William Hooper, William Ellery, William Floyd, William Paca, and William Whipple formed a group they called the College of Williams, pledging mutual support in the event of an American defeat. William Williams of Connecticut refused to join, calling himself “overqualified.”
Arthur Middleton, who considered literacy beneath his dignity as a South Carolinian gentleman, had to be coached in signing his own name by Thomas Heyward.
Elbridge Gerry came late to the session and was forced to squeeze his signature into a hook-shaped space that he complained looked like “some sort of ridiculous salamander.”
Philip Livingston of New York applied his signature with a novelty ballpoint pen in the shape of the Statue of Liberty. To this day, no one knows where he got it.