HAPPY FOURTH!

The Declaration of Independence: A Transcription


IN CONGRESS, July 4, 1776.

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

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.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.–Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good. He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them. He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only. He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures. He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people. He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within. He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands. He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary powers. He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries. He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance. He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures. He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power. He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation: For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us: For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States: For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world: For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent: For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury: For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies: For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments: For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever. He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us. He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people. He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation. He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands. He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our Brittish brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.


The 56 signatures on the Declaration appear in the positions indicated:

Column 1 Georgia:    Button Gwinnett    Lyman Hall    George Walton

Column 2 North Carolina:    William Hooper    Joseph Hewes    John Penn South Carolina:    Edward Rutledge    Thomas Heyward, Jr.    Thomas Lynch, Jr.    Arthur Middleton

Column 3 Massachusetts:   John Hancock Maryland:   Samuel Chase   William Paca   Thomas Stone   Charles Carroll of Carrollton Virginia:   George Wythe   Richard Henry Lee   Thomas Jefferson   Benjamin Harrison   Thomas Nelson, Jr.   Francis Lightfoot Lee   Carter Braxton

Column 4 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

Column 5 New York:    William Floyd    Philip Livingston    Francis Lewis    Lewis Morris New Jersey:    Richard Stockton    John Witherspoon    Francis Hopkinson    John Hart    Abraham Clark

Column 6 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

21 Comments

Filed under Declaration of Independence, Holidays

21 responses to “HAPPY FOURTH!

  1. Pistol Pete

    The Spirit of ’76
    For ourselves, let the annual return of this day forever refresh our recollections of these rights, and an undiminished devotion to them

    http://www.weeklystandard.com/articles/spirit-76_738027.html

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  2. Pistol Pete

    Gratitude
    July 4 reminds us of all we have to be thankful for.
    http://www.nationalreview.com/article/352495/gratitude-mona-charen

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  3. GP

    I was just listening to the great RR on a rebroadcast of Rush giving that great speech in Normandy, what seems like only yesterday.
    How different today’s America is today.
    How sad that we have lost so much that the American Revolutionaries and all those who followed in the fight for Freedom stood for.
    We must never forget, or give up the fight for this greatest nation on God’s green earth.
    Great post today PP. It is always good to be reminded about what this day is all about. It is not just the fourth of July. It is Independence Day.
    Have a wonderful celebration fellow patriots.
    God Bless America.

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  4. Pistol Pete

    Happen to have some RR handy

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  5. Pistol Pete

    It’s the ‘Independence,’ Stupid
    “All men are created equal.” It’s a self-evident truth. But it’s not the point of “the Declaration.”

    The point is revolution.We no longer depend on tyrants. We’re breaking it off. We are free. We shall govern ourselves
    http://pjmedia.com/tatler/2013/07/03/its-the-independence-stupid/

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  6. Pistol Pete

    WAKE UP AMERICA!!!!

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  7. Pistol Pete

    Celebrating the Declaration of Independence
    On September 3, 1783, the Treaty of Paris officially ended the American Revolutionary War. Against all odds, the makeshift American militia, having endured 8 years of fighting, defeated the world’s strongest military to bring independence to the American people at last. Despite this great achievement, we observe Independence Day not on the 3rd of September, but instead on the 4th of July to celebrate the day in 1776 when the Continental Congress adopted the Declaration of Independence.
    http://www.americanthinker.com/2013/07/celebrating_the_declaration_of_independence.html

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  8. One can’t fully appreciate this:

    In Congress, July 4, 1776

    … without understanding and appreciating this:

    In Congress, March 16, 1776

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  9. Pistol Pete

    I CAN STILL GET WEIRD

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  10. Pistol Pete

    Independence Day plus 237
    “Posterity! You will never know how much it cost the present generation to preserve your freedom. I hope you will make good use of it.” — John Quincy Adams
    http://townhall.com/columnists/calthomas/2013/07/04/independence-day-plus-237-n1633291

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  11. Pistol Pete

    THE AMERICANS WHO RISKED EVERYTHING
    Rushs father gave this incredible speech years ago and I read it every year.

    Think about the signers who knew exactly what they were sacrificing and did it because it was their destiny.You know about Jefferson,Adams and Hancock,but all the others suffered to start what we have now.

    William Ellery, delegate from Rhode Island, was curious to see the signers’ faces as they committed this supreme act of personal courage. He saw some men sign quickly, “but in no face was he able to discern real fear.” Stephan Hopkins, Ellery’s colleague from Rhode Island, was a man past 60. As he signed with a shaking pen, he declared: “My hand trembles, but my heart does not.”
    “Most Glorious Service”

    Even before the list was published, the British marked down every member of Congress suspected of having put his name to treason. All of them became the objects of vicious manhunts. Some were taken. Some, like Jefferson, had narrow escapes. All who had property or families near British strongholds suffered.

    · Francis Lewis, New York delegate saw his home plundered — and his estates in what is now Harlem — completely destroyed by British Soldiers. Mrs. Lewis was captured and treated with great brutality. Though she was later exchanged for two British prisoners through the efforts of Congress, she died from the effects of her abuse.

    · William Floyd, another New York delegate, was able to escape with his wife and children across Long Island Sound to Connecticut, where they lived as refugees without income for seven years. When they came home they found a devastated ruin.

    · Philips Livingstone had all his great holdings in New York confiscated and his family driven out of their home. Livingstone died in 1778 still working in Congress for the cause.

