Independence Day 2015
You were informed by the last Post that Congress had declared the thirteen united Colonies free, & independent States. It must be allowed by the impartial World that this Declaration has not been made rashly. The inclosed Catalogue of Crimes of the deepest Dye, which have been repeatedly perpetrated by the King will justify us in the Eyes of honest & good Men. By multiplied Acts of Oppression and Tyranny he has long since forfeited his Right to Govern. The Patience of the Colonies in enduring the most provoking Injuries so often repeated will be Matter of Astonishment….
—Samuel Adams, Letter to John Pitts, 17 July 1776
It is with a very heavy heart that I will celebrate this Anniversary of the enactment of our Declaration Of Independence, that freed us from the Despotism of Great Britain.
Here we are but 239 years from the passage of that Great And Glorious Parchment and we find ourselves stripped of those Rights that it said we inalienably have by a Monstrous and Tyrannical State that feebly — and for fraudulent ends only — resembles the one gifted to us so solemnly by The Founding Fathers — and so carelessly tossed away for…what?
We were charged with Preserving and Protecting her. And for a security that is — by it’s core nature, and will soon clearly expose itself to be — false, we let the Forces dedicated to enslaving us fundamentally transform our country into a Despotism. Not wanting to pull guard duty to defend The Beloved City, known as The United States Of America, we let the Barbarians in the gate, and we left them free to rape and pillage all that we hold dear.
So…I will raise toasts to The Founders, who sacrificed their Lives, their Fortunes, and their Sacred Honor to defeat the Tyrant King and his Parliament…but I will also lower my head to my chest and mourn the Death Of The American Republic and that Heroic and Noble-Minded Spirit which once animated it’s people.
However, I will also rededicate myself to a Restoration of that which was once the Glory Of The World, The Glory Of Mankind, that once Shining City On A Hill, and keep on fighting the Present War being waged on and against us by the Forces Of Darkness, who seek to enslave us to their false gods, which are nothing but the deities Misery and Oblivion and Death.
Let us take this moment to rededicate ourselves to the Cause of Freedom and Ordered Liberty under the Just Mercy of Providence, guided by Right Reason and His example.
Let us redeem ourselves in the eyes of The Founders by performing whatever Sacrifices are necessary to Restore what has been so foolishly and wantonly cast aside by us in a Weakness of Spirit.
Let us vow to do our Duty and set a Virtuous example for our Posterity by seeking to Restore that Grand Legacy they deserve to inherit.
Let us be worthy again of the label ‘American’.
Time for some Sturdiness of Spirit…
Note: Re-paragraphing mine.
-TO ABIGAIL ADAMS
PHILADELPHIA, 03 July 1776
Yesterday, the greatest question was decided which ever was debated in America, and a greater, perhaps, never was, nor will be decided among men. A resolution was passed, without one dissenting colony, ‘that these United Colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent States, and as such they have, and of right ought to have, full power to make war, conclude peace, establish commerce, and to do all other acts and things which other States may rightfully do.’
You will see, in a few days, a declaration setting forth the causes which have impelled us to this mighty revolution, and the reasons which will justify it in the sight of God and man. A plan of confederation will be taken up in a few days.
When I look back to the year 1761, and recollect the argument concerning writs of assistance in the superior court, which I have hitherto considered as the commencement of the controversy between Great Britain and America, and run through the whole period, from that time to this, and recollect the series of political events, the chain of causes and effects, I am surprised at the suddenness as well as greatness of this revolution.
Britain has been filled with folly, and America with wisdom. At least, this is my judgment. Time must determine. It is the will of Heaven that the two countries should be sundered forever. It may be the will of Heaven that America shall suffer calamities still more wasting, and distresses yet more dreadful. If this is to be the case, it will have this good effect at least; it will inspire us with many virtues which we have not, and correct many errors, follies, and vices, which threaten to disturb, dishonor, and destroy us. The furnace of affliction produces refinement in States as well as individuals. And the new governments we are assuming, in every part, will require a purification from our vices, and an augmentation of our virtues, or they will be no blessings. The people will have unbounded power, and the people are extremely addicted to corruption and venality as well as the great. But I must submit all my hopes and fears to an overruling Providence, in which, unfashionable as the faith may be, I firmly believe.
Had a declaration of independency been made seven months ago, it would have been attended with many great and glorious effects. We might before this hour have formed alliances with foreign states. We should have mastered Quebec, and been in possession of Canada.
You will, perhaps, wonder how such a declaration would have influenced our affairs in Canada; but if I could write with freedom, I could easily convince you that it would, and explain to you the manner how. Many gentlemen in high stations and of great influence have been duped by the ministerial bubble of commissioners to treat. And in real, sincere expectation of this event, which they so fondly wished, they have been slow and languid in promoting measures for the reduction of that province. Others there are in the colonies, who really wished that our enterprise in Canada would be defeated, that the colonies might be brought into danger and distress between two fires, and be thus induced to submit. Others really wished to defeat the expedition to Canada, lest the conquest of it should elevate the minds of the people too much to hearken to those terms of reconciliation, which they believed would be offered us.
These jarring views, wishes, and designs occasioned an opposition to many salutary measures, which were proposed for the support of that expedition, and caused obstructions, embarrassments, and studied delays, which have finally lost us the province.
