Declaration of Independence
"Signed by order and in behalf of the Congress, John Hancock, President. Attest., Charles Thomson, Secretary."
▶ The first printing of the Declaration of Independence:
John Dunlap, Philadelphia, 1776.
▶ Full text: National Archives.
☞ 2 July 1776
"Delegates at the Second Continental Congress meeting in Philadelphia officially separated the 13 American colonies from Britain by approving a motion for independence advanced by Richard Henry Lee of Virginia. Twelve of the 13 colonies approved it (New York abstained, as its representatives did not have permission to vote for it at that time)."
☞ 4 July 1776
"The actual Declaration of Independence — whose principal author was Thomas Jefferson — was adopted (although not signed) by members of the Continental Congress. Jefferson had been writing it, draft after draft. He was one of the Committee of Five the Continental Congress set up to draft a declaration, with the other four being Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Robert Livingston and Roger Sherman."
☞ 2 August 1776
"Most of the delegates signed [the Declaration] on Aug. 2. That’s when the assistant to the secretary of Congress, Timothy Matlack, produced a clean copy. John Hancock, president of the Continental Congress, signed first, right in the middle of the signature area. The last delegate to sign, according to the National Archives, is believed to be Thomas McKean of Delaware, some time in 1777."
☞ August 1776
"The British government in London didn’t know that the United States had declared independence until August."
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