Signing of First Treaty Made by U.S., Reading of Declaration of Independence Celebrated in Watertown

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Members of the United Native American Cultural Center are joined by Henry Bear, Maliseet Representative in the Maine Legislature (in black) and Watertown's Bob Chlids (in Colonial uniform) beat on the Nugumij drum and sing in the backyard of the Edmund Fowle House during the Treaty Day celebration.

Members of the United Native American Cultural Center are joined by Henry Bear, Maliseet Representative in the Maine Legislature (in black) and Watertown’s Bob Chlids (in Colonial uniform) beat on the Nugumij drum and sing in the backyard of the Edmund Fowle House during the Treaty Day celebration.

The Historical Society of Watertown commemorated two important moments in the history of the Town, the state and the nation during the annual Treaty Day on July 14.

During the ceremony, the Historical Society held a reenactment of the first reading of the Declaration of Independence in Massachusetts, and also remembered the first treaty signed by the recently formed United States.

Both events took place at the Edmund Fowle House, the meeting place of the Massachusetts Provincial Congress during the first year of the Revolutionary War.

Historical Society of Watertown

Bob Childs reenacted Porez Mortin by reading the Declaration of Independence from the Edmund Fowle House upstairs Council Room window.

Members of the Historical Society reenacted the reading of the Declaration of Independence, which was done from the second floor window of the house on Marshall Street. The first reading took place on July 18, 1776.

Representatives of the United Native American Cultural Center (UNACC) in Devens played a traditional Native American song and prayer to open the celebration.

Historical Society of Watertown

Members of the United Native American Cultural Center (UNACC) in Devens play a traditional Native American song & prayer as part of the opening celebration of the signing of the Treaty of Watertown and the first reading of the Declaration of Independence at Watertown’s Edmund Fowle House.

The Treaty of Watertown was signed on July 19, 1776. It was signed by the United States was made with the the Mi’kmaq and Maliseet tribes of what is now Maine and the Atlantic Provinces of Canada. Some decedents of the original signers of the treaty attended the commemoration at the Fowle House.

The house is now on Marshall Street, but was originally on Mt. Auburn Street. The house is home to the Historical Society and is the second oldest home in Watertown.

Find out more about the Historical Society of Watertown at its website, historicalsocietyofwatertownma.org/

Historical Society of Watertown

Representative Henry Bear, Maliseet Representative to the Maine House of Representatives, and descendant of two signers of the Treaty delivered a message about the meaning of the Treaty. At the time of the signing, the Treaty allied the Indian tribes with the U.S. during the Revolutionary War. However, it also had impacts on other areas, such as trade and commerce. These still have repercussions today. Rep. Bear said he spends a lot of time trying to make sure that the Maliseet’s rights from the treaty are respected, including fishing rights, for instance.

Watertown’s Treaty Day Celebration Joined by Descendants of Original Signers

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