Matthew Thornton died in Newburyport, Massachusetts, in 1803. Representing New Hampshire, he signed the Declaration of Independence. His exact date of birth is unknown, but scholars know he was born in Ireland. He was a physician and did not marry until he was 46 years old. He helped establish New Hampshire’s constitution and also served as a judge.
Declaration of Independence resolution was passed in 1776 by the Continental Congress. This step allowed for the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776. Children can learn more at: http://www.americaslibrary.gov/aa/jefferson/aa_jefferson_declar_1.html.
United States celebrates Independence Day. It declared itself free of English rule in 1776. Interestingly, only two people, John Hancock and Charles Thompson, signed the Declaration of Independence that day. Most of the representatives signed the document on August 2, 1776. Idea: Children could read Fireworks, Picnics, and Flags: The Story of the Fourth of July Symbols by James Cross GIblin and Ursula Arndt. Children could plan and carry out a Fourth of July parade. They could also learn more at: http://www.americaslibrary.gov/jb/modern/jb_modern_independ_1.html
Declaration of Independence was read publicly for the first time in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 1776 by Colonel John Nixon. The Liberty Bell tolled to bring citizens to hear the reading. Children can read a copy of the Declaration of Independence at: http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/charters/declaration_transcript.html.
James Smith, signer of the Declaration of Independence, died in 1806. He represented Pennsylvania. His exact date of birth is unknown, but he was born in Ireland around 1719. A fire in 1803 destroyed many documents by and about Smith, so little is known about him.
Declaration of Independence was officially signed in 1776. Most people believe the Declaration was signed July 4. However, only John Hancock and Charles Thompson signed a draft. Fifty delegates were at the official signing on August 2. Five more people signed the document before the end of the year. One more person signed it the next year.
Thomas Stone died in Alexandria, Virginia, in 1787. He was born in Charles County, Maryland, sometime in 1743. Representing Maryland, he signed the Declaration of Independence. He also served on the committee that wrote the Articles of Confederation. He did not attend the Constitutional Convention because his wife was very ill. She died in June 1787, and he died four months later.
National Handwriting Day stresses the importance of legibility. The day honors John Hancock’s birthday. John Hancock clearly and prominently signed the Declaration of Independence. Idea: Children could write, using their best penmanship, a thank you note to someone. Children can choose from some creative ideas for the day at: http://www.crayola.com/calendar.aspx?page=5&count=2
George Walton died in Augusta, Georgia, on February 2, 1804. He was born near Farmville, Virginia, 1741, but his exact birth date is unknown. Representing Georgia, he signed the Declaration of Independence. He fought for his state militia during the Revolutionary War and was caught by the British in late 1778. He was imprisoned until September 1779, when he was exchanged for a British officer. After the war, he served as Georgia’s governor, a United States senator, and the chief justice of Georgia’s highest court.
John Morton died in 1777. His date of birth is unknown. Active in politics, he was elected from Pennsylvania to serve in both the First Continental Congress and the Second Continental Congress. He signed the Declaration of Independence, and he was part of the committee that wrote the Articles of Confederation. He was the first Declaration of Independence signer to die.