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Thomas Nelson

Gov. Thomas Nelson

  • June 12, 1781 - November 22, 1781
  • December 26, 1738
  • January 4, 1789
  • Virginia
  • Cambridge University
  • Married Lucy Grymes; thirteen children
  • Resigned
  • Representative
  • Army
  • Signer of the Declaration of Independence


Born in York, Virginia, THOMAS NELSON JR. was educated in England, attending Cambridge University. After returning to America, he was elected to the House of Burgesses in 1761 and then a member of the Virginia provincial convention after the House of Burgesses was dissolved by the royal governor. He helped establish the Virginia militia, becoming its first Commander. He went on to be elected to the Continental Congress and was one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence. Nelson County, Virginia, formed in 1807, was named for Thomas Nelson, Jr.


Lee, Nell Moore. Patriot Above Profit: A Portrait of Thomas Nelson, Jr. Nashville, TN: Rutledge Hill Press, c1988.

Library of Virginia, Virginia Governor, Executive Papers (1781: Nelson). Accession 29604. Biographical/Historical Note. State Government Records Collection, Library of Virginia, Richmond, VA 23219.

Biographical Directory of the U.S. Congress

Nelson Biography - U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service

The Nelson House - U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service

Recent Virginia Governors