Precursor of the Constitution Goes on Display in Queens

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The Flushing Remonstrance made a rare visit yesterday to the old neighborhood.

The fragile, fire-scorched, 350-year-old document arrived secretly by courier at the Queens Public Library in Flushing. Marie Culver, a preservation expert from the New York State Archives in Albany who accompanied the Remonstrance during its journey to Queens, immediately began installing an exhibition of the document, an important early recorded defense of the freedom to worship that has been called the religious Magna Carta of the New World.

Relatively little known, this 1657 appeal by some 30 Flushing farmers for freedom to practice their Quaker religion goes on display to the public today in the library at 41-17 Main Street, at Kissena Boulevard. The unveiling will mark the beginning of an abundance of festivities celebrating the 350th anniversary of this precursor to the Constitution.

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John R. Maass - 12/6/2007

While certainly this document is important--and I agree, little known--I think calling it "a precursor to the Constitution" is a quite a stretch.