As we celebrated our Independence yesterday, I thought a lot about the Pen
that was used to sign the Declaration as well as the pen that was used to
create the first draft.( If you have never read the Declaration of Independence
or you did a time ago, click there and read it. http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/charters/declaration_transcript.html)
Thomas Jefferson penned the drafts of the Declaration, after Benjamin Franklin
and John Adams made changes, Thomas Jefferson then penned final drafted. The pen
he used was a silver dip-pen. He then
handed the document over to the engrosser or the official copier. The engrosser
of the Declaration was probably Timothy Matlock, an assistant to Charles
Thomson, secretary to the Congress. John Hancock was the first to
sign the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776. He was president of the
Continental Congress. He used large bold
script and signed under the text in the center of the page. The story,
entirely unfounded, is that on signing the Declaration, Hancock commented,
“The British ministry can read that name without spectacles; let them
double their reward.” An alternate story, also unfounded has him saying,
“There, I guess King George will be able to read that!” He was the
first to sign and he did so in an entirely blank space. That act has become
American Slang for signing your name, “putting your John Hancock on it.” The
other members began signing on August 2, 1776.
I can’t image the stress
and worry that hung on these great men. The Declaration was a treasonous
document, the end to life as the men knew it, if they were caught or turned in
by a supporter, would hang. Benjamin Franklin said of this just before signing, “We must, indeed, all hang together, or most
assuredly we shall all hang separately.” I am grateful for their faith and
courage and am a patriot and I love this country.
So the Pen used by all 56 signers of the
Declaration of Independence was a Goose flight Quill. Facts about the 56
signers of the Declaration can be read on http://www.snopes.com/history/american/pricepaid.asp.
Very, Very interesting. I hope you remembered to thank your lucky stars and
stripes to live in the U.S.A.
So the history of the Quill:
AD The Europeans started writing on parchment with a quill pen. The
quills were made from the flight feathers of geese. Pen is derived for
the Latin word “Penna” meaning feather. The wing feathers, shaft or quill was
carved to a point or rounded, based on preference. Because the quills are
natural and individually grown, no two quills are alike; each has its own flaws,
curves, etc. Each pen is as unique as,
its writer. It takes a skilled quill maker to select, clean and carve individually
quills for writing or drawing.
I found several sites to teach you to make your own Quill. Check them out
for fun or instructions:
It will be fun to look at famous signature’s!