‘John Harris, Jr.’ to read Declaration of Independence from Harris-Mansion porch on July 4
Jun 29, 2015 06:17PM
The Historical Society of Dauphin County will present re-enactor David Biser as John Harris, Jr. in public readings of the Declaration of Independence on Saturday, July 4, from the porch of the John Harris-Simon Cameron Mansion at 219 S. Front Street, Harrisburg. Readings will take place on the hour at 10:00 a.m., 11:00 a.m., 12 p.m., and 1:00 p.m. There is no charge to hear the readings and free parking is available behind the mansion.
Tours of the Harris-Cameron Mansion will be offered after each reading at a special price of $4.00. Children six and under will be admitted free. Any police, fire, or first responder personnel and their families will be admitted free.
Biser, a Harrisburg resident, has been a Colonial-era re-enactor for 12 years and has been bringing the persona of Harris alive for the past several years. Revolutionary War re-enactors will occupy the mansion grounds as they portray daily life during the struggle for American Independence. On the grounds of the mansion, the society will organize a used book sale; refreshments; and children’s face painting, games, and activities.
On July 4, 1776, the Second Continental Congress voted to approve the Declaration of Independence inside the Pennsylvania State House (now Independence Hall). The Declaration was printed during the late afternoon by John Dunlap, a local Philadelphia printer. Congress ordered that copies be sent out and that it be proclaimed in each of the new United States. By the next morning, copies were on their way to all thirteen states by horseback.
Four days later, on July 8th, the citizens of Philadelphia were summoned to the State House Yard by the bells of the city. At 12:00 noon, Colonel John Nixon publicly read the Declaration of Independence for the first time. When a copy arrived at Harrisburg, city founder John Harris, Jr. read it to the assembled crowd from the porch of his house along the Susquehanna River.
The Harris-Cameron Mansion is administered by the Historical Society of Dauphin County, whose mission is to collect, preserve, and promote interest in the history of Dauphin County for the benefit of the public.
For more information, phone the society at (717) 233-3462 or visit www.dauphincountyhistory.org.
The Historical Society of Dauphin County will present re-enactor David Biser as John Harris, Jr. in public readings of the Declaration of Independence on Saturday, July 4, from the porch ... Read More »