This project is for all those that signed the Bush Declaration.
The following is the language of the Bush Declaration dated March 22, 1775. Quoted from C. Milton Wright's OUR HARFORD HERITAGE on page 355:
"We the Committee of Harford County, having most seriously and maturely considered the Resolves and Association of the Continental Congress, and the Resolves of the Provincial Convention, do most heartily approve of the same, and as we esteem ourselves in a more particular manner, intrusted by our constituents to see them carried into execution, we do most solemnly pledge ourselves to each other, and to our Country, and engage ourselves by every tie held sacred among mankind to perform the same at the risque of our lives and fortunes."
The following explanation by the Genealogist General, Henry C. Peden, Jr. of the Bush Declaration.
The Bush Declaration is a document signed by 34 duly elected citizens in Harford County, Maryland on March 22, 1775. At that time the county seat was Harford Town, or Bush (so named for its location in the "bush country" as compared to most colonial towns on the waterfront, that is, Chesapeake Bay). Harford County had been separated from Baltimore County just a year earlier and in the interim there was considerable patriotic fervor against the British and their blockade of Boston (and other problems, like taxation). This committee in Harford County decided to show their support for Boston and their disdain for King George by signing this document "at the risque of their lives and fortunes." It has been characterized as the first Declaration of Independence and was signed just three weeks prior to the Battles of Lexington and Concord which signaled the beginning of the American Revolution.
The declaration was signed by thirty-four committee members. Although the Bush Declaration was not a call for separation from the British Empire, local histories have, with perhaps more pride than historical accuracy, described the Bush Declaration as the first declaration of independence made by any representative body in America.
The signers were as follows:
- Charles Anderson [b.1734 - d.1824, Green Co., PA]
- John Archer [b.5 May 1741 - d. 28 Sep 1810, "Medical Hall", nr. Churchville, Harford Co., MD. Buried at Churchville Presbyterian Church Cem., Churchville, Harford Co., MD]
- William Bradford, Sr. [b.1739 - d.1794]
- Thomas Brice [b.1746]
- Samuel Calwell [b. c1741 - d. 1799, Harford Co, MD]
- Richard Dallam [b.1743 - d. 1805, Harford Co., MD]
- John Donahuy(or Donahey)
- Greenberry Dorsey [b. 10 Mar 1728/29 - d. by 9 April 1798 Harford Co., MD]
- John Durham [b. 22 Feb 1737/8, Baltimore Co, MD - d. 1801, Harford Co, MD]
- William Fisher, Jr. [b.1740 - d.1835, Harford Co, MD]
- Aquila Hall [b.1727, Baltimore Co, MD - d.1779, Harford Co, MD]
- Aquila Hall, Jr. [b. c1750, Baltimore Co, MD - d.1815, Baltimore Co, MD]
- Josias Carvil Hall [b. 7 Jul 1746, Baltimore Co, MD - d. 1814, Harford Co, MD]
- James Harris [d. 1777, Harford Co., MD] (unmarried)
- Francis Holland [b. 11 Aug 1745, Baltimore Co, MD - d. by 30 Jul 1775, Harford Co., MD]
- Thomas Johnson [b.1726]
- Robert Lemmon [b. c.1740, Ireland - d. 1817, Somerset Co., MD]
- James Lytle [b. 1752 - d. 1809, Harford Co, MD]
- James McComas [b.1735 - d. 1791, Harford Co., MD]
- Robert Morgan [b. 24 May 1755]
- William Morgan [b. 14 Mar 1743/44, Baltimore Co., MD - d. Nov 1795, Deer Creek, Harford Co., MD]
- Benjamin Bradford Norris [b.1745 - d. 1790]
- Aquila Paca [b. 21 Jun 1738, Baltimore Co., MD - d. 26 Feb 1788 in Harford Co., MD]
- John Patrick [b. 1742, Lancaster Co., PA - d. bef. 10 Oct 1805, Baltimore Co. MD]
- George Patterson [b.1748 - d. 1808, Harford Co., MD. Buried at St. George's Parish *Cem., Perryman, Harford Co., MD]
- Edward Prall [b.1734, NJ - d.1803, Harford Co., MD] (unmarried
- Alexander Rigdon [b.1743 - d. 1820, Harford Co, MD]
- Daniel Scott [b.1747 - d. 1828, Harford Co., MD]
- William Smith [b. c1720, Baltimore Co, MD - d. 1777, Harford Co, MD]
- William Smithson [b.1745 - d. 17 Jan 1809,"The Homestead",Bel Air, Harford Co, MD]
- John Taylor [b. 24 Sept 1736, Baltimore Co, MD - d. after 1775]
- Edward Ward [b. 1709 - d. 1791, Harford Co, MD]
- William Webb [b.1732 - d. 1778, Harford Co., MD]
- Abraham Whitaker [b.1737 - d. 1784, Harford Co, MD]