Thomas Nelson was born at Yorktown, VA, Dec. 26 1738, was the son of William Nelson, president of the Virginia Council. After preliminary training in Virginia and England, he attended Trinity College, Cambridge, where he graduated with an A.B.
Nelson was a member of the Virginia House of Burgesses from 1761 ti 1775m as representative of York County. In 1774 he was among those who protested against dissolving the House by Lord Dunmore. He was returned to the next House.
Nelson was a member of the Williamsburg Convention, Aug. 1, 1774, and that of March, 1775. By the convention of March, 1775, he re-signed to served in the Continental Congress, 1775-1777.
Nelson was one of the 54 signers of the Declaration of Independence.
In May 1777, he resigned his Congressional seat on account of illness, an din Aug. 1777 was appointed commander of the Virginia State Fource and accompanied to Philadelphia a troop of cavalry which he himself had raised and equipped. In 1779 a short service to Congress was interrupted by illness. When an invasion of Virginia was threatened in May 1779, he organized the militia. Later, at his own expense, he sent two regiments to the South.
Nelson was elected fourth Gov of Virginia June 12 1781. At the siege of Yorktown, where Nelson commanded the Virginia militias, he directed the artillery to open fire on his own house, under the impression taht it was the headquarters of the British general.
Without recompense for his fortune spent in the service of his country he passed his last days in comparative poverty and died at "Offley," Hanover County, on Jan. 4, 1789.
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