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\RIDAY, the 4th of July inst. [1777] being the

Anniversary of the Independence of the United

States of America, was celebrated in this city [Philadelphia] with demonstrations of joy and festivity. About noon all the armed ships and gallies in the river were drawn up before the city, dressed in the gayest manner, with the colours of the United States and streamers displayed. At one o'clock, the yards being properly manned, they began the celebration of the day by a discharge of thirteen cannon from each of the ships, and one from each of the thirteen gallies, in honour of the thirteen United States. In the afternoon an elegant dinner was prepared for Congress, to which were invited the President and Supreme Executive Council, and Speaker of the Assembly of this State, the General Officers and Colonels of the



strangers of eminence, and the Members of the several Continental Boards in town. The Hessian band of music, taken in Trenton the 26th of December last, attended, and heightened the festivity with some fine performances suited to the joyous occasion, while a corps of British deserters, taken into the service of the continent by the state of Georgia, being drawn up before the door, filled up the intervals with

feux de joie. After dinner a number of toasts were drank, all breathing independence, and a generous love of liberty, and commemorating the memories of those brave and worthy patriots who gallantly exposed their lives, and fell gloriously in defence of freedom and the righteous cause of their country. Each toast was followed by a discharge of artillery and small arms, and a suitable piece of music by the Hessian band. The glorious fourth of July was reiterated three times, accompanied with triple discharges of cannon and small arms, and loud huzzas that resounded from street to street through the city. Towards evening several troops of horse, a corps of artillery, and a brigade of NorthCarolina forces, which was in town on its way to join the grand army were drawn up in Second-street, and received by Congress and the General Officers. The evening was closed with the ringing of bells, and at night there was a grand exhibition of fireworks (which began and concluded with thirteen rockets) on the commons, and the city was beautifully illuminated. Everything was conducted with the greatest order and decorum, and the face of joy and gladness was universal.”




N January 18, 1777, as shown by the Journal,

Congress, which was then sitting in Baltimore,


Resolved That an authenticated copy 1 of the declaration of independency with the names of the persons members of Congress subscribing the same, be sent to each of the united states & that they be desired to have the same put upon record

At this time, therefore, the Declaration on parchment must, in all probability, have been in that city.

Henceforth until sometime during the administration of Pickering as Secretary of State (December, 1795, to May 12, 1800), and thenceforth until 1814, we have found no proof of its whereabouts.

We know, however, that, on September 15, 1789, an Act was approved providing “[D'] That the Executive department, denominated the Department of Foreign Affairs, shall hereafter be denominated the Department of State', and the principal officer therein shall hereafter be called the Secretary of State ” and “ That the said Secretary shall forth with after his appointment be entitled to have the custody and charge of all books, records

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Authenticated copy of the Declaration of Independence, printed by Mary Katharine Goddard, in Baltimore, under an order of Congress (See p. 284) dated January 18, 1777. Taken from the copy in the Library of Congress, in Washington.

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