All these causes, however, in conjunction, would not have disappointed us, if it had not been for a misfortune which could not be foreseen, and, perhaps, could not have been prevented. I mean the prevalence of the smallpox among our troops. This fatal pestilence completed our destruction. It is a frown of Providence upon us, which we ought to lay to heart.
But, on the other hand, the delay of this declaration to this time has many great advantages attending it. The hopes of reconciliation, which were fondly entertained by multitudes of honest and well-meaning, though weak and mistaken people, have been gradually, and, at last, totally extinguished. Time has been given for the whole people maturely to consider the great question of independence, and to ripen their judgments, dissipate their fears, and allure their hopes, by discussing it in newspapers and pamphlets, by debating it in assemblies, conventions, committees of safety and inspection, in town and county meetings, as well as in private conversations, so that the whole people, in every colony of the thirteen, have now adopted it as their own act. This will cement the Union, and avoid those heats, and perhaps convulsions, which might have been occasioned by such a declaration six months ago.
But the day is past. The second day of July, 1776, will be the most memorable epocha in the history of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival. It ought to be commemorated as the day of deliverance, by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward, forevermore.
You will think me transported with enthusiasm, but I am not. I am well aware of the toil, and blood, and treasure that it will cost us to maintain this declaration, and support and defend these States. Yet, through all the gloom, I can see the rays of ravishing light and glory. I can see that the end is more than worth all the means. And that posterity will triumph in that day’s transaction, even although we should rue it, which I trust in God we shall not.
-TO BENJAMIN KENT
PHILADELPHIA, 27 July 1776
MY DEAR FRIEND
I must beg you to impute to the true Reason my not having yet acknowledged & answered your very obliging Letter of the 24 May. The WANT OF LEISURE often prevents my indulging the natural Inclination of my Mind to converse with my distant Friends by familiar Epistles; for however unequal I feel myself to the Station in which our Country has placed me here, I am indispensably obliged to attend the Duties of it with Diligence.
It has been difficult for a Number of persons sent from all parts of so extensive a Territory and representing Colonies (or as I must now call them STATES) which in many Respects have had different Interests & Views, to unite in Measures materially to affect them all. Hence our Determinations have been necessarily slow. We have however gone on from Step to Step, till at length we are arrivd to perfection, as you have heard, in a Declaration of Independence.
Was there ever a Revolution brought about, especially so important as this without great internal Tumults & violent Convulsions! The Delegates of every Colony in Congress have given their Voices in favor of the great Question, & the People I am told, recognize the Resolution as though it were a Decree promulgated from Heaven.
I have thought that if this decisive Measure had been taken six months earlier, it would have given Vigor to our Northern Army & a different Issue to our military Exertions in Canada. But probably I was mistaken.
The Colonies were not then all ripe for so momentous a Change. It was necessary that they should be united, & it required Time & patience to remove old prejudices, to instruct the unenlightened, convince the doubting and fortify the timid. Perhaps if our Friends had considered how much was to be previously done they would not have been, as you tell me some of them were, “impatient under our Delay.”
New Governments are now erecting in the several American States under the Authority of the people. Monarchy seems to be generally exploded. And it is not surprising to me, that the Aristocratick Spirit which appeared to have taken deep Root in some of them, now gives place to that of Democracy, You justly observe that “the Soul or Spirit of Democracy is VIRTUE.” No State can long preserve its Liberty “where Virtue is not supremely honored.” I flatter my self you are mistaken in thinking ours is so very deficient, and I do assure you, I find relief in supposing your Colouring is too high.
But if I deceive my self in this most essential point, I conjure you and every Man of Influence by Example and by all Means to stem the Torrent of Vice, which, as a celebrated Author tells us, “prevailing would destroy, not only a Kingdom or an Empire, but the whole moral Dominion of the Almighty throughout the Infinitude of Space.” I have Time only to add that I am very affectionately,
-From the Orderly Book of GEORGE WASHINGTON
09 July, 1776
The Honor: the Continental Congress, impelled by the dictates of duty, policy and necessity, having been pleased to dissolve the Connection which subsisted between this Country and Great Britain, and to declare the United Colonies of North America free and independent STATES: The several brigades are to be drawn up this evening on their respective Parades, at six o’clock, when the declaration of Congress, shewing the grounds & reasons of this Measure, is to be read with an audible voice.
The General hopes this important Event will serve as a fresh incentive to every officer and soldier, to act with Fidelity and Courage, as knowing that now the peace and safety of his Country, depends (under God) solely on the success of our Arms: And that he is now in the service of a State, possessed of sufficient power to reward his merit, and advance him to the highest Honors of a free Country.
The Brigade Majors are to receive, at the Adjutant Generals Office, several of the Declarations to be delivered to the Brigadiers General, and the Colonels of regiment.
-From the Orderly Book of GEORGE WASHINGTON
14 August, 1776
In case of alarm the men are immediately to repair to their usual parade, where the roll is to be called, and then march, join in Battalion and march to their respective alarm posts— Absentees will be considered as Cowards, and treated as such.
The General flatters himself, that every man’s mind and arms, are now prepared for the glorious contest upon which so much depends. The time is too precious nor does the General think it necessary to spend it in exhorting his brave Countrymen and fellow Soldiers to behave like men, fighting for everything that can be dear to Freemen — We must resolve to conquer or die; with this resolution, and the blessing of Heaven, Victory and Success, certainly will attend us: There will then be a glorious issue to this Campaign, and the General will reward his brave Fellow Soldiers with every Indulgence in his power.