Benjamin Harrison V (April 5, 1726 – April 24, 1791) came from one of the most prominent political families in American History. His great-great-great-grandfather came to the Virginia Colony from England in 1630. His family stayed in Virginia and continued to play an important role in politics. Benjamin Harrison V would become governor of Virginia and a signer of the Declaration of Independence. He served alongside fellow Virginia delegates: Thomas Jefferson, George Wythe, Francis Lightfoot Lee, Richard Henry Lee, Thomas Nelson Jr. and Carter Braxton. He owned a large plantation and was one of the wealthiest men in Virginia.
- Harrison grew up in Virginia and was son to Benjamin Harrison IV, a wealthy plantation owner and influential political figure.
- He was well-educated and had much experience in the world of politics. He quickly rose to prominence and served in the Virginia House of Burgesses.
- He was elected to be a delegate to the Second Continental Congress and served as Chairman of the Committee of the Whole. His committee placed an important role in the drafting process of the Declaration of Independence. John Adams wrote that “Harrison’s contributions and many pleasantries steadied rough sessions.”
- Harrison served as a delegate to the Continental Congress until he was elected as the Governor of Virginia.
- He served as Governor for three years and then ran for state legislature and was defeated by John Tyler Sr., the father of John Tyler who would become the tenth President of the United States.
- He was later elected from a neighboring district as a state legislature and there he remained until he died.
- Harrison would not initially support the United States Constitution due to the absence of the Bill of Rights.
- Benjamin Harrison was the father of future President, William Henry Harrison. He was the great – grandfather of Benjamin Harrison who would also become President of the United States. The Harrison family is one of the most notorious political families throughout American History.