The members of the Second Continental Congress were ready to sign the Declaration of Independence on the 4th of July 1776; John Hancock of Massachusetts was the first to sign. Fifty-six men put their names on the declaration of independence. All knew that if the colonial army was defeated by Britain, they would pay with their lives.
Copies of the Declaration were sent to the thirteen colonies. It was five days later when the Declaration reached New York City. It was read aloud to General Washington’s troops, who shouted hurrah and tossed their hats in the air. That night a metal statue of King George was pulled down from its pedestal to be melted down and turned into bullets.
On July 19, the declaration arrived in Boston and Tom Crafts, a house painter, steeped out on a small square balcony in front of the Massachusetts State House and read it aloud.
Source: No Turning Back
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