As Joseph Ellis explains in His Excellency: George Washington, the founding fathers took their time in drafting the Declaration of Independence. Armed conflict between British troops and the colonists had actually begun 15 months before John Hancock sent Washington his personal copy on July 6, 1776. An original fragment of the broadside Washington received resides in the collection at the Library of Congress. Washington had the document read to his assembled troops on July 9, 1776 in New York. Later, they destroyed a statute of King George III at the foot of Broadway and Bowling Green and used the metal to make bullets.
For more on the Declaration of Independence, browse these items:
The Declaration of Independence: A Global History by David Armitage
Origins and Ideologies of the American Revolution by Peter Mancall (DVD)
The Three Documents That Made America read by Terry Bregy and Sam Fink (CD)
American Ideals: Founding a “Republic of Virtue” by Daniel N. Robinson (CD+book)
America Declares Independence by Alan Dershowitz
If you haven’t already, check out the library’s All Fairfax Reads selection,
His Excellency: George Washington.