John Langdon was born 26 June 1741 in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, United States to John Langdon (1707-1780) and Mary Hall (1717-1789) and died 18 September 1819 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States of unspecified causes.
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John Langdon, who represented New Hampshire at the Constitutional Convention, was a wealthy international trader.


Militia Officer

Thrust by his widespread commercial interests into the forefront of the Patriot cause, Langdon contributed his highly developed business acumen during the Revolution to the problems of supplying the Continental Navy. As a citizen-soldier, he also participated under arms in the American victory, on several occasions using his personal fortune to ensure the success of his militia command.

Langdon's various political and military experiences in the Revolution led him to believe that the well-being of his country demanded a binding union of the states. A citizen of one of the smaller and less influential states, he realized in particular that only a strong central government could ensure that the rights and privileges of all citizens would be equally protected. His business background also convinced him of the need for a government that could guarantee economic stability and growth. At the same time, his experiences in the militia and in the Continental Congress made him an articulate exponent of the idea that a well-regulated militia force, subordinate to civilian authority, was an important ingredient of any new government. During a long political career at both the state and national level, Langdon would continue to extol and explain the unique blending of the advantages and responsibilities bestowed upon the republic by the Constitution.


A very wealthy merchant with considerable political experience as state president (governor), speaker of the New Hampshire House, and two-time delegate to the national Congress. When the state could not raise enough funds to cover the expense of sending delegates to Philadelphia, he donated enough money to cover the trip, which predictable included himself. In the summer of 1787, he was one of two delegates representing New Hampshire at the Constitutional Convention.

John Langdon was a very strong speaker. He arrived late at the Constitutional Convention and missed the debate over representation. Langdon stated that a strong national government would be necessary with tax and military reasons. He also didn't want the debate on slavery to be decided by the people.


Offspring of John Langdon and Elizabeth Sherburne (1746-1813)
Name Birth Death Joined with
Mary Jane Langdon (1728-1806)
Elizabeth Langdon (1777-1860)
John Langdon (1779-)
Samuel Waterman Langdon (1817-1888)

Footnotes (including sources)




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