This Day in History
Reading the Declaration of Independence...


Reading the Declaration of Independence to the Troops
July 9, 1776

When the Declaration of Independence was proclaimed, the War for Independence was already well underway: Washington had triumphed in Boston, and now he was facing disaster in New York. On the very day the Congress had voted independence, General Howe landed ten thousand redcoats on Staten Island. A few days later his brother, Admiral Howe, sailed into the harbor with one hundred fifty transports, crowded with troops and supplies. It was at this dark hour that a copy of the Declaration reached Washington. He promptly ordered “that the several brigades are to be drawn up this evening on their respective Parades, at six o'clock, when the Declaration of Congress. . . is to be read in an audible voice.” At that hour soldiers and officers took their place on the parade ground - what is now, in all likelihood, City Hall Park in lower Manhattan - and the commander of each brigade read out the historic phrases:

When, in the course of human events…, We hold these truths to be self-evident…
What Mr. Künstler has given us here is a picture of the reading of the Declaration of Independence by Brigadier General Nathaniel Heard to his New Jersey Brigade.




September's Archived Features:

Wednesday September 1, 2021
Thursday September 2, 2021
Friday September 3, 2021
Saturday September 4, 2021
Sunday September 5, 2021
Monday September 6, 2021
Tuesday September 7, 2021
Wednesday September 8, 2021
Thursday September 9, 2021
Friday September 10, 2021
Saturday September 11, 2021
Sunday September 12, 2021
Monday September 13, 2021
Tuesday September 14, 2021
Wednesday September 15, 2021
Thursday September 16, 2021
Friday September 17, 2021

 

 

 
All illustrations by Mort Künstler. Text by Michael Aubrecht, Dee Brown, Henry Steele Commager, Rod Gragg, Mort Künstler, Edward Lengel, James McPherson, and James I. Robertson, Jr. - Copyright © 2001-2019. All Rights Reserved. No part of the contents of this web site may be reproduced or utilized in any form by any means without written consent of the artist.