I decided rather than put this post on the ‘On This Day in Literary History‘ page, it was deserving of a post of its own.
Being English born and bred, and an implant into the US since 2000, I mean no disrespect by the title of this post, it’s just a nod at some of my adopted fellow countrymen, who strongly feel that we should have paid the taxes and moved on. With this said, did anything of note happen on this day with regards to the writing trade? I guess there was that little piece of paper, absolving the Colonies from having to fund the pantyhose buying craze of the English King George III who, if history is correct, was as mad as a hatter in his later years. So without further ado:
July 4, 1776:
John Hancock Signs
The handwritten copy of the Declaration of Independence that was signed by Congress is dated July 4, 1776. The signatures of fifty-six delegates are affixed; however, whether or not Congress actually signed the document on this date has long been the subject of debate. Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, and John Adams all wrote that the Declaration had been signed by Congress on July 4. But in 1796, signer Thomas McKean disputed that the Declaration had been signed on July 4, pointing out that some signers were not then present, including several who were not even elected to Congress until after that date.
According to the 1911 record of events by the U.S. State Department, under Sec. Philander C. Knox, the Declaration was transposed on paper, adopted by the Continental Congress, and signed by John Hancock, President of the Congress, on July 4, 1776. On August 2, 1776, a parchment paper copy of the Declaration was signed by 56 persons. Many of these signers were not present when the original Declaration was adopted on July 4. One signer, Matthew Thornton, from New Hampshire, who agreed to the Declaration and having joined the Continental Congress, signed on November 4, 1776.
Have a happy and safe 4th of July everyone.