Top Ten Things Not to Do at the signing of the Declaration of Independence by John Hancock in 1776

Declaration of Independence

Declaration Of Independence July 4, 1776
By John Trumbull

 

This week marks the 243rd anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence in 1776 by John Hancock. It would be fun to be there but of course, there are things we should not do if we go. Take this list with you as it may save you trouble in the long run.

Top Ten Things Not to Do at the signing of the Declaration of Independence in 1776.

10 If you are at the signing, do not place that tankard of ale anywhere near the document. If you do, at best you might leave a ring on it. At worse, a careless spill could mean doing the whole thing over. (All those signatures not to mention the handwritten document is now soaked, Hosa. Quit trying to clean up the mess with that lace tablecloth. You are only making it worse. It will take days to redo and now July 4th will be on July 10th.)

9 If you are at the signing, do not go near the document as long as Tiny the WWF champ has been assigned the duty to protect it. If you do, at best Tiny will issue a warning. At worse, Tiny, who just left being scolded by John Hancock for being too soft, will demonstrate his toughness for all to see. ( Trust me you can survive the step over toe hold with a helicopter body slam finish, Houghton. You just have to relax more.)

8 If you are at the signing, do not volunteer to stand in for New York and sign on their behalf. If you do, at best you’ll be told to sit down. At worst, you will sign and cause a riff between the Continental Congress and New York. ( You see, Houston, New York made a conscious decision not to sign on July 4th because as delegates they weren’t given the go-ahead by New York leadership. They did sign on July 9th after erasing your name.)

7 If you are at the signing, do not think everyone will be signing on July 4th. If you do, at best you will be disappointed. At worst, the delegation will have you tossed into the street. (Most of the signatures were not collected until copies of the declaration were circulated to the colonies, Hovhaness. The final official document was not fully signed until August 2nd. July 4th is the date that the Declaration was ratified. John Hancock signed as leader of the Continental Congress.)

6 If you are at the signing, do not begin singing, “God Save the King.” If you do, at best you be singing alone. At worst, the delegates will take you for a crown sympathizer and ride you out of town. ( I know that rail is uncomfortable, Howahkan. Maybe next time you could pick a better song.)

5 If you are at the signing, do not give the author, Thomas Jefferson some notes on how you think the Declaration could be improved. If you do, at best like most authors he will have a thick skin. At worst, since he has gone without sleep in order to finish the document, Jefferson may challenge you to a duel. ( I think maybe you should walk a mile in Thom’s shoes before leaving a review, Hrolleif. Besides what do you know about writing a Declaration?)

4 If you are at the signing, although tempting do not suggest changing the word “men” to “humans.” If you do, at best your political correctness will involk a laugh. At worst, the authors had intended human beings to be covered by the Declaration and now a whole new debate has ensued. (Might have been better just to say nothing, Hu. It seems the Declaration has been tabled and the delegates have dispersed. So much for not creating a time continuum event,)

3 If you are at the signing, do not offer to hold the quill pens. If you do, at best you’ll mess up a couple of the nubs. At worst, when it comes time for John Hancock to sign there won’t be a fine point available. (So it was you who caused John to sign in that huge manner, Hueil? All along the story was he wanted King George to be able to see his signature without wearing spectacles.)

2 If you are at the signing, do not suggest adding pizza to the preamble which reads, “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.” (You have to wonder about the looks you got at the suggestion, Hugi. You should be glad nobody asked you to explain pizza.)

1 If you are at the signing, do not ask Samual Adams what his seasonal beer flavor will be this year. If you do, at best he’ll think you are joking. At worst, he will assume you are buying the drinks and invite all the delegates to your party. ( I wonder how you are going to cover the bar bill, Hui. I’m almost positive the inn won’t take that American Express card. Might be time to hit the escape button rather than face the theft charges.)

34 comments

  1. Wonder if they had a first draft covered in corrections. Odd that there are no typos.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. They did actually have a first draft that had items scratched out etc. They were especially careful about insulting the British people knowing the country’s had to get along after any reaction by the king.

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      1. That’s a good idea. Don’t think modern people would go that route.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I could always tell them that pizza was something Columbus dropped off in the Caribbean when he was last there? Think they’d buy it?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Good reply. Sure they would buy it as long as you had a pie big enough to share.😁

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Gwen Plano · ·

    It’s amazing that after 243 years of new developments, upheavals, and craziness, we are still guided by this document. Thank you for the reminder and the advice. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It is a great document. Was copied by a number of emerging countries.

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  4. I wonder if Jefferson had to repeatedly stop writing in order to yell at the others to, “Put your dang tankard on a coaster, or you’ll leave rings on the mahogany!” Maybe that’s why it took so long to finish? 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. He also yelled. “Keep it down in there. I’m trying to write.” Thanks, Mark.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Undoubtedly he did, John.

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  5. Thanks for the great mix of humor and history, John. I learned things here. I’m also impressed that you didn’t write “singing” instead of signing. Good keyboard skills.

    I hope this is the start of a great week.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ha ha ha. I could have written singing. Each day is a challenge as to how to make oneself look like an idiot. Thanks, Dan 😁

      Liked by 1 person

  6. “If you are at the signing, do not ask Samual Adams what his seasonal beer flavor will be this year.” LOL! You are so funny! Happy Monday, John.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Jill. 😁

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Oh, I don’t know. The bar tab might be worth it to hang out with those guys. What does 243 years worth of interest come too?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve run out of fingers and toes so I don’t know. 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I really didn’t know #7. I know I should have realized that, but I guess I never thought about it (and for sure, we didn’t learn it in History class). Thanks for a timely Top 10 list this week!

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  9. D.L. Finn, Author · ·

    Good point a review wouldn’t have been welcomed. Happy Independence Day!

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  10. first – party and beers… then – signing 🙂 or singing? 😂

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  11. Terrific Top Ten, John. Sam Adams, quill pen, Tiny, and pizza were so funny!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Jennie

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You’re welcome, John. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  12. I really enjoyed this, John. I learned a lot about the signing of this historical document. Happy 4th of July tomorrow.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank​ you, Robbie.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. 11) If you are at the signing, please do not ask, “Is there a provision for a wall somewhere in here?”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ha ha ha. I like it. 😀

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  14. #10 would totally happen to me. #1 seems like a logical question.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ha ha ha. Sam would look at you as if you were nuts if you asked.

      Liked by 1 person

  15. If you show up at the Continental Congress, don’t mark the vote by belting out a rendition of “Do Your Ears Hang Low” — for that matter, better not to bring it up at your barbeque. Most people there won’t know it, either:

    “Do your ears hang low?
    Do they wobble to and fro?
    Can you tie ’em in a knot?
    Can you tie ’em in a bow?
    Can you throw ’em o’er your shoulder
    Like a continental soldier?
    Do your ears hang low?”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Funny we used to sing this song with a different word than “ears” Ha ha ha. Thanks, Linda.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Uh… yes. Yes, indeed. And when we heard it sung, we giggled.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Ha ha ha. I can see that.

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