration of Independence. He became a Signer on 2 August but resigned from Congress in March 1777 having taken no other part in the business of Congress other than to treat with the Susquehanna Indians in January 1777 at the Easton conference. Nor did he take any active part as a militia officer, although he retained the title of colonel.
He sat briefly in the Supreme Executive Council of his state in 1777 but retired for ill health after six weeks. He spent the next several years overseeing the production of cannonballs at his Durham foundry and another in Greenwich, New Jersey. He died in Durham on 23 February 1781, leaving behind a number of illegitimate children.
revised by Michael Bellesiles