General Thomas Nelson, Jr.

General Thomas Nelson, Jr., was one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence and a member of the Continental Congress.  He was born December 26, 1738, at Yorktown, Virginia.  He married Lucy Grymes on July 29, 1762, and they had eleven children.  Thomas Nelson died January 4, 1789, at "Offley," Hanover County, Virginia, and was buried in the cemetery of Grace Episcopal Church in Yorktown.

Grave of Thomas Nelson, Jr.

Thomas Nelson entered Eton College in England when he was fourteen years old and was subsequently graduated from Cambridge.  He was an active member of the State Constitutional Convention and was elected Governor of Virginia in 1781.  He commanded the Virginia Militia at the siege of Yorktown.  According to family legend, General Nelson directed fire against his own house because he believed it served as headquarters of General Cornwallis.  It was there on October 19, 1781, that General Cornwallis surrendered.

The following is the inscription on his tomb:

Gen. Thomas Nelson, Jr.
1738-1789
Patriot, Soldier, Christian Gentleman
Mover of the Resolution of May 15, 1776 in the
Virginia Convention, Instructing her Delegates in
Congress to move that body to Declare the Colonies
Free and Independent States.  Signer of the
Declaration of Independence, was Governor of
Virginia, Commander of Virginia Forces.
He gave all for Liberty.

Virginia has honored Thomas Nelson, Jr., by placing his statue with those of five other patriots on the Washington Monument at the Virginia State Capitol in Richmond.

Today we, the members of the Thomas Nelson Chapter, NSDAR, are honored to remember the strength of character and sense of patriotism of this special person.