Tag Archives: United States Declaration of Independence

July Creative Challenge Day 4: PRIDE

Well, it’s the Fourth of July and here in America that elicits a lot of PRIDE in our Founding Fathers. So for today’s challenge I did a word collage based on the Declaration of Independence  and the original signers.

My Declaration word collage.

My Declaration word collage.

The Declaration is an amazing document and it is worth a trip to the National Archives in Washington DC to see it in person (along with the Constitution, the Bill of Rights and the 1217 Magna Carta. I’d also strongly suggest a trip to Independence Hall in Philadelphia, PA where the Declaration was debated and adopted.

Independence Hall in Philadelphia.

Independence Hall in Philadelphia.

Like the Bible and the Constitution people read the Declaration in different ways, often to fit their specific needs. Indeed, when Jefferson, Adams, Franklin, Livingston and Sherman put their heads together to come up with the document they had their disagreements, and before the Second Continental Congress finally adopted it copious compromises had to be accommodated. Alas, certain races and sexes had been edited out of the “all men” altogether (not that women were ever really in the mix to begin with.) Yet, despite it’s flaws and the flaws of the men who signed it, the Declaration remains one of the best treatises on the rights of individual man and of independent states ever written.

I encourage you to read it in its entirety. Here’s a full transcript of the Declaration. Or to listen to it HERE from NPR.

The Assembly Room inside Independence Hall, where the Declaration of Independence was signed.

The Assembly Room inside Independence Hall, where the Declaration of Independence was adopted.

For more information on the signers I suggest delving into the profiles posted on The Society of The Descendants of the Signers of the declaration of Independence.   Click HERE to read about John Penn from North Carolina (who I picked at random). John Penn was instrumental in organizing the North Carolina delegates to vote for Independence. He:

  • He served in the Continental Congress for six years
  • He signed the Declaration of Independence
  • He signed the Articles of Confederation
  • He signed the Halifax Resolves (the North Carolina Constitution)
  • He was virtual dictator of North Carolina at what arguably was the turning point of the American Revolution in 1781-1782 [DSDI1776.com]
John Penn (Continental Congress)

John Penn (Continental Congress) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


Thomas Nelson, Jr. 12,26.12 Thought of the Day

An engraving of Thomas Nelson, Jr., a signer o...

Thomas Nelson, Jr was born on this day in Yorktown, Virginia in 1738. Today is the 274th anniversary of his birth.

Nelson was a planter, statesman, and soldier. He was a signer of the Declaration of Independence in 1776 and he was Virginia’s fourth Governor (he followed Thomas Jefferson in the post.)

English: Portrait of Governor Thomas Nelson at...

English: Portrait of Governor Thomas Nelson at age 15. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

His grandfather and namesake, Thomas “Scotch Tom” Nelson  was one of the first men to settle in the Yorktown area. And the family was prominent in local and regional politics. Young Thomas traveled to England for his formal education. He went to Eton and Trinity College, Cambridge.  In 1760 he graduated and returned to the family home.

Capitol Building from the North side. [ritaLOVEStoWRITE]

Capitol Building from the North side. [ritaLOVEStoWRITE]

One year later, 1761 he was elected to the House of Burgesses, Colonial Virginia’s legislative house in Williamsburg, Virginia. His time in the Capital wasn’t all business, in 1762 he met and married Lucy Grymes, niece of one of the richest and most powerful men in the Colony, Peyton Randolph. He and Lucy had 11 children in their 27 year marriage. (One son, Hugh Nelson, served in the US Congress.)

In 1774, after hearing about the Boston Tea Party, he [Thomas] performed an act against the British Tea Tax by boarding a merchant ship, Virginia, which was anchored near his home, and dumped several chests of tea into the York River. [Geni.com]

He was a member of the Continental Congress in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, from 1775 to 1777. A supporter of the independence cause, he was a signer of the Declaration of Independence.

English: This is a high-resolution image of th...

English: This is a high-resolution image of the United States Declaration of Independence (article (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In May of 1777 he suffered the first of a series of strokes and returned to Yorktown. He also suffered “periodic bouts of asthma”[Geni.com] but remained active in politics.

He also became a General in the Virginia Militia. He and his 3,000 Militiamen were part of George Washington’s Army during the siege of Yorktown. Cornwallis, the British commander had taken Nelson’s home for one of his head quarters. The

American artillerymen refused to fire on the house, in respect to General Nelson. Nelson then aimed … a cannon at his own home, and ordered the men to fire at his house…. [Ibid]

He offered a bounty of five guineas to the first American gunner to hit the house. The house, now a part of the Colonial National Historical Park system, still shows “evidence of damage from cannon fire.” [National Park Service]

Nelson House, York County, Virginia. [Image courtesy: National Park Service]

Nelson House, York County, Virginia. [Image courtesy: National Park Service]

In 1781 he succeeded Thomas Jefferson as Governor Virginia. He retired to his “son’s estate, ‘Mont Air,’ Hanover County, Va., and died there on January 4, 1789” [Congress.gov Biographical Dictionary of the United States Congress] He was buried in Yorktown, in Grace Churchyard.

 

 


Today’s Thought 7.4.12

“…We hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their CREATOR with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness…”

–The Declaration of Independence

Independence Hall, Philadelphia, PA

The Declaration of Independence  was adopted by the Second Continental Congress on this date in 1776. It is 236 years old.

The document was written by Thomas Jefferson with help from the “Committee of Five” (Jefferson, John AdamsBenjamin Franklin, Robert Livingston, and Roger Sherman). It announced that the thirteen American colonies had severed ties from the British Empire.

The interior of Independence Hall. This is the room where the Second Continental Congress signed the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776.

For the full text of the Declaration of Independence go HERE.  Links to the full text of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights can also be found on that page.


%d bloggers like this: