Nelson, Thomas, Jr. (1738–1789), an American patriot and statesman. He was a signer of the Declaration of Independence. Nelson was born in Yorktown, Virginia. After attending Christ's College, Cambridge, England, he was elected in 1761 to the House of Burgesses of Virginia. He became a member of the first provincial convention in Williamsburg in 1774 and was a member of the Continental Congress from 1775 to 1777 and again in 1779.
As commander in chief of the Virginia militia, 1777–81, Nelson often equipped troops at his own expense. While governor of Virginia in 1781, he joined Washington in the siege of Yorktown. Nelson lost his fortune aiding the patriot cause and died impoverished.