Declaration of Independence

As Adams and Jefferson died, America came of age

“WE HOLD THESE TRUTHS…”

On July 4, in Philadelphia, the Continental Congress brought a new nation into the world by adopting the Declaration of Independence. Read more >>

The DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE is not what Thomas Jefferson thought it was when he wrote it—and that is why we celebrate it

While the Revolution was still being fought, Mum Bett declared that the new nation’s principle of liberty must extend to her too. It took eighty years and a far more terrible war to confirm the rights she demanded.

Early during the year 1781, having heard a lot of talk about the “rights of man,” a black slave woman named Mum Bett walked out of her master’s house in western Massachusetts to tell a lawyer that she wanted to sue for her freedom. Read more >>

James Wilson was an important but now obscure draftsman of the Constitution. Carry Wills is a journalist and historian fascinated by what went on in the minds of our founders. The two men meet in an imaginary dialogue across the centuries.

  His red judge’s robe looked faded and theatrical by daylight. People at the bus stop stared at him, and his face flushed near the color of the robe. But he busily ignored them. Read more >>
We Americans pride ourselves on our sophistication. We like to think that we are worldly-wise and cynical. Read more >>
John Adams was certain the second of July would be celebrated “by succeeding generations, as the great anniversary Festival.” Writing to his wife Abigail on July 3, 1776, the day after the Continental Congress had voted momentously for independence from Great Britain, Adams sai Read more >>

Under duress in a British prison, Richard Stockton of New Jersey had the singular misfortune to become

Various legends linger around the signers of the Declaration of Independence and the circumstances of the signing. Read more >>

WHAT IS THERE TO CELEBRATE?

As we approach the bicentennial of the American Revolution we find ourselves in a paradoxical and embarrassing situation. A celebration of some kind certainly seems to be in order, but the urge to celebrate is not exactly overwhelming. Read more >>

HISTORICAL REGISTER of the CENTENNIAL EXPOSITION 1876.

Philadelphia’s vast Fairmount Park stretches acre after acre, plateau after ravine, all empty now under the brittle blue of a winter sky. Read more >>

For ten tumultuous years Sam Adams burned with a single desire: American independence from Great Britain.

Cursed by ancestry,bedeviled by his posterity, beset by forces he could not grasp, George III is usually remembered as the ogre of Jefferson’s Declaration. An eminent English historian reassesses that strange and pathetic personality

Poor George III still gets a bad press. Read more >>