Wednesday 19 July 2017

broadside, broadsheet

Via Design Observer—and though not as timely perhaps if it would have been a few weeks ago but noteworthy nonetheless, we learn that while not a signatory a woman—who was the first postmaster general and major press-agent in Baltimore—was bold enough to include her name just below the other John Hancocks (some more florid than others) on the Declaration of Independence.  Click to magnify and look to the very bottom of the page.

The copy in Thomas Jefferson’s own hand is probably the more famous version of the document that kicked off the Revolutionary War for Britain and its thirteen colonies but if it wasn’t for the commission by congress for the print-job from Mary Katherine Goddard’s publishing house in 1777 (this was a second-run but the first to disclose the names of the treasonous who remained anonymous shitposters previously) the rebellion might have never gotten into circulation. Of course, even this level of association was risky and Goddard intentional threw her support behind the Republic—serving congress and Constitutional Conventions with printing and distribution services as well as press-coverage throughout the war—until forced out of her office as postmaster and later as newspaper editor in favour of male stewardship. Some things behind the Beltway and beyond are sadly slow to change.