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The Unsung Women Behind the Declaration of Independence

Posted By Yahairah Aristy: A President’s Perspective, Friday, July 3, 2020
Updated: Thursday, July 2, 2020

The celebration of Independence Day this year will look different with the wearing of masks and social distancing to slow the spread of COVID-19. As we celebrate the significance of Independence Day, I invite you to reflect and remember women who stood out at the time for their courage and advocacy for women’s rights.

In 1776, Abigail Adams wrote letters to her husband when he left his family to draft the Declaration of Independence. Some of her letters became the earliest known writings advocating for women’s rights. In March 1776, advocating for women, she wrote:

“And, by the way, in the New Code of Laws which I suppose it will be necessary for you to make, I desire you would Remember the Ladies, and be more generous and favourable to them than your ancestors ... If particular attention is not paid to the Ladies we are determined to foment a Rebellion, and will not hold ourselves bound by any Laws in which we have no Voice, or Representation.”

Another woman less known though she supported the rebellion to declare separation from Great Britain is Mary Katherine Goddard. She was the first person to print the official copy of the Declaration of Independence. Her name appears at the bottom of the declaration of independence as observed in the copy held in the Library of Congress, Rare Book and Special Collections Division, Continental Congress & Constitutional Convention Broadsides Collection.

We wish you and your family a safe and healthy Independence Day!

 

Yahairah Aristy is a Deputy Public Defender, and is the 2020-2021 president of Lawyers Club of San Diego.

 

Tags:  Abigail Adams  COVID  Declaration of Independence  independence  Mary Kathern Goddard  women  women's advocacy 

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