Huntington Militia Re-Enacts Word of the Declaration of Independence

The Huntington Militia Sunday re-enacted the news of the Declaration of Independence in 1776, with the firing of musket, rifle and cannon, a reading of the history-making document and the burning of an effigy of King George III.

Information about the declaration arrived in Huntington July 23, 1776, leading residents to the Village Green where it was read aloud to the crowd. Sunday’s re-enactment followed the actions of those early residents, including the ripping down of the Liberty flag that included the king’s name and and the British union flag in the canton. Those portions were ripped out of the flag and became part of the effigy, which was then hanged, set on fire and shot.

Patrick Mantle, commander of the Order of the Ancient & Honorable Huntington Militia, performed a dramatic reading of the declaration, complete with a few interruptions by participants playing the role of dissident Loyalists, who were then shouted down or challenged by others in the crowd, who also cheered certain statements about liberty in the declaration. 

The day’s events included tours of the “Arsenal,” the historic home of Job Sammis, a weaver, explanation and demonstration of the different kinds of weapons used in the 18th Century, and a display of 18th Century civilian crafts, trades, music, and cooking.

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