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    7 Little

    These tidbits from a UCF professor might make you rethink the Fourth of July — or at least arm you with some trivia for the holiday picnic.

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    7 Little-Known Facts about the Declaration of Independence

    These tidbits might make you rethink the Fourth of July — or at least arm you with some trivia for the holiday picnic.

    By Robert Stephens July 2, 2019

    Originally Published July 2, 2018

    This painting by artist John Trumbull depicts the moment on June 28, 1776, when the first draft of the Declaration of Independence was presented to the Second Continental Congress. (Image courtesy of the Architect of the Capitol)

    UCF lecturer David Head barely needs notes to teach the course U.S. History: 1492-1877. He wrote a book on early America, edited the 300,000-word Encyclopedia of the Atlantic World, 1400–1900, and is currently in the middle of another three-year book project focused on George Washington.

    Did you know? It took six months for all the signatures to be compiled for the Declaration of Independence.

    His inspiration for keeping history alive?

    “My mom,” says Head. “She wrote down everything that happened to my five siblings and me, and turned it into a daily calendar so we’d never forget the facts.”

    Here are some facts he’s shared about our nation’s founding

    The Declaration of Independence was not signed on July 4

    Thomas Jefferson presented a draft of what would become the Declaration of Independence in the days before July 4, 1776. The full Congress debated, revised and edited the document on July 2 and July 3. By July 4, they ratified the wording. But the formal copy of the Declaration of Independence wasn’t officially finalized until two weeks later and it wasn’t signed until August 2. John Trumbull’s famous painting of Jefferson, John Hancock, John Adams, Ben Franklin, and Roger Sherman does not depict the signing — it is them presenting the draft on June 28, 1776.

    Attendance for the signing wasn’t so great

    With no FedEx available, the document stayed in Philadelphia until each of the 56 delegates could eventually travel there by horse. It would take six months for all the signatures to be compiled. Thomas McKean of Delaware was the last person to sign, possibly as late as 1777 (the actual date is disputed), though some copies of the declaration do not have McKean’s name on them.

    About the signers

    Two 26-year-olds from South Carolina were the youngest to sign the Declaration of Independence (Thomas Lynch Jr., and Edward Rutledge). Benjamin Franklin, 70, was the oldest. Eight of the men were born in the British Isles. They were lawyers, of course, but also businessmen, farmers, teachers, and a minister (John Witherspoon of New Jersey). Two signers were inventors of similarly named musical instruments that never caught on (Francis Hopkinson with the Bellarmonic, and Benjamin Franklin with the glass armonica).

    Nine of the signers died before independence was officially won

    Between 1776 and 1783, when the states achieved independence, nine of the signers died — some in bizarre circumstances. Button Gwinnett of Georgia, died in a duel over conduct in a battle. And 26-year-old Thomas Lynch Jr., who was one of the two youngest to sign, drowned in a storm on his way to France.

    There were other declarations of independence

    In early 1776, there seemed to be no end to the war and little hope for reconciliation with England. So a number of localities and colonies produced their own statements about independence. The authors were judges, politicians, even laborers. Turns out, the sentiments in the official Declaration of Independence are very similar to the declarations at the local levels.

    The first celebration was short-lived

    As the declaration was being read to the Continental Army troops on July 9, they were on the verge of being routed by the British Army. The troops and their faithful had just enough time to tear down the two-ton statue of George III in New York and send it up the East River to Connecticut, where its pieces were melted into musket balls.

    The document almost became worthless

    The British had George Washington’s troops trapped in New York City — almost. Washington found an escape route, crossed the Delaware River and regrouped before going back on the offensive. Had the British been more aggressive and cut off Washington in Manhattan, the war could have been lost, the Declaration of Independence would have been nothing but evidence of treason — and there’s no telling what kind of history we’d be talking about today.


    College of Arts and Humanities History david head





    Source : www.ucf.edu

    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.


    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

    Signers of the Declaration of Independence

    [get-content name="print-page-left" include-tag="false" /] Download this Information in PDF Format Name State Rep.

