Submitted by Cheryl Squadrito:
Although Haddonfield-born Timothy Matlack may not be well known to Americans, his role as a Founding Father was vitally important to our Colonial-era history.
As clerk to the secretary of the Second Continental Congress, Matlack penned the official version of the Declaration of Independence on display in the National Archives. Although known for his neat penmanship, Matlack was also a political leader in America’s Revolution including being at the trial of Benedict Arnold and serving as a colonel during the war.
The Indian King Tavern will be hosting an Open House, where re-enactor Bob Gleason will portray the colorful Timothy Matlack.
The open house is scheduled from 1 to 4 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 19, to coincide with Haddonfield’s annual Fall Festival, with Gleason performing as Matlack at 2 p.m. Admission is free to the public but guests are advised to come early as seating is limited. Adults and children of all ages are invited and a great history lesson is promised to all who attend.
Matlack, a brewer expelled by the Quakers for cock-fighting and stints in debtors prison, had learned to write in the fine, clear hand needed for official documents during his time as a merchant's apprentice, according to his biographer, Chris Coelho, author of Timothy Matlack: Scribe of the Declaration of Independence.
Matlack landed the Declaration job after he sold wine to his neighbor Benjamin Franklin, who hired Matlack as a scrivener. The rest is history.
Also, copies of the Declaration of Independence and Coelho’s biography will be on sale as a fundraiser for the Friends of the Indian King Tavern.
Visiting the Indian King Tavern is like stepping back in time to the Colonial Era, with its period rooms and historical details. The Indian King Tavern is where the seal of New Jersey was adopted and where New Jersey became a state in 1777. It is now a museum and an important part of our state’s history. The Indian King Tavern is a state-owned historic site operated with the assistance of the Friends of the Indian King Tavern.
The Indian King Tavern Museum is located at 233 Kings Highway East, Haddonfield, NJ 08033. For more information call the museum 856-429-6792 or visit their websitewww.indiankingfriends.org