Independence Adopted by the People


Colonial newspapers reported that towns, cities, and counties gathered to hear a reading of the Declaration in the weeks after July 4. Many celebrated with drilling of their local militia, shouts of "huzza" to show approval, the making of effigies of George III, and other demonstrations.

New York, Thursday, July 25, 1776

On Thursday last [July 18th], pursuant to the resolve of the Representatives of the Colony of New York, sitting in Congress, the Proclamation issued at Philadelphia the 4th inst., by the Continental Congress, declaring the Thirteen United Colonies to be free and independent States, was read and published at the City Hall, when a number of the true friends of the rights and liberties of the America attended and dignified their approbation by loud acclamations. After which, the British arms, from over the seat of justice in the Court House, was taken down, exposed, torn to pieces, and burnt. Another British arms, wrought in stone, in the front of the pediment without, was thrown to the ground and broken to pieces, and the picture of King George III, which had been placed in the Council Chamber, was thrown out, broken, torn to pieces, and burnt, of all which the people testified their approbation by repeated huzzas. The same day, we hear, the British arms from all the Churches in the city were ordered to be removed and destroyed.


Charles S. Desbler, "How the Declaration Was Received in the Old Thirteen," Harper's New Monthly Magazine LXXXV (July 1892): 172 (165-187). From Cornell University Library's Making of American, [].