Malden Instructions

Book of Town Records, Vol. 2

Digitization by the Northeast Document Conservation Center, Andover, MA’’

In May the Provincial Congress asked the towns to “express their minds with respect to the important question of American Independence.” Malden was the first to respond. On Monday, May 27, 1776, the freemen of Malden declared by unanimous vote that “it is the ardent wish of our souls that America may become a free and independent state.

“Several weeks before he [Thomas Jefferson] finished drafting the Declaration of Independence, the people of that town had already made up their minds that they would be free and independent. Long before the men in Philadelphia voted on “this momentous issue, the people of Malden had decided to commit their own lives, fortunes, and sacred honor to the cause of American Independence.”

A Boston Globe article discussing the importance of Malden’s contribution to the Declaration of Independence can be found here:
“For the Real Birthplace of the Revolution, Look to Malden,” by William M. Fowler, Boston Globe, July 4, 2001.

On Friday, July 1, 2016, the Malden Public Library and the City of Malden hosted the 2nd Annual Reading of the Malden Instructions. The Library also displayed the original Book of Town Records and the recently digitized version of the entire 2nd volume (click here to view the original pages). You can see the reenactment on video here on the City’s website.