John De Hart (July 25, 1727 – June 1, 1795) was an American lawyer, jurist, and statesman from Elizabeth, New
Jersey. He represented New Jersey as a delegate to the Continental Congress in 1774 and
De Hart was born at Elizabethtown to Jacob De Hart (1699–1777) and
Abigail (Crane) De Hart. He studied law and was admitted to the bar
in 1770. He married Sarah Dagworthy, and they had eight children
(John, Jacob, Matthias, Stephen, Sarah, Abigail, Jane, and
In 1774 he was named as a delegate to the First Continental Congress
he supported the non-importation
and the first petition to the King
, he was in
favor of reconciliation. He was returned to the second Congress in 1775, but as
differences with Great
Britain became more pronounced, the Congress began to adopt
a harder line.
Finally, on November
he wrote his resignation to the
New Jersey General
, and they accepted it on November 22
In 1776, New Jersey began crafting an independent government. De
Hart attended the convention, and served on the committee that
drafted the New Jersey
in June. He was appointed to serve on the New Jersey
Supreme Court on September 4, 1776, but made a better living practicing law.
in February, 1777 for failing to attend court sessions.
last act of public service was as mayor of Elizabethtown (later renamed Elizabeth).
He was elected in
November of 1789, and served until his death. He died at home in
1795 and is buried in St. John's Episcopal Churchyard in Elizabeth.
The home that he built in
1766, and lived in for twenty-nine years, is called the De Hart
and stands at Rahway Avenue and Cherry Street in