Introducing New Book About Signers of Declaration of Independence

Signing Their Lives Away: The Fame and Misfortune of the Men Who Signed the Declaration of Independence (Quirk Books) by Denise Kiernan and Joseph D’Agnese

Dear friends and colleagues,

We want to make sure you’re aware of our new book about the signers of the Declaration of Independence: SIGNING THEIR LIVES AWAY: THE FAME AND MISFORTUNE OF THE MEN WHO SIGNED THE DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE (Quirk Books, $20). The book is a light-hearted retelling of the signers’ stories in bite-sized, engaging chapters that appeal to most adult and teen readers. We have also undertaken the creation of a separate, (nonprofit) documentary film about the signers and their legacy. You can watch trailers of the film-in-progress at the website below.

We’ve had a wonderful response from the historic sites and museums that have carried the book. Clearly, the public has been hearing about the book via coverage we’ve received in Reader’s Digest, Library Journal, AAA Go Magazine, as well as various national and local radio stations and newspapers. The book received a starred review from the School Library Journal, a key influencer of library purchasing. If you run a museum or gift shop, we hope you’ll consider featuring it on a table display during the summer’s "Independence Season." Shops can it order via Hachette/Chronicle Books at 1-800-759-0190 (ISBN #9781594743306). Individuals can find it in most large bookstores and online.

Several events are planned to promote the book this summer.

"56 Days of Signers" Twitter Event:
From June 7 to August 2, 2010, we’ll be tweeting daily short bios about the 56 men who signed the Declaration of Independence. Why 56 Days? Because the major events of that historic summer in 1776 took place between June 7 (the day Congress first motioned to break from Great Britain) and August 2 (the day the majority of Signers put their names on the historic document). We’ll focus on one Signer per day during this period, posting multiple tweets about them during the day. You can read our daily updates at We will of course mention the historic sites we’ve met in our travels; if you work with a site associated with a Signer and want us to mention any special events coming up this summer, just drop us a line and we’ll try to get it into one of the posts occurring throughout your Signer’s day.

We are always interested in speaking or signing at shops, or addressing school groups. Here are current dates and locations where we’ll be signing during the summer of 2010. If you’re in the area, please stop by to say hi.

June 27: American Library Association Conference, Washington, DC
July 1: National Archives Gift Shop, Washington, DC
July 2: Independence Hall Visitor Center, Philadelphia.
July 3: Old Colony House, Newport, RI
July 4: Old State House, Boston

Signers Fan Page:
If you are on Facebook, we hope you will choose to "like" our page ( We could use the company! We use the Fan page to share news of our events and news that pops up about the Signers. It’s been an interesting year, what with the discovery of a long-lost copy of the Declaration and the recent sale of a letter signed by Button Gwinnett–the rarest autograph of all the Signers. Again: If you run a signer historic site and have some news to share, send it to us. We are happy to help you get the word out to our readers.

We have Signer T-shirts available via our website, and plan to add ones for every single Signer by Fourth of July.

Every year at this time, email in-boxes are crowded with the same old email about the sacrifices of the Signers. Much of the information contained in that email is exaggerated or just plain false. (Example: No Signer was ever "tortured by the British until he died." Preposterous.) If someone sends you an email to this effect during the summer, tell them to get the facts. We enjoy setting the record straight.


Thank you, and enjoy the summer.

Joe and Denise

Joseph D’Agnese
Denise Kiernan
phone: 917.464.3517
"Signing Their Lives Away"
The book:
The film:
Twitter: @56Signers

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