What really happened during those hot summer days of July when the Declaration of Independence was being formed. Dr. Wayne Huss, Professor of History and Chair of The Humanities Division at Gwynedd Mercy College, says Richard Henry Lee spearheaded the move for a free country. The delegate from Virginia presented a resolution on June 7th, stating that the colonies should be free from England. The Continental Congress appointed a committee of five men,John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, Roger Sherman and Robert Livingston, to consider the resolution, which was passed and on July 2nd, the official date of independence. Huss says, Jefferson was the main author of the declaration, with suggestions from Franklin.
“That document was accepted with corrections on July 4th. it was then sent out to the printer and wasn’t signed for another month. Not everybody was in the room at the same time. We all know the famous painting by John Trumbull that is in the capitol and everybody is there at the same time signing it. It actually didn’t happen that way.”
Huss says, the process happened over a period time, and the Liberty Bell did not ring, because it needed to be repaired.