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Thomas Jefferson - IMMEDIATE IMPACT

On the 9th of July, 1776, the Declaration of Independence was read-aloud to people in New York City. Immediately thereafter, members of the Army wasted no time in pulling-down a statue of King George III located on the Bowling Green (at the foot of Broadway).  Online, courtesy Library of Congress.

 

As soon as Congress approved the Declaration of Independence, John Hancock wrote a letter to George Washington enclosing a copy of the Declaration. It was important for the Commander-in-Chief to know the American colonies were formally separated from Great Britain.  He ordered the Declaration to be read to New York's residents.

It was also important for the people to know. The Declaration was read to a crowd on the day it was signed (Thursday, the 4th) and the text was printed immediately. (Follow this link to view one of the earliest printings.)

By the 8th of July it was the lead story in one of the most influential colonial papers: Dunlap's Pennsylvania Packet. Six years after the Boston Massacre, citizens of that town heard the Declaration read on July 18, 1776 as they stood in the very place where Crispus Attucks fell.

While George III had prevented the colonies from printing their own money, Congress could now disregard the Currency Act of 1764. The British Parliament no longer governed America.

Three weeks after the Declaration of Independence was signed, "The United Colonies" issued the country's first dollars:

  • The Three Dollar Bill, issued on July 22, 1776, has an interesting emblem: An eagle fighting a heron with the motto Exitus in dubio est (the outcome is in doubt).
  • The emblem on the Seven Dollar Bill is more positive (a storm at sea with the motto Serenabit - it will clear up).
  • The Thirty Dollar Bill hints at ultimate triumph (a wreath on a tomb with the words Si recte facies - if you act righteously).

Of course, as far as George III was concerned, the new dollar bills violated the law while the Declaration was a worthless piece of paper whose signers were guilty of treason. His Majesty would not give in.

The war would drag on for many more years. From June of 1779 to June of 1781, Mr. Jefferson was governor of Virginia. He and his family lived in Williamsburg, in a home - destroyed by fire in 1781 (then recreated in 1930) - which he had often visited as a student.

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Author: Carole D. Bos, J.D. 5155stories and lessons created

Original Release: Jul 01, 2008

Updated Last Revision: Sep 16, 2016


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"IMMEDIATE IMPACT" AwesomeStories.com. Jul 01, 2008. Jan 19, 2019.
       <http://www.awesomestories.com/asset/view/IMMEDIATE-IMPACT-Thomas-Jefferson>.
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