by Janelle Whitelocke
William Paca was a United States politician, a delegate to the Continental Congress, and a signer of the Declaration of Independence. Throughout his life, William worked to build the country we now call home.
William Paca was born on October 31, 1740, to a wealthy planter in Maryland. In 1752, William and his brother were sent to attend school at the Academy and Charity School. When he had finished his generas studies, he attended the College of Philadelphia and graduated with a bachelor of the arts degree in 1759. In 1762, he achieved a master of the arts degree.
William then returned home to Maryland, where he started studying law. In 1764, he was admitted to the bar in Maryland. As his career took off, William Paca asked Mary Chaw to be his wife. They were happily married on May 26, 1763. Together, they had three children.
As the British continued to agitate the colonies, William began forming a friendship with Samuel Chase (a future signatory of the Declaration of Independence). In 1765, the two men started the Sons of Liberty in Annapolis as a response to the Stamp Act. After this, the two men became very close friends.
In 1771, William Paca was elected to the Maryland Legislature, where he stayed until 1774. In 1774, William was asked to go to the Continental Congress as a delegate for Maryland. A politician he was excited to be sharing with was Samuel Chase. In 1776, both men signed the Declaration of Independence.
William retired from Congress in 1774, when he was appointed Chief Justice of Maryland. He held this politician until 1782, when he was elected Governor of Maryland. On February 10, 1790, he was appointed to the United States District Court for the District of Maryland.
William Paca remained in this position on the District Court until his death on October 23, 1799.