This Woman’s Name Appears on the Declaration of Independence. So Why Don’t We Know Her Story?
Author: Petula Dvorak
This Fourth of July, look closely at one of those printed copies of the Declaration of Independence.
See it? The woman’s name at the bottom?
It’s right there. Mary Katherine Goddard.
If you’ve never noticed it or heard of her, you aren’t alone. She’s a Founding Mother, of sorts, yet few folks know about her. And some of America’s earliest bureaucrats did their best to shut her down. Same old, same old.
Goddard was fearless her entire career as one of America’s first female publishers, printing scoops from Revolutionary War battles from Concord to Bunker Hill and continuing to publish after her offices were twice raided and her life was repeatedly threatened by haters.
Yup, she faced down the Twitter trolls of 1776.
In her boldest move, Goddard put her full name at the bottom of all the copies of the Declaration that her printing presses churned out and distributed to the colonies. It was the first copy young America would see that included the original signer’s names – and Congress commissioned her for the important job.