Portsmouth to Celebrate Founders’ Day on March 7 with Showing of the Original 1638 Compact and 1776 Southwick Copy of Declaration of Independence
Portsmouth, RI — The Portsmouth Historical Society has arranged a public viewing of the original founding document, the 1638 Portsmouth Compact, with the RI State Archives to commemorate its signing. The 385-year-old precious document, one of the oldest and most important documents in the State Archives, will be transported with a police escort to and from the Portsmouth Town Hall where the public can view the document.
The document will be on display at Portsmouth Town Hall (2200 East Main Rd.) from 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM. There will be a short ceremony where RI Secretary of State Gregg M. Amore and Town Historian Jim Garman will give brief remarks from 12:00 PM to 12:30 PM.
Also on display will be the Town of Portsmouth’s Declaration of Independence, which is believed to be only one of two Rhode Island copies that have remained at their intended destination – at a town clerk’s office or in a town hall. The Town of Portsmouth, RI has one of eight copies known to exist of the approximately 36 Declarations printed for the Rhode Island Assembly by Newport printer Solomon Southwick on July 13, 1776. Those Declarations were then distributed to each city and town clerk in Rhode Island to be read to the public or posted for the public to view.
Replicas of the compact will be for sale at the event.