On 8 July 1776, Colonel John Dixon, commander of the Philadelphia militia regiment, “The Associators”, publicly read the Declaration of Independence for the first time from the steps of the Pennsylvania State House. Written but unsigned copies of the Declaration were sent to each of the colonies (the official one in the National Archives in Thomas Jefferson’s exquisite penmanship was only finished and signed on 2 August 1776).
The next day, the Declaration arrived in New York and George Washington had it distributed to the Continental Army, then bivouacked in lower Manhattan. As Washington’s scouts watched British troops and Hessian mercenaries occupy Staten Island, the commanders of each regiment read the Declaration to the troops and the citizens of New York.
When the Declaration was read to the local 4th New York Regiment, the inspired residents of the city marched over to Bowling Green Park, and pulled down the statue of King George III at its center. They carried the King over to a local blacksmith and had him melted down for musket balls.
I’d like to think many a British soldier had the King in their hearts in the coming days.