The date of November 7th was chosen as Notary Public Day in recognition of the day that America’s first notary, Thomas Fugill, was appointed, by the coastal Colony of New Haven (now the capital of Connecticut) in 1639.
The Pilgrims (see Mayflower image) landed at Plymouth Rock in 1620 to form Plymouth Colony.
Most of the New England notary records from that time have been lost or destroyed, but the notary journal from 1644 of William Aspinwall of Boston has survived.
The first notary in North America landed with Christopher Columbus in 1492. Rodrigo de Escobedo sailed on the flagship Santa Maria and was secretary of the fleet. The painting “Landing of Columbus” hangs in the rotunda at the US Capitol and shows the notary standing behind the right shoulder of Columbus.
They serve the public by recording transactions of legal, judicial and commercial importance, as well as private documents. Notaries help to deter fraud and promote confidence in the authenticity of document transactions. There are nearly 4.8 million notaries in the United States.
Colorado Notary History
The first notaries in Colorado were likely Spanish notaries who accompanied the Conquistadors in the mid-1500’s. The oldest town in Colorado is San Luis, founded in 1851, ten years before Colorado Territory was formed. San Luis is near the New Mexico border and was originally located in Taos County, New Mexico before Colorado Territory was formed.
Originally, the Governor of Colorado Territory appointed notaries and they were county officials for the 17 original counties. Today there are 64 counties and Colorado notaries are appointed by the Secretary of State and serve as state officials.
Originally, women in Colorado did not have the right to vote, and could not hold a public office or become a notary public. Women got the right to vote in Colorado in November 7, 1893, which is the same day as Notary Public Day. Today, the majority of notaries are women.
Some notaries offer a discount or free notary services on Notary Public Day.
1. Mayflower, painting, 1882, William Halsall (http://www.artcom.com/Museums/vs/mr/02360-38.htm) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
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