Hugh Williamson was a physician, a minister, a businessman, and a scientist. In 1735, Williamson was born in Chester County, Pennsylvania. He witnessed the Boston Tea Party, which led him into politics and into serving as a North Carolina delegate to the Philadelphia convention in 1787. He was a pragmatic man; even though he opposed slavery, he realized that the Southern States could not be members of the Union if the slave trade were ended. Williams even worked with Benjamin Franklin on electrical experiments. He died in New York City in 1819.