    Signers of the Declaration of Independence

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    Name State Rep. Date of Birth Birthplace Age in 1776 Occupation Number of Marriages Number of Children Date of Death Age at Death Adams, John MA 10/30/1735 Quincy, MA 40 Lawyer 1 5 7/4/1826 90 Adams, Samuel MA 9/27/1722 Boston, MA 53 Merchant 2 2 10/2/1803 81 Bartlett, Josiah NH 11/21/1729 Amesbury,MA 46 Physician 1 12 5/19/1795 65 Braxton, Carter VA 9/10/1736 Newington, VA 39 Plantation Owner 2 18 10/10/1797 61

    Carroll, Charles of Carrollton

    MD 9/19/1737 Annapolis, MD 38

    Merchant, Plantation Owner

    1 7 11/14/1832 95 Chase, Samuel MD 4/17/1741 Somerset Co., MD 35 Lawyer 2 4 6/19/1811 70 Clark, Abraham NJ 2/15/1726 Elizabethtown, NJ 50 Lawyer, Surveyer 1 10 9/15/1794 68 Clymer, George PA 3/16/1739 Philadelphia, PA 37 Merchant 1 8 1/24/1813 73 Ellery, William RI 12/22/1727 Newport, RI 48 Lawyer, Merchant 2 16 2/15/1820 92 Floyd, William NY 12/17/1734 Brookhaven, NY 41 Land Speculator 2 3 8/4/1821 86 Franklin, Benjamin PA 1/17/1706 Boston, MA 70 Scientist, Printer 1 3 4/17/1790 84 Gerry, Elbridge MA 7/17/1744 Marblehead, MA 32 Merchant 1 7 11/23/1814 70 Gwinnett, Button GA c. 1735 Gloucester, England 41

    Merchant, Plantation Owner

    1 3 5/15/1777 42 Hall, Lyman GA 4/12/1724 Wallingford, CT 52 Physician, Minister 2 1 10/19/1790 66 Hancock, John MA 1/12/1737 Quincy, MA 40 Merchant 1 2 10/8/1793 56 Harrison, Benjamin VA 4/7/1726

    Charles City Co., VA


    Plantation Owner, Farmer

    1 7 4/24/1791 65 Hart, John NJ c. 1711 Hunterdon Co., NJ 65 Land owner 1 13 5/11/1779 68 Hewes, Joseph NC 1/23/1730 Kingston, NJ 46 Merchant - - 10/10/1779 49 Heyward Jr., Thomas SC 7/28/1746

    St. Helena Parish, SC


    Lawyer, Plantation Owner

    2 8 3/6/1809 62 Hooper, William NC 6/17/1742 Boston, MA 34 Lawyer 1 3 10/14/1790 48 Hopkins, Stephen RI 3/7/1707 Providence, RI 69 Merchant 2 7 4/13/1785 78 Hopkinson, Francis NJ 10/2/1737 Philadelphia, PA 38 Lawyer, Musician 1 5 5/9/1791 53 Huntington, Samuel CT 7/3/1731 Windham, CT 45 Lawyer 1 2 1/5/1796 64 Jefferson, Thomas VA 4/13/1743 Albemarle Co., VA 33

    Lawyer, Plantation Owner, Scientist

    1 6 7/4/1826 83

    Lee, Francis Lightfoot

    VA 10/14/1734 Mt. Pleasant, VA 41 Plantation Owner 1 0 1/11/1797 62 Lee, Richard Henry VA 1/20/1732 Stratford, VA 44

    Plantation Owner, Merchant

    2 6 6/19/1794 62 Lewis, Francis NY 3/21/1713 Llandaff, Wales 63 Merchant 1 7 12/30/1802 89 Livingston, Philip NY 1/15/1716 Albany, NY 60 Merchant 1 9 6/12/1778 62 Lynch Jr., Thomas SC 8/5/1749

    Prince George’s Parrish, SC

    26 Lawyer 1 0 c. 1779 30 McKean, Thomas DE 3/19/1735 Chester Co., PA 42 Lawyer 2 11 6/24/1817 83 Middleton, Arthur SC 6/26/1742 Charleston, SC 34 Plantation Owner 1 9 1/1/1787 44 Morris, Lewis NY 4/8/1726 West Chester Co.,NY 50 Plantation Owner 1 10 1/22/1798 71 Morris, Robert PA 1/31/1734 Liverpool, England 42

    Merchant, Land Speculator

    1 7 5/8/1806 72 Morton, John PA c. 1724 Ridley Township, PA 52 Farmer 1 8 c. 1777 53 Nelson Jr., Thomas VA 12/26/1738 Yorktown, VA 37

    Merchant, Plantation Owner

    1 13 1/4/1789 50 Paca, William MD 10/31/1740 Abington, MD 35

    Lawyer, Plantation Owner

    2 5 10/13/1799 58 Paine, Robert Treat MA 3/11/1731 Boston, MA 45 Lawyer, Scientist 1 8 5/12/1814

    Source : www.archives.gov

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