In 1789, George Washington nominated Hopkinson as a U.S. district judge for eastern Pennsylvania—a position that Hopkinson would hold until his death on May 9, 1791, at the age of 53. He died very suddenly of a massive epileptic seizure. He left behind a widow and five children.
Hopkinson’s lifetime output included inventions, musical compositions and writing that ranged from satire to serious essays. Most importantly, having signed the Declaration of Independence, worked on the U.S. flag and supported ratification of the Constitution, his contributions to the United States live on to this day.