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Penn People

George Ross

Penn Connection

  • Trustee 1788-1790

George Ross, Esquire, was elected vice president of Pennsylvania’s Supreme Executive Council (the equivalent of lieutenant-governor) on November 5, 1788. Unanimously reelected the following November and serving until December of 1790, he was the last person to hold this office. With the reorganization of the Pennsylvania commonwealth government in 1791, the governor became the chief executive; the position of lieutenant governor was put in place by 1873.

As vice president of the Executive Council, Ross served in an ex-officio capacity as a trustee of the University of the State of Pennsylvania (now the University of Pennsylvania).

The identity of this trustee is still unclear. Penn trustee George Ross is definitely not the George Ross who signed the Declaration of Independence and died in 1779; but he may have been his son, born in 1752 and also named George Ross, who later served as Recorder of Deeds and Register of Wills in Lancaster County. This George Ross (1752-1832) would also have been the right age to be the same George Ross who attended the Academy of Philadelphia in 1767. There are, however, other possibilities, including a George Ross (1746-1801) who married Isabella Montgomery, daughter of James Montgomery in Maryland in 1769.