The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, July 16, 2010


“When in the Course of human events...”

Charles Schweppe (on right) takes a turn reading from the Declaration of Independence. About 30 people gathered to read the Declaration on July 4. (Photo by Mollie McPhee Ho)

It was Sunday morning, July 4, 20 minutes before noon, when people began to arrive at the Revolutionary War Memorial for the reading of the Declaration of Independence and the reading of the names of those 16 Carlisle Minutemen who marched to Concord to fight the British at the Old North Bridge on April 19, 1775, at the beginning of the Revolutionary War.

Already on hand was Carlisle Minuteman Captain Scott Evans playing the fife and ready to read off the 16 names. State Representative Cory Atkins had arrived early and looked on while the organizer of the event, Cynthia Schweppe, with her son Charles Schweppe, handed out copies of the Declaration of Independence which would be read after the First Religious Society church bells rang at noon.

By noon, more than 30 townspeople and a few visitors had assembled at the War Memorial holding their copies of the Declaration with designated sections for each to read. Following the tolling of the bells and the reading of the names of the Minutemen, people in attendance were invited to call out the names of any of their ancestors who had fought in the Revolutionary War. Several names were shouted out, including Seba Gaines’ ancestor Colonel James Barrett of Concord, one of two commanders of the area Minutemen.

Then Cynthia Schweppe and her son commenced the reading of the Declaration, followed by a sentence or two each from a circle of townspeople. Near the end of the Declaration, Selectman Peter Scavongelli and Charles Schweppe read lengthier segments, finally concluding with Representative Atkins reading the closing sentences. And as participants were heading for home, there was a heartfelt expression of pride in taking part in this opportunity to celebrate America’s Independence Day. ∆

© 2010 The Carlisle Mosquito