It’s no secret that the Founding Fathers left a legacy that shaped the history of the United States as we know it. But was there actually a Founding Mother that history has forgotten?
It’s a little known fact that there is one woman’s name on the Declaration of Independence — and it’s hidden in plain sight.
What is the one woman’s name on the Declaration of Independence?
If you look closely at this printed copy of the 13 American colonies’ first document, you’ll notice one woman’s name on the Declaration of Independence centered at the very bottom: Mary Katharine Goddard.
Why is there only one woman’s name on the Declaration of Independence?
While all of America’s Founding Fathers and political leaders were male, that didn’t stop one fearless female from proudly proclaiming her name alongside some of the most consequential words in American history.
Neither the Americans nor the British ever saw the original handwritten copy in Thomas Jefferson’s penmanship. Instead, they received copies commissioned by Congress.
Goddard, one of America’s first female publishers, was one such person tasked by Congress to print and distribute copies of the Declaration to the colonies. In a bold move, she included her full name at the very bottom by writing, “Baltimore, in Maryland: Printed by Mary Katharine Goddard.”
Who is Mary Katherine Goddard?
Mary Katherine Goddard was one of the 13 American colonies’ first female publishers. She wrote controversial editorials about the Revolutionary War. Her offices were raided multiple times and she received numerous death threats because she dared to be a woman with an outspoken voice.
Eventually ousted from her position of power by the patriarchy, Goddard continued to run a bookstore in Baltimore until her death in 1816.
As the one woman’s name on the Declaration of Independence, Mary Katherine Goddard deserves to be remembered as an American patriot who made history running America’s free press.
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