I'm 'a compel him to include women in the sequel!
July 4, 2017 5:42 AM   Subscribe

Founding Mother [SLWaPo]:
This Fourth of July, look closely at one of those printed copies of the Declaration of Independence. See it? The woman’s name at the bottom?
posted by Westringia F. (10 comments total) 62 users marked this as a favorite
Never heard of her, and I'm glad I've learned about her; thanks for the post!
posted by languagehat at 6:34 AM on July 4, 2017 [3 favorites]

A fitting thing to learn on 4 July.
posted by GenjiandProust at 6:39 AM on July 4, 2017 [3 favorites]

posted by entropicamericana at 7:25 AM on July 4, 2017 [3 favorites]

"You miss 100% of the shots you don't take."
                                  - Wayne Gretzky
                                                  - Michael Scott
posted by blue_beetle at 7:50 AM on July 4, 2017

I can't find a biographical book on her. Someone needs to write it, maybe a YA version.
posted by Botanizer at 9:04 AM on July 4, 2017 [7 favorites]

of course she gets ousted by her brother and then an inexperienced guy courtesy of his asshole friend. of course.
posted by numaner at 9:14 AM on July 4, 2017 [12 favorites]

Wow, a Strong Female Character in the Declaration! Never knew about this great story - good journalism history as well as American history in general. Thanks!
posted by Miko at 10:58 AM on July 4, 2017

"In 1775, Mary Katherine became postmaster of Baltimore, probably the first woman so appointed in the colonies, and certainly the only one to hold so important a post after the Declaration of Independence. She continued in the office for fourteen years until in October 1789 when, much against her will, she was relieved on the ground that someone was needed who could visit and superintend the Southern department of the postal system. The authorities believed that this responsibility involved more traveling than a woman could manage."

A little more on The Goddard Broadside.

Thanks, Westringia F.--neat story!
posted by MonkeyToes at 11:12 AM on July 4, 2017 [7 favorites]

On the evening of 4 July 1776, Congress, then in Philadelphia, asked the committee responsible for drafting the DOI to “superintend and correct the press.” They took Jefferson's handwritten document to the closest printer, John Dunlap. The Dunlap Broadside, completed by the next morning, was the copy sent to King George III. On the 10th of July, 1776 Goddard was among the first to reprint the text of the original Dunlap Broadside in her paper, The Maryland Journal and Baltimore Advertiser.

In January 1777, the Congress, then in Baltimore, asked that a copy including all of the signers be printed for distribution to the 13 states. Goddard was the obvious choice for a printer. She had two weeks to print her broadside and it is technically better than the Dunlap Broadside in every way.

Its easy to sit here today and admire her pro-revolutionary stance, but we can't really imagine the personal risk she was willing to make. Remember it was not at all clear at the time that Washington would defeat the British and Goddard's various printings of the DOI (as well as other anti-British articles in her paper) were considered high treason by the British. Had they won the war, Goddard could have been jailed or even executed.
posted by codex99 at 1:03 PM on July 4, 2017 [22 favorites]

I want to read more stories like these. What an inspiring story.
posted by disclaimer at 3:25 PM on July 5, 2017

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