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INDEPENDENTS—INDEX

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 (1725-1790), George Walton (1740-1804), 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.(1738-1789), Francis Lightfoot Lee (1734-1797), Carter Braxton (1736-1797), of Virginia; Robert Morris (1734-1806), Benjamin Rush (1745-1813), Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790), John Morton (1724-1777), George Clymer (1739-1813), James Smith (c. 1719-1806), George Taylor (1716-1781), James Wilson (1742-1798), George Ross (1730-1779), of Pennsylvania; Caesar Rodney (1728-1784), George Read (1733-1798), Thomas McKean (1734-1817), of Delaware; William Floyd (1734-1821), Philip Livingston (1716-1778), 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 (1729-1795), 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 (1727-1820), of Rhode Island; Roger Sherman (1721-1793), Samuel Huntington (1732-1796), 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, 1860, 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).

INDEPENDENTS, in religion, a name used in the 17th century for those holding to the autonomy of each several church or congregation, hence otherwise known as Congregationalists. Down to the end of the 18th century the former title prevailed in England, though not in America; while since then “Congregationalist” has obtained generally in both. (See Congregationalism.)

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):—

And in such indexes, although small pricks;
To their subsequent volumes, there is seen;
The baby figure of the giant mass.”

Table was the usual English word, and index was not thoroughly naturalized until the beginning of the 17th century, and even then it was usual to explain it as “index or table.” By the present English usage, according to which the word “table” is reserved for the summary of the contents as they occur in a book, and the word “index” for the arranged analysis of the contents for the purpose of detailed reference, we obtain an advantage not enjoyed in other languages; for the French table is used for both kinds, as is indice in Italian and Spanish. There is a group of words each of which has its distinct meaning but finds its respective place under the general heading of index work; these are calendar, catalogue, digest, inventory, register, summary, syllabus and table.[1] The value of indexes was recognized in the earliest times, and many old books have full and admirably constructed ones. A good index has sometimes kept a dull book alive by reason of the value or amusing character of its contents. Carlyle referred to Prynne’s Histrio-Mastix as “a book still extant, but never more to be read by mortal”; but the index must have given amusement to many from the curious character of its entries, and Attorney-General Noy particularly alluded to it in his speech at Prynne’s trial. Indexes have sometimes been used as vehicles of satire, and the witty Dr William King was the first to use them as a weapon of attack. His earliest essay in this field was the index added to the second edition of the Hon. Charles Boyle’s attack upon Bentley’s Dissertation on the Epistles of Phalaris (1698).

To serve its purpose well, an index to a book must be compiled with care, the references being placed under the heading that the reader is most likely to seek. An index should be one and indivisible, and not broken up into several alphabets; thus every work, whether in one or more volumes, ought to have its complete index. The mode of arrangement calls for special attention; this may be either chronological, alphabetical or according to classes, but great confusion will be caused by uniting the three systems. The alphabetical arrangement is so simple, convenient and easily understood that it has naturally superseded the other forms, save in some exceptional cases. Much of the value of an index depends upon the mode in which it is printed, and every endeavour should be made to set it out with clearness. In old indexes the indexed word was not brought to the front, but was left in its place in the sentence, so that the alphabetical order was not made perceptible to the eye. There are few points in which the printer is more likely to go wrong than in the use of marks of repetition, and many otherwise good indexes are full of the most perplexing cases of misapplication in this respect. The oft-quoted instance,

Mill on Liberty
——on the Floss

actually occurred in a catalogue. But in modern times there

  1. Another old word occasionally used in the sense of an index is “pye.” Sir T. Duffus Hardy, in some observations on the derivation of the word “Pye-Book” (which most probably comes from the Latin pica), remarks that the earliest use he had noted of pye in this sense is dated 1547—“a Pye of all the names of such Balives as been to accompte pro anno regni regis Edwardi Sexti primo.”