The official seal of the state of Maryland reads Fatti, Maschii, Parola Femine, which is Italian for “Manly Deeds, Womanly Words.” It is the only state motto written in Italian, and Maryland also was the only state that was home to a signer of the Declaration of Independence who was of Italian heritage. His name is William Paca
William Paca’s ancestors came to America during the mid-1600s. Robert Paca was the first to arrive, coming to the colonies from England. He married an English woman, received a grant of land in Anne Arundel County and had one son, Aquila, the grandfather of William.
William Paca was born on October 31, 1740, to a wealthy planter in Maryland. In 1752, William and his brother were sent to attend school at the Academy and Charity School. When he had finished his studies, he attended the College of Philadelphia and graduated with a bachelor of the arts degree in 1759. In 1762, he achieved a master of the arts degree.
His signature can be found among 55 others, on the Declaration of Independence. Years later, as a delegate to the Maryland Convention, he voted to adopt the U.S. Constitution. Paca’s public service included terms as a Maryland state senator, its chief justice and as a three-term governor. He also was appointed a federal district judge by President George Washington.