William Paca, 1740-1799
He signed the Declaration of Independence
William Paca, a fourth-generation resident of Maryland whose ancestors had emigrated from Italy, supported the American Revolution. When it seemed Maryland would vote against declaring freedom, Paca traveled the state and successfully built support for the Declaration of Independence, which he signed as a delegate to the Continental Congress. But in 1787, Paca refused to attend the Constitutional Convention.
Paca, with other anti-Federalists, believed that the Constitution didn’t provide enough safeguards to protect the states from the power of the national government. At Maryland’s convention to ratify the Constitution, he suggested a long list of changes. But the delegates refused to consider any amendments and voted to ratify the Constitution. Paca later became a supporter of the new national government and accepted an appointment as a federal judge.