View ‘Declaration Of Independence’

(7.4) What a heartbreaking history lesson this has become. The irony could not be more painful: Mere days before celebrating the Founding Fathers’ complete break with the British king, our corrupted Supreme Court majority has created an American monarchy. Justice Sotomayor read her dissent from the bench:

“The relationship between the President and the people he serves has shifted irrevocably. In every use of official power, the President is now a king above the law.”

Read ’em and weep: The Rhode Island State Archives has announced special Independence Day hours for public viewing of the state’s three copies of the Declaration of Independence.

The Declaration of Independence was first printed in the Philadelphia print shop of John Dunlap on the evening of July 4, 1776, after being approved by Congress earlier in the day. The exact number of broadsides produced by Dunlap is unknown, but estimates put the number at about two hundred. On July 6, 1776, a copy was forwarded to Governor Nicholas Cooke of Rhode Island. On July 12, 1776, Solomon Southwick, printer for the Newport Mercury, received payment for reproducing 29 copies for distribution to the various town clerks. In January 1777, a second printing of the Declaration was authorized and given to Connecticut native and printer Mary Katharine Goddard of Baltimore (1738 – 1816). The second printing is significant as it made public for the first time the names of each signer. The William J. Stone engravings of the Declaration of Independence were ordered by the United States Department of State and through a joint resolution of Congress. Two hundred printings were authorized for distribution among surviving signers, government officials and departments, institutions of higher learning, and other similar groups.

Our current crop of congressional legislators makes it particularly painful to contemplate the courage and integrity of the men who signed this momentous declaration. By signing the document, the 56 men risked high treason against the King of England. In essence, they signed their death warrants because that was the penalty.

Rhode Island’s elderly delegate, Governor Stephen Hopkins, had to support his palsied right hand with his left as he signed the document, famously remarking, “My hand trembles, but my heart does not.”

(This photo was taken at the State Archives in June of 2021. Follow RI SoS here.)

Viewing free, 10am to noon, Thursday, July 4, State Archives, 33 Broad Street, (directions)

1 thought on “View ‘Declaration Of Independence’”

  1. Anthony Jones

    Just remember who you can thank for the corrupted supreme court. I won’t give it away but her initials were RBG…

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