FOUR DAYS IN PHILADELPHIA-1776 by Mary Kay Phelan

FOUR DAYS IN PHILADELPHIA-1776

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Dateline: Philadelphia, July 1. With the immediacy of a newspaper report and the involvement of a participant, the tense drama attending the adoption of the Declaration of Independence is masterfully recreated. One by one the key delegates rouse in their lodgings, ruminate over recent and impending events, and proceed variously to the State House; a majority of the colonies favor independence but the decision must be without dissent--will the New York delegation receive the fresh instructions it has requested? how soon will the affirmative delegation from New Jersey arrive? how can Pennsylvania, with only one positive vote (Franklin's), be won over? where is Caesar Rodney, the crucial delegate from Delaware? what hope for South Carolina? The outcome--adoption of the resolution for independence --is only the first act; the second involves the Declaration itself, from its drafting by Jefferson through its paragraph-by-paragraph revision by the Congress (while Jefferson squirms--and suffers over the deletion of the indictment of slavery). ""And afterward""--the signing, the celebrations, the subsequent history of the document, and appended, the text. A warning--the account is not nearly as simple as it appears the Vocabulary being especially difficult. In a more mature format, it would be a natural for history buffs from eleven to thirteen (and even older); now they may have to be alerted and reassured.

Pub Date: Sept. 15th, 1967
Publisher: Crowell