Our Saving Pricniples
"Nothing of Importance This Day"- Dairy of King George III on July 4th 1776
America's independence was actually declared by the Continental Congress on July 2, 1776. However, Thomas Jefferson's document The Declaration of Independence was adopted on the July 4. In otherwords, this was a case where a document has overshadowed an actual event. By publishing those words, our founding fathers had effectively signed their own death warrants. Jefferson wrote that he intended the document to be a harmonize of the sentiments of the day. The Declaration was to be "an expression of the American mind," which was to placed "before mankind the common sense of the subject, in terms so plain and firm as to command their assent." Our founding fathers showed the sort of courage which bears repeating 228 years later. On the eve of Independence Day, John Adams wrote to his wife, "I am well aware of the toil, and blood, and treasure, that it will cost us to maintain this declaration, and support and defend these states. Yet, through all the gloom, I can see the rays of light and glory; I can see that the end is more than worth all the means, and that posterity will triumph." Upon signing the document, John Hancock joked, "There! His Majesty can now read my name without glasses. And he can double the reward on my head!" After signing the document, Ben Franklin reminded his friends, "We must all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately."The abolitionist Fredick Douglass called the declaration our "saving principles". He reminds us today "to be true to them on all occasions, in all places, against all foes, and at whatever cost." Lincoln's words might chime our mystic chords of memory:
The assertion that "all men are created equal" was of no practical use in effecting our separation from Great Britain; and it was placed in the Declaration, not for that, but for future use. Its authors meant it to be, thank God, it is now proving itself, a stumbling block to those who in after times might seek to turn a free people back into the hateful paths of despotism. They knew the proneness of prosperity to breed tyrants, and they meant when such should re-appear in this fair land and commence their vocation they should find left for them at least one hard nut to crack.