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The First Public Readings of the Declaration of Independence

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness”.

July 8th is the anniversary of the first public readings of the Declaration of Independence creating the UNITED STATES of AMERICA. The Liberty Bell rang out in Philadelphia. It was proclaimed  at noon by John Nixon in the Old State House Yard, Philadelphia PA;  by Robert Levers, on the steps of the Northampton Court House in Center Square, Easton PA, and was read at the Hunterdon County Court House, Trenton New Jersey.

The Continental Congress regarded themselves as thirteen newly independent sovereign states, and no longer a part of the British Empire. John Adams was a leader in pushing for independence.They voted unanimously to  form a new nation the United States of America on July 2, 1776. A “Committee of Five”: John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, Roger Sherman, and Robert Livingston; had already drafted the formal declaration, to be ready when Congress voted on independence. Adams persuaded the committee to select Thomas Jefferson to compose the original draft of the document. The document was ratified by the Continental Congress on JULY 4, 1776 and sent to the printer for broadside publication. the formal signing did not occur until August 2, 1776!

The Declaration of Independence: The Full Text in English…. and Spanish

The Easton Flag

It is claimed the Easton Flag is the standard first displayed on July 8, 1776, when the County Clerk, Robert Levers, read “The Declaration of Independence” on the steps of the Court House in Center Square. Precise dating of the flag has been a matter of controversy and historical research since the 1890’s. Locally it is believed that the women of Easton actually made the Easton Flag for the occasion of the reading of the Declaration and that it was Easton Flaglost for some years until the War of 1812. The Flag appeared again on September 6, 1814 when George Beidleman’s 14 year old daughter, Rosanna, presented it to Captain Abraham Horn’s company as they left for Camp Dupont at Marcus Hook to serve in the War of 1812. Members of Captain Horn’s company, along with Captain Peter Nungessor’s company of Light Infantry, formed the Easton Union Guards in 1816 and in 1821. They decided to deposit the flag with the Easton Library Company for safekeeping in Library Hall. The Easton Flag now hangs in the climate controlled Marx Room of Local History on the main floor of the Easton Library. (Thanks for this to: Kaplan Awning Co. ).


One thought on “The First Public Readings of the Declaration of Independence

  1. Pingback: The First Public Readings of the Declaration of Independence | IamNoMan

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