Independence Day Should Really Be On July 2!

The Continental Congress actually voted for independence on July 2, 1776, however, the written Declaration of Independence was dated July 4! 

It What Order Was It Signed? 

John Hancock was the first one to sign The Declaration of Independence. The others signed by state delegation, beginning in the upper right in one column, and then proceeding in five other columns, arranged from the northernmost state which was New Hampshire, to the southernmost state which was Georgia. Edward Rutledge (age 26) was the youngest signer, and Benjamin Franklin (age 70) was the oldest signer.

The Instrument Used to Sign The Document

The pen used by all fifty-six signers of the Declaration of Independence was a Goose Flight Quill Pen!


The Declaration of Independence spent many years travelling out on the road. The document traveled with the Continental Congress throughout the Northeast, until it was moved to Washington, DC in 1800. In 1814, due to the threat of war, the document was moved to an unused gristmill in Virginia for protection. Then on August 24, as the British were burning the White House, it was moved once again to keep it safe. In September, it returned to the nation's capital, and as of today, you can find The Declaration of Independence, along with The Constitution and The Bill of Rights displayed in The Rotunda of the National Archives Building in downtown Washington, DC.

Modes of Transportation!

The Declaration of Independence experienced many different means of transportation. In the early years, it traveled with the Continental Congress by way of wagon and also by way of horseback. When it was first brought to Washington, it traveled by boat, down the Delaware River, out into the ocean, into the Chesapeake Bay, and up the Potomac to the new capital city. During World War II, it was moved by train to Louisville, Kentucky, and then transferred under armed guard to Fort Knox for safety and protection.

Number of Signatures!

Fifty-six men signed The Declaration of Independence.

Delaware: 3

Pennsylvania: 9

Massachusetts: 5

New Hampshire: 3

Rhode Island: 2

New York: 4

Georgia: 3

Virginia: 7

North Carolina: 3

South Carolina: 4

New Jersey: 5

Connecticut: 4

Maryland: 4

A Myth Busted!  

There's a "story" which circulates as to why John Hancock signed his name so largely on The Declaration of Independence. As I was researching, I found many sites which stated the reason he signed his name so big and right smack dab in the middle of The Declaration of Independence was to show his anger and defiance toward Britain's King George III. But then I stumbled upon the following fact which I would say is a myth buster!!

Upon analyzing John Hancock's signature with other documents which he signed, it shows that he always signed his name in that kind of a super-sized style. So the size of his signature on The Declaration of Independence was typical for him! He was in no way attempting to send a personal defiant message to Britain’s King George III, as so many speculate!

And as far as him signing the document first. Well, he was the President of the Continental Congress at the time, so it was his privilege to be the first "signer"!

The Most Famous and Well-Known Sentence

The most famous and well-known sentence in The Declaration of Independence:
"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."

Number of Words

There are 1458 words contained within The Declaration of Independence.

One Last Bit of News!

Did you know that Thomas Jefferson and John Adams both died on July 4, 1826? They died within five hours of each other! This date was the fiftieth anniversary of our country’s birth. James Monroe, the fifth president, died five years later on July 4, 1831.

I hope that you enjoyed reading all the facts which I was able to dig up as much as I did! I had a BLAST!

Whether you plan on having a barbecue with family and friends. Attending a parade. Watching a spectator firework display. Or all of the above! Let's all remember to take some time to give thanks to the Lord for all the MANY freedoms which we are privileged to enjoy in this great country which we call America!

"Where liberty is,
there is
my country."
Benjamin Franklin

history insider