What Many Of Us Don’t Know About Our Declaration of Independence

richard henry leeOn July 2, 1776, The Lee Resolution (also known as “The Resolution for Independence”) was passed by the Second Continental Congress.  It formally declared our independence from Great Britain, King George III and his tyrannical reign over the colonies, and basically established our new country, which came to be known as the United States of America.
Richard Henry Lee, a delegate from Virginia, submitted the resolution on June 7, however, some delegates were committed to follow earlier instructions regarding reconciliation with Britain. Due to this, on June 11, the Lee Resolution was postponed by a vote of seven colonies to five, with New York abstaining.
They did, however, form the “Committee of Five” to prepare an actual declaration of independence in case it should pass when voted upon.  John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, Robert R. Livingston and Roger Sherman were appointed to that committee. Congress then recessed for 3 weeks.
Upon the completion of writing the declaration, and the end of the recess, it was brought to the floor of Congress. On July 1, following the weekend recess, the delegates began to discuss and debate its content, eliminating approximately twenty-five percent of the original text. The next day the Lee Resolution declaring the establishment of a new country was adopted by 12 of the 13 colonies, with New York not voting.
Committee_of_Five,_1776On July 4, 1776, Congress approved what was called the Declaration of Independence and then directed the Committee of Five to oversee the printing of the adopted document. The next day copies were distributed to key places and people throughout the Colonies where the text was followed by the words: “Signed by Order and in Behalf of the Congress, John Hancock, President. Attest. Charles Thomson, Secretary.”
On July 9 New York officially approved it, making it unanimous.  Therefore, on July 19 Congress ordered that the Declaration of Independence be “fairly engrossed on parchment, with the title and stile [sic] of ‘The unanimous declaration of the thirteen United States of America,’ and that the same, when engrossed, be signed by every member of Congress.”
Signing was to occur on August 2, 1776, but all were not present on that date.  And two New York delegates did not sign; John Dickinson, who still wanted reconciliation, and Livingston, who felt it premature.
signing-of-declaration-independenceEventually, 56 delegates did sign the document, representing Connecticut (4), Delaware (3), Georgia (3), Maryland (4), Massachusetts Bay (5), New Hampshire (3), New Jersey (5), New York (4), North Carolina (3), Pennsylvania (9), Rhode Island (2), South Carolina (4) and Virginia (7).
It begins: 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.
It goes into great detail justifying the independence by the then-Colonies listing a total of 27 of the most noted grievances against King George III.  The Declaration also asserts certain unalienable natural, and other legal rights, which also includes the right of revolution.
Their resolve was cast in stone, as it ends with this sentence: 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.
In the end: nine signers died of wounds during the Revolutionary War; five were captured or imprisoned; wives, and children were killed, jailed, mistreated, or left penniless; twelve signers’ homes were burned to the ground; and, seventeen lost everything they owned.
Their honor remained intact – not one signer defected, they fought to the end. To victory.  To a new independent and free nation.
Thomas JeffersonAs the person who had written the bulk of the words, Jefferson became known as “the Principal Author of the Declaration of Independence.”  The original draft written by Jefferson is carefully preserved at our United States Library of Congress.  It is his complete original, which includes revisions that were made by Adams and Franklin, along with the author’s own notes of the changes that were made by Congress during debate.
The version that is most identified and regularly referred to as the original of the Declaration is the signed copy on permanent display at our National Archives, in Washington, D.C.
The Declaration of Independence is, indeed, one of the most treasured documents ever written.
Happy Independence Day, America!!!

The Origins and Anniversary of our Bill of Rights

BillOfRightsContrary to what some seem to think or believe today, the Bill of Rights is not a Bill of Needs.

On September 17, 1787 our Founding Fathers created the Constitution of the United States.  It then had to go through a ratification, or approval, process in each state.  Nine states were required to approve the document for it to become official for the country.  In the end, all of them did.

However, there was a slight problem.

The Constitution, as written, laid out the foundations for the federal government fairly well but there were no guarantees, nor even a mention, of state or individual rights, that for which they all fought during the American Revolution.

In contrast, the previous semi-governing document, the Articles of Confederation (the Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union), which was ratified on March 1, 1781, at least contained language to preserve the independence and sovereignty of the states.

anti-federalistsLed by people such as Thomas Jefferson, Patrick Henry, Samuel Adams and George Mason, the Anti-Federalists (as they came to be know) believed that the Constitution needed a Bill of Rights; that it created a presidency so powerful it might be turned into a tyrannical monarchy; that the document did not do enough with the courts with the result being an out-of-control judiciary; and, that the federal government would be unresponsive to the needs of the states and the people.

A war of words ensued.

The Federalists, led by Alexander Hamilton, James Madison and John Jay, wished to leave the Constitution alone.  They did not feel that any type of Bill of Rights was needed.

Madison wrote, “The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite.”

Federalist-PapersHowever, they were not spelled out nor guaranteed in any way, thus leaving open the possibility for their encroachment.

Written guarantees won out.  On December 15, 1791, the Bill of Rights was ratified.

What exactly was the purpose of these 10 amendments?

The Bill of Rights added specific guarantees of personal freedoms and rights.

It does NOT grant us those rights.

It guarantees them.

If you recall, from the Declaration of Independence, our Founders believed in our unalienable rights, not man- or government-granted, but given to us by our Creator.

“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 Bill of Rights also defined, more clearly, limitations on government power in judicial and other proceedings. And, one other huge point, that all powers not specifically delegated to Congress are reserved for the states or the people.

Today, let us thank our Founding Fathers for the foresight and wisdom they had in providing these documents but also pray that those elected representatives who took an Oath to support and defend the Constitution start doing so.  In all areas and at all times.  Not just when it is convenient for their political agenda.

But, also keep in mind that we have lost some rights.  Some have been, otherwise limited.

JeffersonIt is up to each and every one of us to demand that our elected representatives are reminded of this truth, as written by Thomas Jefferson:
“Our legislators are not sufficiently apprized of the rightful limits of their power; that their true office is to declare and enforce only our natural rights and duties, and to take none of them from us.”

Ensure that you and your family know your rights.  Only then can you protect them.

There are many paths to educate yourself and your family. Learn the basics by watching the award-winning In Search of Liberty Constitution movie, and then, for in-depth study, enroll in a Constitution Boot Camp from Building Blocks for Liberty or join KrisAnne Hall’s Liberty First University.

Staying true to our US Constitution we can safeguard freedom in America for ourselves and our posterity.

We the People - Scott D Welch

 

by Scott D. Welch, Patriot
Direct descendant of 8 Americans who fought in the Revolutionary War
Cousin of Patrick Henry

Click for a printable copy of the Bill of Rights.

Betsy Ross - G Washington - God Bless

 

Franklin Facelift (i.e., The New $100 Bill)

There are a lot of areas where criminals can and do make money.

One of these is counterfeiting.

It is not certain when counterfeiting began, but one could probably safely assume that soon after the concept and production of “money” was introduced, there were those trying to get something for nothing.

In it’s earliest form, before paper money came about, coins were made of silver and gold and counterfeiters, basically, mixed a base metal with the silver or gold (thus less real value) in order to get themselves a better deal.

The U.S. Treasury Department continuously works to try and stay ahead of these people.

However, for the past decade or so, they have had a problem with the “Superdollar,” a $100 bill that, per reports, was technologically better than that produced by our government.

Thus, after re-working the C-note, Ben Franklin got a new look today, complete with many security features the Treasury Dept. hopes will thwart counterfeiters.

Following is a video of the new Ben.


This citizen hopes it works.

Over For Now.

Main Street One