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was a soldier with Walker . .. Mr. Robert Gray, his foreman, aided me in every way possible to get material while the building was being demolished. I remained in and about that building from Wednesday, February 28, 1883, until March 12, 1883, when it was leveled to the ground. Much of the material which I took from the building No. 700 Market street, I temporarily placed in the cellar of the store of my friend, Henry Troemner, No. 710 Market street. Now, as a curious fact, I took from a closet in the front room of the third story, some Continental money, many old receipts, some of them as early as 1791, a Hebrew letter to Mr. Gratz, of date 1802, several curious old cork inkstands, and about a quart of small pistol Aints, like those used in the Revolution. The nails of the old portion of the house were hand made, and the joists were of cherry, oak, walnut and other rare woods — all of them imported. The outside bricks on Seventh street, and the front, were imported and were laid alternately, black and red. The house had been painted a gray or yellow, thus hiding or covering the original color of the bricks. Some large keys were found, perhaps 150 in all, which I have, and also an ancient door lock, hand made, a work of art, which once adorned the front door of the Jefferson house. Some mantles, stairways and rails were also ancient and rare. All of these articles of
any along with window frames, stone caps and sills, old doors and sashes, floors, stringers and wood-work, I took out and now have stored under roof on a lot in Philadelphia. 40 This material has been there thirteen years.41 The insurance escutcheon, which was the Green Tree,' which
was on the east wall of No. 700, below the middle second-story window, Mr. Dallett, I think, received. It is a curious fact that while this building was being torn down there were no relic hunters about and no curiosity evinced by spectators. A few antiquarians called and confirmed No. 700 as the house. The only person who asked for a relic was Mr. Augustus R. Hall, of Hall & Carpenter, No. 709 Market street, and he got a joist out of No. 700 Market street house. It was cloudy for five days after the destruction of the building began and no photograph of it was taken. The 'kodak' was not in general use then. I saw Mr. F. Gutekunst, the eminent photographer, about taking some views of it, but it could not then be done ... The fourth day of the tearing down revealed what I all along had suspected: that No. 700 Market street was the house in which Mr. Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence, because it was the first house built on the Graff lot. Mr. S. Hart, Mr. Thomas Little and Mr. Robert Gray were present when I knocked some of the plaster off the west wall of No. 700 Market street, which was the inside of the east side of No. 702 Market street, the house recently claimed “? to be the one in which Mr. Jefferson wrote the Declaration. We found that it was the outer wall of No. 700 Market street when it was a single unattached building, because *3 the joints between the bricks were struck joints to resist the weather as well as for appearances, a thing which was then never done on an inside wall.”
# The desk upon which Jefferson wrote the Declaration 4 is now *in the Library of the Department of State.
It was presented by Jefferson himself to Joseph Coolidge, Jr., in 1825, as shown by a letter of Jefferson, also in the Library of that Department: [S] Th: Jefferson gives this Writing desk to Joseph Coolidge jun! as a memorial of affection. it was made from a drawing of his own, by Ben Randall 46, cabinet maker of Philadelphia, with whom he first lodged on his arrival 47 in that city in May 1776. and is the identical one on which he wrote the Declaration of Independance. Politics, as well as Religion, has it's superstitions. these gaining strength with time, may, one day, give imaginary value to this relic, for it's association with the birth of the Great charter of our Independance.
Monticello. Nov. 18. 1825. 48
On April 28, 1880, Congress resolved: “[D'] That the thanks of this Congress be presented to J. Randolph Coolidge, Algernon Coolidge, Thomas Jefferson Coolidge, and Mrs. Ellen Dwight, citizens of Massachusetts, for the patriotic gift of the writing desk presented by Thomas Jefferson to their father, the late Joseph Coolidge, upon which the Declaration of Independence was written. And be it further resolved, That this precious relic is hereby accepted in the name of the Nation, and that the same be deposited for safe keeping in the Department of State of the United States.”
Jefferson's draft, with the minor amendments by John Adams and Franklin, was reported to Congress, Friday, June 28th. The Journal says:
The Comce 49 appointed to prepare a declaration &c brought in a draught 50 which was read Ordered to lie on the table
THE LAST DAYS 1
past to fine
[PHM) Fine sunshine, grew very warm, wind Southerly . . . at 4 came on a thunder gust with rain, cleared up by six moon, light and pleasant. (Ms)] hour
thermom. 9-0 A. M.
7- P. M
On July ist (Monday), the Journal tells us,
The order of the day being read Resolved That this Congress will resolve itself into a committee of the whole to take into consideration the resolution respecting independency Resolved That the Declaration be referred to said Committee
The Congress resolved itself into a committee of the whole The president resumed the chair. M' Harrison reported that the committee have had under consideration the matters to them referred to and have to a resolution 2 therwhichthey
but het har ing come to conclusion desired him to move for leave to sit again The resolution agreed, by committee of the whole being read, was postponed at the request of a Colony till to Morrow
the determination thereof
Resolved that this Congress will to morrow resolve itself into a committee of the whole to take into their farther consideration the declaration respecting independance
Adjourned to 9 o Clock to morrow. July 1st 3 4, therefore, saw the final debate in the committee of the whole upon the initial resolution of June 7th and the adoption of it by that body.
Of the debate, we have no report.
It is certain, however, that Dickinson and John Adams took the “ leading roles ”.
Adams, in his Autobiography, says: [Qy] The Subject had been in Contemplation for more than a Year and frequent discussions had been had concerning it. At one time and another, all the Arguments for it and against it had been exhausted and were become familiar. I expected no more would be said in public but that the question would be put and decided. M: Dickinson however was determined 6 to bear his Testimony against it with more formality. He had prepared himself apparently with great labour and ardent Zeal, and in a Speech 7 of great length, and all his eloquence, he combined together all that had before been written in Pamplets and Newspapers and all that had from time to time been said in Congress by himself and others. He conducted the debate, not only with great Ingenuity and Eloquence, but with equal Politeness and Candour: and was answered 8 in the same Spirit. No Member rose to answer him : and after waiting some time, in hopes that some one less obnoxious than myself, who was still had been all along for a Year before, and still was represented and believed to be the Author of all the Mischief, I determined to speak.
It has been said by some of our Historians, that I began by an Invocation to the God of Eloquence. This is a Misrepresentation. Nothing so puerile as this fell from me. I began by say