I’m pleased to see that the Course of Human Events blog has started to post more frequently about the Declaration of Independence.
This blog is part of Declaration Resources Project, started by Harvard political science professor Danielle Allen, author of Our Declaration: A Reading of the Declaration of Independence in Defense of Equality and columnist for the Washington Post. The website explains itself this way:
The mission of the Declaration Resources Project is to create innovative and informative resources about the Declaration of Independence. By encouraging today’s Americans to take a deeper look at this document, and by taking advantage of digital literacy and new media, we hope to tackle the mysteries of the Declaration, replace folklore with equally-fascinating true stories, and demonstrate the ways in which engagement with fundamental primary sources can influence civic identity and education.The blog contains “monthly highlights from our ongoing research” posted by research manager Emily Sneff.
At first the entries were coming once a month, but that accelerated this month. Some of the items:
- 4 April: Why Delaware delegate Thomas McKean’s name appears on some early printings of the Declaration but not others.
- 4 June: How the Federalist press credited President John Adams, not his rival Thomas Jefferson, as the principle mover for independence.
- 16 June: Adams and Jefferson’s correspondence on the “Mecklenburg Declaration” published in 1819 (unfortunately not accompanied by a clear statement that that document was composed around that year as an attempt to recall what Mecklenburg County Patriots actually enacted in 1775, which was preserved in newspapers at the time).
- 27 June: How a musical number cut from Hamilton relates to who was at the Continental Congress when the Declaration committee submitted its draft and who was simply there in John Trumbull’s painting.