The Signers Hick's Declaration

Declaration of Independence
Edward Hicks
Bucks Co., Pennsylvania

Hick's Declaration

Representations of events surrounding the Declaration of Independence became popular patriotic icons in the nineteenth-century.

After John J. Trumbull painted a mural on the subject in the rotunda of the United States Capitol, many artists and engravers created close derivatives of the mural's composition. Edward Hicks' rendition is very similar to the Trumbull composition and is thought to be based upon the engraving that serves as the frontispiece of Charles A. Goodrich's Lives of the Signers of the Declaration of Independence (1829).

The scene – which never took place in real life -- unfolds in a room at Independence Hall. John Hancock is seated at a desk with the Declaration of Independence before him. Several recognizable Founding Fathers, including Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, and John Adams, stand in front of the desk, ready to sign the document. Other delegates who served in the Continental Congress during 1776 are seated in a semi-circle around the room to witness the historic event. Trumbull, and therefore, Hicks, included the portraits of several who were present during the debate for independence, but did not sign the Declaration – including Robert R. Livingston of New York, and John Dickinson of Pennsylvania.

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