Time Tangled Island: Declaration of Independence

Updated February 21, 2017 | Factmonster Staff

Factropica Fast Facts and quizzes

by Beth Rowen
Declaration of Independence

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Factropica Fast Facts

  • The Second Continental Congress appointed Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Roger Sherman, and Robert R. Livingston to a committee to write the Declaration of Independence.
  • Thomas Jefferson was 33 when he wrote the first draft of the Declaration of Independence.
  • Jefferson worked on the document in the Graff House, now called the Declaration House, outside Philadelphia. He complained about flies in the house. He blamed them on the stables across the street.
  • Jefferson was inspired by Thomas Paine's pamphlet called Common Sense, which published in January 1776, argued that the colonial government should serve people and promote their happiness, not oppress them.
  • 56 men signed the Declaration of Independence. Edward Rutledge, at age 26, was the youngest to sign. Benjamin Franklin, age 70, was the oldest.
  • John Hancock's name appears first and is the largest signature on the Declaration of Independence.
  • Two of the signers went on to be president: John Adams and Thomas Jefferson.
  • The Declaration of Independence was first read in public in Philadelphia on July 8, 1776. It first appeared in a newspaper, the Pennsylvania Evening Post, on July 6, 1776.
  • The Liberty Bell tolled to celebrate the signing of the Declaration of Independence.
  • There were 2.7 million colonists in America in 1775; one-third of them remained loyal to the crown during the Revolution.
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