Declaration of Independence
From the Library of Congress: George Washington's personal copy of the Declaration. General Washington had this Declaration read to his assembled troops on July 9 in New York, where they awaited the combined British fleet and army.
Mata Harley posted an interesting link to the U.S. Archives site which invites readers to "sign" their own copy of the Declaration of Independence and print it out.
That reminded me of the wisdom of one of my favorite original signers: Samuel Adams of Massachusetts(bio from Library of Congress).
Here assembled are several quotes of Mr. Adams' wisdom. What strikes me most is how these words still ring with truth today. They are also "self evident" and can fit a variety of discussions of today's political issues.
As a tribute to the Declaration , I would like to reflect on the words of one of the signers: Samuel Adams of Massachusetts:
The said constitution shall never be construed to authorize Congress to prevent the people of the United States who are peaceable citizens from keeping their own arms.Reader Question:
A general dissolution of the principles and manners will more surely overthrow the liberties of America than the whole force of the common enemy.... While the people are virtuous they cannot be subdued; but once they lose their virtue, they will be ready to surrender their liberties to the first external or internal invader.... If virtue and knowledge are diffused among the people, they will never be enslaved. This will be their great security.
How strangely will the Tools of a Tyrant pervert the plain Meaning of Words!
The liberties of our country, the freedom of our civil Constitution, are worth defending at all hazards; and it is our duty to defend them against all attacks. We have received them as a fair inheritance from our worthy ancestors: they purchased them for us with toil and danger and expense of treasure and blood, and transmitted them to us with care and diligence. It will bring an everlasting mark of infamy on the present generation, enlightened as it is, if we should suffer them to be wrested from us by violence without a struggle, or to be cheated out of them by the artifices of false and designing men.
Among the natural rights of the colonists are these: first, a right to life; secondly, to liberty; thirdly to property; together with the right to support and defend them in the best manner they can.
It does not require a majority to prevail, but rather an irate, tireless minority keen to set brush fires in people's minds.
If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or your arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen.
The right to freedom being the gift of Almighty God, it is not in the power of man to alienate this gift and voluntarily become a slave.
It is a very great mistake to imagine that the object of loyalty is the authority and interest of one individual man, however dignified by the applause or enriched by the success of popular actions.
If ever a time should come, when vain and aspiring men shall possess the highest seats in Government, our country will stand in need of its experienced patriots to prevent its ruin.
Which is your favorite Samuel Adams quote and how do you see it in relation to today's political discussions?