Friday, July 4, 2014

Pursuit of Happiness

I fired up the grill for my Fourth of July cookout.  Ground lamb patties, turnips, Portobello mushrooms.  Maybe that is what you’re having, too.  Maybe not.

The Declaration of Independence, which we celebrate:
IN CONGRESS, July 4, 1776.
The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,
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.--

It does not say, “pursuit of hamburgers and hot dogs.”  It says, whatever floats your boat.  Is this a great country, or what?

Among the signers of the Declaration of Independence were Thomas Jefferson and John Adams.  Each became Secretary of State, then President of The United States.  They were lifelong friends, sometimes political rivals.  Estranged for years, they reconciled before their deaths, within hours of each other in 1826, on July 4.  Jefferson is often quoted on his deathbed asking, “Is it the Fourth yet?”

Benjamin Franklin collaborated with them as the committee that wrote The Declaration of Independence.  Jefferson “ought to appear at the head of this business," they agreed.  “Reason first: you are a Virginian….Reason second: I am obnoxious, suspected and unpopular.  You are very much otherwise.  Reason third: You can write ten times better than I can,” Adams said to Jefferson.

The 56 signatures on the Declaration of Independence:

   Button Gwinnett
   Lyman Hall
   George Walton
   William Hooper
   Joseph Hewes
   John Penn
   Edward Rutledge
   Thomas Heyward, Jr.
   Thomas Lynch, Jr.
   Arthur Middleton
   John Hancock
   Samuel Chase
   William Paca
   Thomas Stone
   Charles Carroll
   George Wythe
   Richard Henry Lee
   Thomas Jefferson
   Benjamin Harrison
   Thomas Nelson, Jr.
   Francis Lightfoot Lee
   Carter Braxton
   Robert Morris
   Benjamin Rush
   Benjamin Franklin
   John Morton
   George Clymer
   James Smith
   George Taylor
   James Wilson
   George Ross
   Caesar Rodney
   George Read
   Thomas McKean
   William Floyd
   Philip Livingston
   Francis Lewis
   Lewis Morris
   Richard Stockton
   John Witherspoon
   Francis Hopkinson
   John Hart
   Abraham Clark
   Josiah Bartlett
   William Whipple
   Samuel Adams
   John Adams
   Robert Treat Paine
   Elbridge Gerry
   Stephen Hopkins
   William Ellery
   Roger Sherman
   Samuel Huntington
   William Williams
   Oliver Wolcott
   Matthew Thornton
The Founding Fathers,

Who would all hang together, or surely they would hang separately.

1 comment:

Thistle Cove Farm said...

Great post, those names are on my July 4th post as well. Along with Betsy Ross.


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