Look familiar? The narrative that we have come to know about the Declaration of Independence is that this group of men signed it and it was blasted out to King and Country. Not so fast…
If you look at the very bottom of the Declaration of Independence you will see the name of Mary Katharine Goddard. This woman:
So why is her name on one of the most important documents in our nation’s history? In 1775 Mary became the first female postmaster in the Continental United States. In addition to being the first postmistress, she managed the family printing press publishing such newspapers as the Maryland Journal and Baltimore Advertiser.
When the American Revolution kicked off Mary made it a priority to get the newspaper out to the public. During the war, she never missed an issue. To keep lines of communication open during the war she even went so far as to pay the pay her employees from her own pocket. But I digress…
We were talking about why her name was on the Declaration of Independence. You see when the Declaration was first shared it wasn’t signed. It was anonymously passed around the colonies and England that is until in January of 1777 Mary had the nerve to share the biggest scoop of the century. She was the first person to publish the Declaration of Independence with all of the names of the signers.
Up until this point, the American forefathers had the luxury of anonymity while they talked treason. That is until Mary shared their names with the whole world. They now had to put their money with their mouth was so to speak.
Because of her bravery, Mary K. Goddard is our fierce femme of the week.
Have someone you would like to nominate? Let me know!