The Declaration of Independence of the United States of America

In June, 1776 a “Committee of Five” was formed by the Second Continental Congress to frame this sacred document. The Committee of Five consisted of Thomas Jefferson of Virginia, Benjamin Franklin of Pennsylvania, Roger Sherman of Connecticut, John Adams of Massachusetts, and Robert R. Livingston of New York.

Thomas Jefferson wrote the original draft that was shared with John Adams and Benjamin Franklin. The final copy was presented to the Continental Congress on June 28, 1776. From Independence Hall, Philadelphia, on July 4, 1776 a new representative republic was declared! This page is sponsored by USA.

The Charters of Freedom: National Archives

DVD, Exhibits and Educational Resources by The History Channel USHistory.Org

The Library of Congress


Signers of the Declaration of Independence

Colonial Hall: Biographies of the Signers

Independence Hall, Philadelphia

History of Independence Hall (1859), by D.W. Belisle. Online Edition

Independence Hall Association, Philadelphia:
Independence Hall is listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site.

The Liberty Bell at Independence Hall

The Liberty Bell Virtual Museum


John Trumbull
Oil on canvas, 12' x 18'
Commissioned 1817; purchased 1819; placed 1826

The first painting to be completed by Trumbull shows the signing of the Declaration of Independence in what is now called Independence Hall, Philadelphia, on July 4, 1776. The painting features the committee that drafted the Declaration of Independence--John Adams, Roger Sherman, Thomas Jefferson presenting the document, and Benjamin Franklin--standing before John Hancock, the President of the Continental Congress. The painting includes portraits of 42 of the 56 signers and 5 other patriots. The artist sketched the individuals and the room from life.

John Trumbull (17561843) was born in Connecticut, the son of the governor. After graduating from Harvard University, he served in the Continental Army under General Washington. He studied painting with Benjamin West in London and focused on history painting.

Painting and text from


"The Centennial morning dawns! As the fiery chariot of the God of Day rises from the bosom of the Atlantic, and the mountain peaks catch his first beams, from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific, the cannons voice is heard from ten thousand throats of iron, hailing the birthday of the Nation, and the chorus of thunder is swollen into a pause of praise by the mingling shouts of patriotism."


~ G. W. Woods, Surgeon.
from an Address delivered at the American Centennial Celebration
at the Hawaiian Hotel, Honolulu, July 4, 1876.
Source: The Pacific Commercial Advertiser, Honolulu: July 8, 1876.