John Hart, a signer of the Declaration of Independence, born in Hopewell township, N. J., in 1708, died there in 1780. He was the son of a farmer, and spent the greater part of his life on his own farm near Trenton. He was several times a member of the provincial congress of New Jersey, and was prominent especially in legislation for local improvements. On June 21, 1776, he was elected, with four others, to the continental congress, to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of the New Jersey delegation, who, elected the previous February, were unwilling to assume the responsibility imposed by Lee's resolution. Of the number who resigned was John De Hart, who has frequently been confounded with the signer of the Declaration. In 1777 and 1778 John Hart was a prominent member of the New Jersey council of safety. When the state was invaded by the British, his farm was laid waste and every effort made to capture him. He left his family and wandered through the woods, constantly hunted, and never venturing to sleep twice in the same house.
The capture of the Hessians at Trenton made it safe for him to return to his farm, where he passed the remainder of his life.