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Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V14, Page 373 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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INDEX, a word that may be understood either specially as a table of references to a book or, more generally, as an indicator of the position of required information on any given subject. According to classical usage, the Latin word index denoted a discoverer, discloser or informer; a catalogue or list; an inscription; the title of a book; and the fore or index-finger. Cicero also used the word to express the table of contents to a book, and explained his meaning by the Greek form syllabus. Shakespeare uses the word with the general meaning of a table of contents or preface—thus Nestor says (Troilus and Cressida, i. 3) : The original parchment of the Declaration, preserved in the Department of State (from 1841 to 1877 in the Patent Office, once a part of the Department of State), was injured—the injury was almost wholly to the signatures—in 1823 by the preparation of a facsimile copper-plate, and since 1894, when it was already partly illegible, it has been jealously guarded from light and air. The signers were as follows: John Hancock (1737–1792), of Massachusetts, president; Button Gwinnett (c. 1732–1777), Lyman Hall (172 1790), George Walton (1740-18o4), of Georgia; William Hooper (1742–1790), Joseph Hewes (1730-1779), John Penn (1741–1788), of North Carolina; Edward Rutledge (1749-1800), Thomas Heyward, Jr. (1746-1809), Thomas Lynch, Jr. (1749-1779), Arthur Middleton (1742-1787), of South Carolina; Samuel Chase (1741–1811), William Paca (1740-1799), Thomas Stone (1743-1787), Charles Carroll (1737–1832) of Carrollton, of Maryland; George Wythe (1726–1806), Richard Henry Lee (1732–1794), Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826), Benjamin Harrison (1740-1791), Thomas Nelson, Jr.(' 738-1789), Francis Lightfoot Lee (1734-1797), Carter Braxton (1736–1797), of Virginia; Robert Morris (1734-1806), Benjamin Rush (1745–1813), Benjamin Franklin (17o6–179o), John Morton (1724–1777), George Clymer (1739-1813), James Smith (c. 1719-1806), George Taylor (1716-1781), James Wilson (1742–1798), George Ross (173o-1779), of Pennsylvania; Caesar Rodney (1728–1784), George Read (1733-1798), Thomas McKean (1734–1817), of Delaware; William Floyd (1734–1821), Philip Livingston (1716-1978), Francis Lewis (1713-1803), Lewis Morris (1726-1798), of New York; Richard Stockton (1730-1781), John Witherspoon (1722–1794), Francis Hopkinson (1737-1791), John Hart (1708-1780), Abraham Clark (1726-1794), of New Jersey; Josiah Bartlett (1729-1995), William Whipple (1730-1785), Matthew Thornton (1714–1803), of New Hampshire; Samuel Adams (1722-1803), John Adams (1735-1826), Robert Treat Paine (1731-1814), Elbridge Gerry (1744–1814), of Massachusetts; Stephen Hopkins (1707–1785), William Ellery (1727–182o), of Rhode Island; Roger Sherman (1721–1793), Samuel Huntington (1932-1796), William Williams (1731–1811), Oliver Wolcott (1726-1797), of Connecticut. Not all the men who rendered the greatest services to independence were in Congress in July 1776; not all who voted for the Declaration ever signed it; not all who signed it were members when it was adopted. The greater part of the signatures were certainly attached on the 2nd of August; but at'least six were attached later. With one exception—that of Thomas McKean, present on the 4th of July but not on the 2nd of August, and permitted to sign in 1781—all were added before printed copies with names attached were first authorized by Congress for public circulation in January 1777. See H. Friedenwald, The Declaration of Independence, An Interpretation and an Analysis (New York, 1904); J. H. Hazleton, The Declaration of Independence: its History (New York, 1906); M. Chamberlain, John Adams ... with other Essays and Addresses (Boston, 1898), containing, " The Authentication of the Declaration of Independence " (same in Massachusetts Historical Society, Proceedings, Nov. 1884); M. C. Tyler, Literary History of the American Revolution, vol. i. (New York, 1897), or same material in North American Review, vol. 163, 1896, p. 1; W. F. Dana in Harvard Law Review, vol. 13, 1900, p. 319; G. E. Ellis in J. Winsor, Narrative and Critical History of America, vol. vi. (Boston, 1888); R. Frothingham, Rise of the Republic, ch. ii. (Boston, 1872). There are various collected editions of biographies of the signers; probably the best are John Sanderson's Biography of the Signers of the Declaration of Independence (7 vols., Philadelphia, 1823-1827), and William Brotherhead's Book of the Signers (Philadelphia, 186o, new ed., 1875). The Declaration itself is available in the Revised Statutes of the United States (1878), and many other places. A facsimile of the original parchment in uninjured condition is inserted in P. Force's American Archives, 5th series, vol. i. at p. 1595 (Washington, 1848). The reader will find it interesting to compare a study of the French Declaration: G. Jellinek, The Declaration of the Rights of Man and of Citizens (New York, 1901; German edition, Leipzig, 1895; French translation preferable because of preface of Professor Larnande). (F. S. P.)
End of Article: INDEX

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