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Mary Katharine Goddard Chapter
Based in Omaha, Nebraska.

Organized December 4, 1926

Meetings are the 2nd Wednesday of October, November, December, March, April, May and June.

The chapter was named in honor of Mary Katherine Goddard in the sesquicentennial year of our country and confirmed in January, just one hundred fifty years after she rendered her distinctive service to our nation.

In 1774, she assumed the management of an infant newspaper and conducted it successfully through all the years of the war. In 1784, she relinquished her journal, a prosperous concern, the brother in whose interests she had been acting throughout that decade.

During these years, Mary Goddard's activities were not confined to the composing room and editorial office. Her advertisements indicate the maintenance of a well-stocked book and stationary store. Her job-printing office was a busy one, where copper plate work and the finer kinds of printing were done, and where books of various sorts were creditable produced. It has been claimed for her, too, that she operated the local paper mill. At any rate, she did much to foster the difficult infancy of paper manufacturing in Maryland.

July 4, 1776, the Continental Congress adopted the Declaration of Independence. In August, a measure was passed to have a copy suitable engrossed upon parchment, to which all members who voted for the measure should attach their signatures. This was done, but the signatures were not all secured at once.

On January 18, 1777, a motion was passed to have copies of this important document printed, with all the signatures appended, to send out to the colonies and army officers. When a committee came from the Congress to the printing office of William Goddard, they learned that he was away on a horseback tour of the coast towns in the interest of the colonies.

Nothing daunted, however, his capable young sister, courageously undertook the task attended by such grave dangers and thus it was, that the first signed copies of the Declaration of Independence carry underneath the line, "Baltimore in Maryland," "printed by Mary Katherine Goddard."

After Mary Goddard's relinquishment of the printing and newspaper business to her brother, in 1784, and her removal from the post-office (which she had conducted for fourteen years) in 1789, there remained for employment only the book store, the business of which she conducted until the year 1802. It is doubtful if all her enterprises together had sufficed to acquire for her more than a decent maintenance, but at the time of her death, in her eightieth year, August 12, 1816, she was able to leave a small property to a colored woman who had been the servant and companion of her later years.

For membership information, please email the chapter at mkregent@cox.net