Catasauqua Press

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PRESS PHOTO BY PAUL CMILJohn Adams, portrayed by Christopher Black, gives a detailed account of how the Declaration of Independence was negotiated and written at the July 4 celebration at the George Taylor House in Catasauqua. See Page 12 for additional photos. PRESS PHOTO BY PAUL CMILJohn Adams, portrayed by Christopher Black, gives a detailed account of how the Declaration of Independence was negotiated and written at the July 4 celebration at the George Taylor House in Catasauqua. See Page 12 for additional photos.

Actors bring history to life

Thursday, July 14, 2016 by paul cmil Special to The Press in Local News

With rain spoiling the annual reading of the Declaration of Independence at the George Taylor House in recent years, sunny skies attracted a great crowd this year. The format for this July 4 celebration also changes this year.

Leah and Ron Covert brought breakfast and a lunch snack for those who were hungry. Need just a coffee and a muffin? Had those on hand, too.

Christopher Black of the Bachman Players and a horde of people portraying colonists anxious to hear the news from Philadelphia interrupted the breakfast goings-on.

As Black read the Declaration of Independence, he was interrupted by loyalists claiming his words were treasonous. Their shouts of “Long live the King” were finally quieted and replaced with colonist’s cheers when the loyalists were escorted out by the militia.

David and Kim Rose, along with Doug and Patricia Burton skillfully played the role of loyalists. Sergeant Rob Martin led the militia. Bob Abel, John Wargo, Gary Weaver and Jason Kern rounded up the pesky loyalists.

While Gunnery Sergeant Kenneth Serfass and the Antebellum Marine Band played patriotic songs, lines formed for tours of the George Taylor House and the folk art exhibit on display inside.

John Adams, portrayed by Christopher Black, gave a detailed account of the behind-the-scenes negotiating that took place during conferences leading up to the call for independence.

“Thomas Jefferson expressed regrets about some of the editing,” Adams said. He added readings from his own letters written from Braintree, Mass.

“Liberty under any form of government is always in jeopardy,” he said. “Be on your guard so that you will not one day sit idly about talking how people were once free. Liberty depends on the morality of the people governed.”

One-Eyed Jack (John Mahler) explained to anyone who would listen how sea captains in New England raided British merchant ships to get needed goods and avoid high tariffs.