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    Declaration of Independence Facts, Full Text & Dates To Remember

    Declaration of Independence Facts and the Full Text of the Declaration of Independence. Important Dates to Remember. Declaration of Independence Activities and Lesson Plans for Educators. Learn About the Signers of the Declaration of Independence and Test Your Knowledge with our Declaration of Independence Quiz.

    Fascinating Facts about the Declaration of Independence

    There is something written on the back of the Declaration of Independence, but it isn't a secret map or code. Instead, there are a few handwritten words that say, "Original Declaration of Independence/ dated 4th July 1776". No one knows who wrote this, but it was probably added as a label when the document was rolled up for storage many years ago.

    Once the Declaration of Independence had been written and signed, printer John Dunlap was asked to make about 200 copies to be distributed throughout the colonies. Today, the “Dunlap Broadsides” are extremely rare and valuable. In 1989, someone discovered a previously unknown Dunlap Broadside. It was sold for over $8 million in 2000. There are only 26 known surviving Dunlap Broadsides today.

    Although Thomas Jefferson is often called the “author” of the Declaration of Independence, he wasn’t the only person who contributed important ideas. Jefferson was a member of a five-person committee appointed by the Continental Congress to write the Declaration. The committee included Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, Robert Livingston, and Roger Sherman.

    Robert Livingston, one of the members of the committee who wrote the Declaration of Independence, never signed it. He believed that it was too soon to declare independence and therefore refused to sign.

    One of the most widely held misconceptions about the Declaration of Independence is that it was signed on July 4, 1776. In fact, independence was formally declared on July 2, 1776, a date that John Adams believed would be “the most memorable epocha in the history of America.” On July 4, 1776, Congress approved the final text of the Declaration. It wasn’t signed until August 2, 1776.

    After Jefferson wrote his first draft of the Declaration, the other members of the Declaration committee and the Continental Congress made 86 changes to Jefferson’s draft, including shortening the overall length by more than a fourth.

    When writing the first draft of the Declaration, Jefferson primarily drew upon two sources: his own draft of a preamble to the Virginia Constitution and George Mason’s draft of Virginia’s Declaration of Rights.

    Jefferson was quite unhappy about some of the edits made to his original draft of the Declaration of Independence. He had originally included language condemning the British promotion of the slave trade (even though Jefferson himself was a slave owner). This criticism of the slave trade was removed in spite of Jefferson’s objections.

    On December 13, 1952, the Declaration of Independence (along with the Constitution and Bill of Rights) was formally delivered to the National Archives in Washington, D.C., where it has remained since then.

    The two youngest signers of the Declaration of Independence were both from South Carolina. Thomas Lynch, Jr. and Edward Rutledge of South Carolina were both born in 1749 and were only 26 when they signed the Declaration. Most of the other signers were in their 40s and 50s.

    Philosopher John Locke’s ideas were an important influence on the Declaration of Independence. Thomas Jefferson restated Locke’s contract theory of government when he wrote in the Declaration that governments derived “their just Powers from the consent of the people.”

    Thomas Jefferson and John Adams both died on July 4, 1826, the 50th anniversary of the vote to approve the Declaration of Independence.

    Some of the most famous lines in the Declaration of Independence were inspired by Virginia’s Declaration of Rights by George Mason. Mason said: “all men are born equally free and independent.” Jefferson's Declaration of Independence said: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal." Mason listed man's “natural Rights” as “Enjoyment of Life and Liberty, with the Means of acquiring and possessing Property, and pursuing and obtaining Happiness and Safety.” Jefferson listed man's "inalienable rights" as "Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness."

    Nine of the signers of the Declaration died before the American Revolution ended in 1783.

    In the summer of 1776, when the Declaration was signed, the population of the nation is estimated to have been about 2.5 million. (Today the population of the U.S. is more than 300 million.)

    The oldest signer of the Declaration was Benjamin Franklin, who was born in 1706 and was therefore already 70 at the time of the Declaration. Franklin went on to help negotiate the Treaty of Alliance with France in 1778 and the Treaty of Paris, which ended the Revolutionary War in 1783.

    The only signer of the Declaration of Independence to survive beyond the 50th anniversary of the signing was Charles Carroll of Maryland. Carroll died in 1832 when he was 95 years old.

    The copy of the Declaration of Independence that is housed at the National Archives is not the draft that was approved by the Continental Congress on July 4, 1776. Instead it is a formal copy that the Continental Congress hired someone to make for them after the text was approved. This formal copy was probably made by Timothy Matlack, an assistant to the Secretary of Congress. This copy was signed on August 2, 1776.

    No one who signed the Declaration of Independence was born in the United States of America. The United States didn't exist until after the Declaration was signed! However, all but eight of the signers were born in colonies that would become the United States.

    Source : www.constitutionfacts.com

    On this day, the Declaration of Independence is officially signed

    Blog August 02, 2021 by Scott Bomboy

    On this day, the Declaration of Independence is officially signed

    August 2, 1776, is one of the most important but least celebrated days in American history when 56 members of the Second Continental Congress started signing the Declaration of Independence in Philadelphia.

    Officially, the Congress declared its freedom from Great Britain on July 2, 1776, when it approved a resolution in a unanimous vote.

    After voting on independence on July 2, the group needed to draft a document explaining the move to the public. It had been proposed in draft form by the Committee of Five (John Adams, Roger Sherman, Robert Livingston, Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson) and it took two days for the Congress to agree on the edits. Thomas Jefferson was the main author.

    Once the Congress approved the actual Declaration of Independence document on July 4, it was sent to a printer named John Dunlap. About 200 copies of the Dunlap Broadside were printed, with John Hancock’s name printed at the bottom. Today, 26 copies remain. Then on July 8, 1776, Colonel John Nixon of Philadelphia read a printed Declaration of Independence to the public for the first time on what is now called Independence Square.

