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Unusual Facts About the Declaration of Independence

Sujata Iyer Mar 20, 2020
Few people know about some unusual facts about the declaration of independence. Let's see some of these here.
The Declaration of Independence, signed on the 4th of July, 1776, was probably the greatest statement ever signed. Thomas Jefferson, together with his committee of Five, drafted the Declaration, and got it approved by the Congress.
Come to think of it, it must have been quite a frenzy, drafting such an important statement. Just like a movie, with a lot of behind-the-scenes action. All we know is the final product, clear and error-free.
But think about this: what if you got to know some unusual facts about the Declaration? What if you had some information, beyond the text and wording? Intrigued? Well, check the sections below and enjoy.

Little Known Facts about the Declaration of Independence

◆ The first draft of the Declaration of Independence was originally titled 'A Declaration by the Representatives of the United States of America, in General Congress assembled'.
◆ The Declaration was ready by the 28th of June, 1776, then underwent changes and debates until the 4th of July.
◆ It was signed only by John Hancock, the then President of the Continental Congress, on the 4th of July, 1776.
◆ It was signed by the other 54 delegates on the 2nd of August, 1776.
◆ Thomas Jefferson, the most important writer, elected by the Committee of Five to write the Declaration, was the son of a family which had slaves.
◆ The Declaration of Independence, the most monumental document in American history, was written in less than three weeks!
◆ When first put to vote, on 1st of July, two states, Pennsylvania and South Carolina, voted against the Declaration. They revoked this vote on the very next day of voting, 2nd of July.
◆ The state of New York, abstained from voting on the first day of voting, that is, the 1st of July. It finally decided to vote for the Declaration, after it had already been approved.
◆ The reason behind Thomas Jefferson being chosen to draft the Declaration was that he came from Virginia, a place that had not been branded as rebellious by the British. The other members of the Committee of Five came from unfavorable backgrounds and did not have the gift and talent of writing, that Jefferson had.
◆ Not all Congress members signed the Declaration of Independence. John Dickinson, who was considered the 'Last of the Moderates' did not sign it. The reason that he gave the Congress was that he still saw some hope in reconciling with the British.
◆ The original Declaration of Independence was written on hemp paper. Hemp is the fiber of the marijuana plant.
◆ No one knows how true this is, but it is believed that a very crude and early draft of the Declaration included a phrase asking King George to "kiss our collective arse." This line was supposed to have been written by Benjamin Franklin. It was obviously removed!
◆ The original copy of the Declaration of Independence states that we have INalienable rights, but later versions say that we have UNalienable rights! Both mean the same, but the reason and time when the word was changed is unclear.
◆ For all those who watched the movie National Treasure and believe that the back of the Declaration indeed has an invisible treasure map, sorry to burst your bubble! There IS something written on the back, but it is NOT invisible. It just says "Original Declaration of Independence/dated 4th July 1776."
◆ Roger Sherman, a shoemaker, also signed the Declaration of Independence.
◆ Thomas Jefferson and John Adams, both died on the same day, 4th of July, 1826. This was exactly 50 years after the Declaration of Independence was approved.
◆ The youngest person to sign the document was Edward Rutledge, 26. The oldest person to sign it was Benjamin Franklin, who was 70 at the time.
◆ Out of all the signatories, Richard Stockton was the only one arrested by the British for the express reason that he had signed the Declaration of Independence. He was made to recant his signature by force, and plead allegiance to King George III.
The British destroyed his life by imprisonment and torture. However, just before he died of a dispirited mind and body, he reasserted his loyalty to the United States.
◆ When the Declaration was approved, only 24 copies (Dunlap Broadsides) were made and distributed. A person at a flea market found one of the copies in a painting that he purchased for $4. He got it authenticated and sold it an auction for a whopping $8.14 million in 2000!
You're sure to have a whole new perspective about this great historic document now, isn't it? Go on and share these facts with everyone you know!