    · Louis Morris, the fourth New York delegate, saw all his timber, crops, and livestock taken. For seven years he was barred from his home and family.

    · John Hart of Trenton, New Jersey, risked his life to return home to see his dying wife. Hessian soldiers rode after him, and he escaped in the woods. While his wife lay on her deathbed, the soldiers ruined his farm and wrecked his homestead. Hart, 65, slept in caves and woods as he was hunted across the countryside. When at long last, emaciated by hardship, he was able to sneak home, he found his wife had already been buried, and his 13 children taken away. He never saw them again. He died a broken man in 1779, without ever finding his family.

    · Dr. John Witherspoon, signer, was president of the College of New Jersey, later called Princeton. The British occupied the town of Princeton, and billeted troops in the college. They trampled and burned the finest college library in the country.
    · Judge Richard Stockton, another New Jersey delegate signer, had rushed back to his estate in an effort to evacuate his wife and children. The family found refuge with friends, but a Tory sympathizer betrayed them. Judge Stockton was pulled from bed in the night and brutally beaten by the arresting soldiers. Thrown into a common jail, he was deliberately starved. Congress finally arranged for Stockton’s parole, but his health was ruined. The judge was released as an invalid, when he could no longer harm the British cause.
    He returned home to find his estate looted and did not live to see the triumph of the Revolution. His family was forced to live off charity.

    · Robert Morris, merchant prince of Philadelphia, delegate and signer, met Washington’s appeals and pleas for money year after year. He made and raised arms and provisions which made it possible for Washington to cross the Delaware at Trenton. In the process he lost 150 ships at sea, bleeding his own fortune and credit almost dry.

    · George Clymer, Pennsylvania signer, escaped with his family from their home, but their property was completely destroyed by the British in the Germantown and Brandywine campaigns.

    · Dr. Benjamin Rush, also from Pennsylvania, was forced to flee to Maryland. As a heroic surgeon with the army, Rush had several narrow escapes.

    · John Martin, a Tory in his views previous to the debate, lived in a strongly loyalist area of Pennsylvania. When he came out for independence, most of his neighbors and even some of his relatives ostracized him. He was a sensitive and troubled man, and many believed this action killed him. When he died in 1777, his last words to his tormentors were: “Tell them that they will live to see the hour when they shall acknowledge it [the signing] to have been the most glorious service that I have ever rendered to my country.”

    · William Ellery, Rhode Island delegate, saw his property and home burned to the ground.
    · Thomas Lynch, Jr., South Carolina delegate, had his health broken from privation and exposures while serving as a company commander in the military. His doctors ordered him to seek a cure in the West Indies and on the voyage, he and his young bride were drowned at sea.

    · Edward Rutledge, Arthur Middleton, and Thomas Heyward, Jr., the other three South Carolina signers, were taken by the British in the siege of Charleston. They were carried as prisoners of war to St. Augustine, Florida, where they were singled out for indignities. They were exchanged at the end of the war, the British in the meantime having completely devastated their large landholdings and estates.

    · Thomas Nelson, signer of Virginia, was at the front in command of the Virginia military forces. With British General Charles Cornwallis in Yorktown, fire from 70 heavy American guns began to destroy Yorktown piece by piece. Lord Cornwallis and his staff moved their headquarters into Nelson’s palatial home. While American cannonballs were making a shambles of the town, the house of Governor Nelson remained untouched. Nelson turned in rage to the American gunners and asked, “Why do you spare my home?”
    They replied, “Sir, out of respect to you.” Nelson cried, “Give me the cannon!” and fired on his magnificent home himself, smashing it to bits. But Nelson’s sacrifice was not quite over. He had raised $2 million for the Revolutionary cause by pledging his own estates. When the loans came due, a newer peacetime Congress refused to honor them, and Nelson’s property was forfeited. He was never reimbursed. He died, impoverished, a few years later at the age of 50.
    Lives, Fortunes, Honor

    Of those 56 who signed the Declaration of Independence, nine died of wounds or hardships during the war. Five were captured and imprisoned, in each case with brutal treatment. Several lost wives, sons or entire families. One lost his 13 children. Two wives were brutally treated. All were at one time or another the victims of manhunts and driven from their homes. Twelve signers had their homes completely burned. Seventeen lost everything they owned. Yet not one defected or went back on his pledged word. Their honor, and the nation they sacrificed so much to create is still intact.

    And, finally, there is the New Jersey signer, Abraham Clark.

    He gave two sons to the officer corps in the Revolutionary Army. They were captured and sent to that infamous British prison hulk afloat in New York Harbor known as the hell ship Jersey, where 11,000 American captives were to die. The younger Clarks were treated with a special brutality because of their father. One was put in solitary and given no food. With the end almost in sight, with the war almost won, no one could have blamed Abraham Clark for acceding to the British request when they offered him his sons’ lives if he would recant and come out for the King and Parliament. The utter despair in this man’s heart, the anguish in his very soul, must reach out to each one of us down through 200 years with his answer: “No.”

    THE ENTIRE ARTICLE IS HERE:
    http://www.rushlimbaugh.com/pages/static/my_father_s_speech

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  12. Pistol Pete

    Self-Evident Truths
    A sample of patriotic words from Independence Days past.
    Words from some of the greatest Americans who ever lived
    http://www.nationalreview.com/article/352724/self-evident-truths-will-allen

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  13. Pistol Pete

    THIS IS ABOUT THE MOVIE

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  14. Violet

    Happy Independence Day, everyone! May God bless America!

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  15. Happy 4th! Have a great time celebrating!

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