    Many members of the Continental Congress started to sign an engrossed version of the Declaration on August 2, 1776, in Philadelphia. John Hancock’s famous signature was in the middle, because of his status as President of the Congress. The other delegates signed by state delegation, starting in the upper right column, and then proceeding in five columns, arranged from the northernmost state (New Hampshire) to the southernmost (Georgia).

    Historian Herbert Friedenwald explained in his 1904 study of the Second Continental Congress that the signers on August 2 weren’t necessarily the same delegates at the Congress in early July when the Declaration was proposed and approved.

    “Attempting now to determine the names of some of those who were present on the day officially appointed for signing the engrossed document (August 2), we reach the conclusion that a far greater number than has generally been supposed were not in Philadelphia on that day either,” said Friedenwald, who determined discrepancies between the delegates perceived to sign the document on July 4 and the actual delegates who started signing the Declaration on August 2.

    Friedenwald said there were 49 delegates in Philadelphia on July 4, 1776, but only 45 would have been able to sign the document on that day. Seven delegates were absent. New York’s eight-person delegation didn’t vote at the time, while it awaited instructions from home, so it could never have signed a document on July 4, he said.

    Richard Henry Lee, George Wythe, Elbridge Gerry, Oliver Wolcott, Lewis Morris, Thomas McKean, and Matthew Thornton signed the document after August 2, 1776, as well as seven new members of Congress added after July 4. Seven other members of the July 4 meeting never signed the document, Friedenwald said.

    However, the signers’ names weren’t released publicly until early 1777, when Congress allowed the printing of an official copy with the names attached. On January 18, 1777 printer Mary Katherine Goddard’s version printed in Baltimore indicated the delegates “desired to have the same put on record,” and there was a signature from John Hancock authenticating the printing.

    Scott Bomboy is the editor in chief of the National Constitution Center.

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    Signing of the United States Declaration of Independence

    Signing of the United States Declaration of Independence

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    Signing of the United States Declaration of Independence

    John Trumbull's 1819 painting, , depicts the five-man drafting committee of the Declaration of Independence presenting their work to the Second Continental Congress

    Date August 2, 1776

    Venue Independence Hall

    Location Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

    Coordinates 39°56′56″N 75°09′00″W / 39.948889°N 75.15°W

    Coordinates: 39°56′56″N 75°09′00″W / 39.948889°N 75.15°W

    Participants Delegates to the Second Continental Congress

    The 56 signatures on the Declaration of Independence

    The signing of the United States Declaration of Independence occurred primarily on August 2, 1776, at the Pennsylvania State House in Philadelphia, later to become known as Independence Hall. The 56 delegates to the Second Continental Congress represented the 13 colonies, 12 of which voted to approve the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776. The New York delegation abstained because they had not yet received instructions from Albany to vote for independence. The Declaration proclaimed the signatory colonies were now "free and independent States," no longer colonies of the Kingdom of Great Britain and, thus, no longer a part of the British Empire. The signers’ names are grouped by state, with the exception of John Hancock, as President of the Continental Congress; the states are arranged geographically from south to north, with Button Gwinnett from Georgia first, and Matthew Thornton from New Hampshire last.

    The final draft of the Declaration was approved by the Continental Congress on July 4, although the date of its signing has long been disputed. Most historians have concluded that it was signed on August 2, 1776, nearly a month after its adoption, and not on July 4 as is commonly believed.

    Contents

    1 Date of signing 2 List of signers 3 Signer details 4 Legacy 5 See also 6 References 6.1 Citations 6.2 Sources

    Date of signing[edit]

    by Armand-Dumaresq (c. 1873) has been hanging in the White House since the late 1980s

    The Second Continental Congress adopted the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776, with 12 of the 13 colonies voting in favor and New York abstaining. The date that the Declaration was signed has long been the subject of debate. Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, and John Adams all wrote that it was signed by Congress on the day when it was adopted on July 4, 1776.[1] That assertion is seemingly confirmed by the signed copy of the Declaration, which is dated July 4. Additional support for the July 4 date is provided by the , the official public record of the Continental Congress. The proceedings for 1776 were first published in 1777, and the entry for July 4 states that the Declaration was engrossed and signed on that date (the official copy was handwritten).[2]

    In 1796, signer Thomas McKean disputed that the Declaration had been signed on July 4, pointing out that some signers were not present, including several who were not even elected to Congress until after that date.[3] "No person signed it on that day nor for many days after", he wrote.[4] His claim gained support when the were published in 1821.[5] The contained two previously unpublished entries about the Declaration.

    On July 15, New York's delegates got permission from their convention to agree to the Declaration.[6] The entry for July 19 reads:

    Resolved That the Declaration passed on the 4th be fairly engrossed on parchment with the title and stile of "The unanimous declaration of the thirteen united states of America" & that the same when engrossed be signed by every member of Congress.[7]

    The entry for August 2 states:

    The declaration of Independence being engrossed & compared at the table was signed by the Members.[7]

    In 1884, historian Mellen Chamberlain argued that these entries indicated that the famous signed version of the Declaration had been created following the July 19 resolution, and had not been signed by Congress until August 2.[8] Subsequent research has confirmed that many of the signers had not been present in Congress on July 4, and that some delegates may have added their signatures even after August 2.[9] Neither Jefferson nor Adams ever wavered from their belief that the signing ceremony took place on July 4, yet most historians have accepted the argument which David McCullough articulates in his biography of John Adams: "No such scene, with all the delegates present, ever occurred at Philadelphia."[10]

    Source : en.wikipedia.org

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