Useless But Compelling Facts – July 2008

There are two forgotten heroes in the saga of America’s struggle for independence who could easily have been hanged for treason. After the Declaration of Independence was adopted in 1776, John Hancock, President of the Continental Congress, together with Charles Thomson, then Secretary of State, sent Thomas Jefferson’s handwritten copy to someone to be printed (200 copies bearing only the signatures of Hancock and Thomson were printed). Then in January 1777, the Continental Congress, wanting signed copies to receive wider circulation, asked another person to undertake the dangerous job. This time, copies contained the typeset names of all 56 signatories. Legal Bytes wants to know who are these brave printers to whom we owe our gratitude? Acknowledgement to Antonio Perez, Chairman and CEO of Kodak, for the article that enlightened me—and now, hopefully, you. If you know the answer, send it to me.