July 4th, 2005


Independence Day and the Declaration

Independence Day and the Declaration

For those of you who are celebrating it, happy Independence Day!

As I mentioned before, gnomi and I will be going to the Old State House to hear the Declaration read, as it has been every year on July 4th since 1777. Then, this afternoon, we'll watch the movie 1776, as is our tradition.

I spent a little time yesterday poking around the Internet about the Declaration, and have found a few webpages that might interest people:

Of course, the omitted passage that I always find of most interest is as follows:

Collapse )

With this passage, Jefferson would have outlawed slavery in the United States of America. Congress was unable to do so because of the objections of the southern congressman, in particular Edward Rutledge of South Carolina, who at the time was the youngest member of Congress, only 27 years old. Rutledge refused to endorse or sign the Declaration so long as it contained that passage. When Jefferson, John Adams, and Benjamin Franklin finally gave in, Adams presciently noted that slavery would lead to troubles "a hundred years hence."