Joseph M. Adelman is an Assistant Professor in the History Department at Framingham State University in Framingham, Massachusetts. He is currently at work on two book projects; the first focuses on the business of printing and circulation of political news between 1763 and 1789, and the second is a general history of the post office in America. He also serves as the Assistant Editor for Digital Initiatives at the Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture. Adelman talked to Emily Sneff about how printers in the 1770s assembled the news for their papers, how they used the postal system, and how they may have approached Twitter.
“Everyone who holds office in the Federal Government or in the government of one of our States takes an oath to support the Constitution of the United States. I have taken such an oath many times, including two times when I took the special oath required of the President of the United States. This oath we take has a deep significance. Its simple words compress a lot of our history and a lot of our philosophy of government into one small space. In many countries men swear to be loyal to their king, or to their nation. Here we promise to uphold and defend a great document. This is because the document sets forth our idea of government. And beyond this, with the Declaration of Independence, it expresses our idea of man. We believe that man should be free. And these documents establish a system under which man can be free and set up a framework to protect and expand that freedom.”
For the majority of the history of the United States, the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution have been invoked in this way. But what about the physical connections between the Declaration and the Constitution? September 17, 2017 marks the 230th anniversary of the signing of the United States Constitution, an event both similar to and quite different from the signing of the Declaration of Independence. In this month’s research highlight, we examine the preparation and signing of these two foundational documents, and the individuals involved in both.... Read more about September Highlight: The Declaration and the Constitution