Benjamin Harrison, an American statesman, one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence, born in Berkeley, Va., about 1740, died in April, 1791. He entered public life in 1764 as a member of the Virginia house of burgesses, of which he soon became one of the leaders. During the agitation of the stamp act-question, the governor of Virginia unsuccessfully attempted to secure his support by offering him a seat in the executive council. He was a member of the first continental congress, and served as chairman of the board of war and on other important committees until the close of 1777, when he returned to Virginia. He was elected to the house of burgesses, over which he presided till 1782, when he was chosen governor. In 1785, after having been twice reelected governor, he returned to private life. He was a member of the state convention which met in 1788 to ratify the federal constitution, and at the time of his death of the state legislature. He was the father of William Henry Harrison.