Hereditary Order of the Signers of the Bush Declaration of March 22, 1775

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Recognized by the National Society
of the Sons of the American Revolution


In the year 2002 a chapter of the Children of the American Revolution was formed in Harford County, Maryland and named the Bush Declaration Society.

It soon became apparent that there was no organization in existence to honor the actual Signers of the Bush Declaration on March 22, 1775.

In March 2004 Christopher T. Smithson and Henry C. Peden, Jr. decided to organize such a society and recruited J. Andrew Calwell and William P. Smithson, fellow members of the Col. Aquila Hall Chapter, Sons of the American Revolution, to work with them on this project.

On June 4, 2004 The Hereditary Order of the Signers of the Bush Declaration was founded.


Just three days before Patrick Henry made his well-known speech, a committee of thirty-four Harford citizens met at the Bush Tavern and, after deliberation, signed the famous Bush Declaration.

This document of support has been characterized as the first Declaration of Independence ever adopted by an organized body of men duly elected by the people was proclaimed on March 22, 1775.


The order is genealogical, historical and fraternal in its nature. Its membership endeavors to foster patriotism and to enlarge the knowledge of its membership through:

The collection of information concerning the Signers of the Bush Declaration.

The dissemination of such information to the Order’s membership, and eventually to other interested persons and organizations.

The building of a body of genealogical records showing descent from the Signers of the Bush Declaration, and their ancestors.

The creation of a spirit of good fellowship and friendship among members through meetings and other means, inherent in these purposes.


The Society will hold an annual meeting in March to mark the anniversary of the signing of the Bush Declaration. Although members are not obligated to attend the annual meeting, they are encouraged to do so consistent with the Objectives of the Order.