Read, George (1733-1798), a leader of colonial Delaware and a signer of the Declaration of Independence. He was born in Maryland. Read studied law and started practicing in Delaware in 1753. He led the colony's opposition to the Stamp Act in 1765. A moderate in the Continental Congress of 1776, he did not vote for independence but signed the Declaration of Independence after its adoption. Read was a delegate to the Constitutional Convention of 1787, and through his leadership Delaware became the first state to ratify the Constitution. He later served as a Federalist in the U.S. Senate, 1789-93, and as chief justice of his state, 1793-98.