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Goddard Declaration of Independence

Goddard Declaration of Independence

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Mary Katherine Goddard

Declaration Broadside

Printed for Congress Baltimore Maryland, January 1777

The engrossed, handwritten copy of the Declaration of Independence had been signed by those delegates who were present, but the signer’s identities had been kept secret to shield them from reprisals. Now, with renewed hope of a American victory, Congress ordered on January 18, 1777, that “an authenticated copy of the Declaration of Independency, with the names of the members of Congress subscribing the same, be sent to each of the United States, and that they be desired to have the same put upon record.” 

Baltimore printer Mary Katharine Goddard was given the task of printing the signed Declaration as a broadside. In addition to publishing the Maryland Journal newspaper, Goddard served as the first postmaster of Baltimore – and the first female postmaster in United States. She was the first woman to print the Declaration of Independence, having published the text in her newspaper on July 10, 1776, and she is the only woman to print an official edition. She usually identified herself as M. K. Goddard on printed documents. However, on this broadside, she used her full name of Mary Katharine Goddard.

On January 31, 1777, John Hancock sent the Goddard broadside to each of the states, along with the following note: "As there is not a more distinguished Event in the History of America, than the Declaration of her Independence – nor any that in all Probability, will so much excite the Attention of future Ages, it is highly proper that the Memory of that Transaction … should be preserved in the most careful Manner that can be devised. I am therefore commanded by Congress to transmit you the enclosed Copy of the Act of Independence with the List of the several Members of Congress subscribed thereto and to request, that you will cause the same to be put upon Record, that it may henceforth form a Part of the Archives of your State.

This print is a historically accurate reproduction printed at The Printing Office of Edes & Gill with hand-set type on a wooden Common Press. Boston. Printed on Archival Quality 100% Fine Cotton Laid Linen Paper. This is the most historically accurate reproduction of Mary Goddard Declaration ever produced.

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