William Hooper and John Penn, Guilford Courthouse
The monument honors two of the three North Carolina signers of the Declaration of Independence. A sculpture of a man in colonial garb stands atop the granite monument base; his right hand is raised high in the air while grasping the Declaration with his left. On the base on the west side the name ‘John Penn’ is inscribed; on the east, ‘William Hooper." The monument is about 18' in height. The monument base was placed three years prior to the statue and inscription tablet. Two benches flank the brick patio the statue stands on.
Images (courtesy of Natasha Smith): Modern view of the statue and benches | Bronze plaque | William Hooper bench | Plaque on William Hooper bench | John Penn bench | Plaque on John Penn bench
Historic images: Signers Monument in Original Location
IN MEMORIAM / WILLIAM HOOPER AND JOHN PENN / DELEGATES FROM / NORTH CAROLINA 1776 TO THE / CONTINENTAL CONGRESS AND SIGNERS / OF THE DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE. / THEIR REMAINS WERE REINTERRED / HERE 1894. HEWES’ GRAVE IS LOST / HE WAS THE THIRD SIGNER. / "LEE, HENRY, AND HOOPER WERE THE / ORATORS OF THE CONGRESS" / JOHN ADAMS' DIARY VOL. 2. P. 396, 1774
Plaque on John Penn bench: JOHN PENN / SIGNER OF THE DECLARATION / OF INDEPENDENCE / PLACED BY / DESCENDANTS OF THE SIGNERS OF THE / DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE, INC.
Plaque on William Hooper bench:WILLIAM HOOPER / SIGNER OF THE DECLARATION / OF INDEPENDENCE / PLACED BY / DESCENDANTS OF THE SIGNERS OF THE / DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE, INC.
Guilford Courthouse National Military Park
Monument dedication: July 4, 1894. Statue and bronze tablet dedication: July 3, 1897
36.131970 , -79.844620 View in Geobrowse
“Fourth at Greensboro!” Durham Globe (Durham, NC), July 4, 1894
Baker, Thomas E. and Michael H. White. The Monuments at Guilford Courthouse National Military Park, North Carolina, (Greensboro, NC: Guilford Courthouse NMP, 1991)
Folder 19 in David Schenck Papers, #652, Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, see scans 110, 112 Link
Folder 19 in David Schenck Papers, #652, Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, see scans 340, 352 Link
Folder 27a in Joseph M. Morehead Papers, #523, Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, see scans 3, 4-16, 19, 26-28, 42-43 Link
Grimes, J. Bryan. "Why North Carolina Should Erect and Preserve Memorials and Mark Historic Places: Address Before the North Carolina Literary and Historical Association, Raleigh, N.C., November 4, 1909," ([Raleigh, NC: The News and Observer, 1909]), (accessed May 18, 2012) Link
National Park Service. U.S. Department of the Interior. North Carolina National Register of Historic Places. "Inventory Form - Guilford Courthouse National Military Park," (accessed November 6, 2019) Link
“Fourth at Greensboro!” Durham Globe (Durham, NC), July 3, 1894
“Guilford Battlefield,” Goldsboro Weekly Argus (Goldsboro, NC), July 12, 1894
“John Penn and the Other Signers,” Wilmington Messenger (Wilmington, NC), May 24, 1894
“July 4th, 1987,” The Union Republican July 1, 1897
“Signers Monument,” The Historical Marker Database, HMdb.org, (accessed January 20, 2018) Link
“William Hooper, the Signer,” Fayetteville Weekly Observer (Fayetteville, NC), May 10, 1894
Monument Base: The Battle Ground Company
This monument was unveiled the same day as the Schenk Museum was dedicated at the site (the museum has long since been removed). The Hon. Charles M. Stedman gave remarks and the keynote oration was given by Joseph M. Morehead. Victor McAdoo served as "Chief Marshal" while the Rev. Horace Week Jones provided a prayer. This was the 10th annual celebration held. The speech given was about James Hunter.
Founders Monument, Signers Monument
In 1894 the Guilford Battleground company decided to move the remains and erect a monument to North Carolina's three signers. Hooper and Penn were reburied in 1894, but Hewes' unmarked grave could not be found.
In 1932, a monument to Joseph Hewes was unveiled in Edenton, NC. In 1897, a monument to William Hooper and John Penn was unveiled in Guilford Courthouse National Military Park.
[Additional information from NCpedia editors at the State Library of North Carolina: This person enslaved and owned other people. Many Black and African people, their descendants, and some others were enslaved in the United States until the Thirteenth Amendment abolished slavery in 1865. It was common for wealthy landowners, entrepreneurs, politicians, institutions, and others to enslave people and use enslaved labor during this period. To read more about the enslavement and transportation of African people to North Carolina, visit https://aahc.nc.gov/programs/africa-carolina-0. To read more about slavery and its history in North Carolina, visit https://www.ncpedia.org/slavery. - Government and Heritage Library, 2023.]
The memorial is located in Guilford Courthouse National Military Park, on the Auto Tour at stop 8. It is significantly more forested then its original location.
The statue stands on a brick patio, surrounded by mature trees of the national park.
Moved in the 1970s from its original location which caused a blind spot for drivers near the intersection of present day Old Battleground Road and the old "New Garden Road" The graves of the two signers were also moved to their present location at this time. (Original Coordinates: 36.132009, -79.845776)