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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) —  There were only three men in North Carolina that signed the Declaration of Independence; William Hooper was one of them. 

Born in Boston, he moved to Wilmington after graduating from Harvard in 1764. His home was along 3rd Street, just across from what is today the New Hanover County courthouse. 

During his time in the Port City, he opened a successful law office and developed such a strong reputation that he worked his way up the legal ladder taking him away from Wilmington after just four years. 

He began to garner a revolutionary spirit, writing a note to a friend in 1774 that said the colonies "will build an empire on the ruins of Great Britain."

Hooper along with Richard Caswell and Joseph Hewes were North Carolina’s delegates to the Continental Congress. Although Hooper was absent when the Declaration of Independence was signed, he was able to pen his name on it August 2nd, 1776.

He died a young man, at the age of only 48. 

William Hooper School on Meares St. bore his name, but closed in 1984. It now serves as apartments. 



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