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Celebrate Independence Day with a Book about the document, the people, or the Revolution!

Every July 4, we gather for parades, fireworks, and cookouts on to celebrate Independence Day. In 1776, a group of men gathered and signed the Declaration of Independence. This document famously declares, “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.” While many can quote this line, it is in the last paragraph that the Congress makes it clear that the colonies will no longer be part of the British Empire. It states:

We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.[1]

Although the colonists continued to fight through 1781, and the Treaty of Paris was not signed until 1783, it is July 4, 1776, that Americans recognize as the beginning of the United States.

To learn more about the people who signed the Declaration of Independence, the document itself, and American Revolution, take a look at our book display on the first floor or browse the images below. The library is now open to visitors! If you are not comfortable entering the building, you can request items for curbside pickup during our regular hours (Monday-Thursday 9-9; Friday and Saturday 9-5). To reserve a book, place a request in the online catalog, fill out a request form, or call the reference desk at 978-674-4121.

Click here for the complete text of the Declaration of Independence and list of signers.

[1] Declaration of Independence: A Transcription, National Archives, (accessed June 25, 2021.