The Fourth of July is coming up and I thought this year it would be good to focus on the original Fourth of July. So I will be posting the entire text of the Declarationof Independence
on the blog— in five installments. So much has happened since it was written that its easy not to assign it the signifigance it deserves. To give even more emphasis I will post it backwards.
I’m going to start with the signatures then move backwards through the text, ending with the beginning of it on the Fourth. These signatures are significant because these men did risk thier lives, fortune and sacred honor. They took a big risk. It paid off, but they didn’t know if it would.
This Fourth of July there are people around the world seeking freedom. This is not a political statement(therefore I’m going to mention specific countries), just an attempt to make the Declaration relevant. As you watch the news and see what’s going on remember that these men were in very similar positions. They faced arrest and death from the government. They faced betrayal and lassitude for their neighbors and even family. Benjamin Franklin’s son remained loyal to the Crown. The two were very close but never spoke to each other after the Revolution.
Yes, these men were not perfect. And we have come a long way in the past two hundred some years. I for one am glad I do not live when they did. (I like having Germ Theory.) But the foundation they laid and the sacrifices they made were necessary for what came later. Without these men it either would not have happened or would not have happened for a lot longer.
So here is the list of names, courtesy of The National Archives at
Georgia: Button Gwinnett, Lyman Hall, George Walton
North Carolina: William Hooper, Joseph Hewes, John Penn
Massachusetts: John Hancock
Maryland: Samuel Chase, William Paca, Thomas Stone, Charles Carroll of Carrollton
Pennsylvania: Robert Morris, Benjamin Rush, Benjamin Franklin, John Morton,
George Clymer, James Smith, George Taylor, James Wilson, George Ross
Delaware: Caesar Rodney, George Read, Thomas McKean
New York: William Floyd, Philip Livingston, Francis Lewis,Lewis Morris
New Jersey: Richard Stockton, John Witherspoon, Francis Hopkinson, John Hart, Abraham Clark
New Hampshire: Josiah Bartlett, William Whipple
Massachusetts: Samuel Adams, John Adams, Robert Treat Paine, Elbridge Gerry
Rhode Island: Stephen Hopkins, William Ellery
Connecticut: Roger Sherman, Samuel Huntington, William Williams, Oliver Wolcott
New Hampshire: Matthew Thornton