The Declaration of Independence was approved JULY 4, 1776. John Hancock signed first, saying “the price on my head has just doubled.” Benjamin Franklin said “We must hang together or most assuredly we shall hang separately.” Of the 56 signers: 17 served in the military, 11 had their homes destroyed, 5 were hunted and captured, Abraham Clark had two sons imprisoned on the British starving ship Jersey, John Witherspoon’s son was killed in battle, Francis Lewis’ wife was inprisoned and died from the harsh treatment, many, such as Thomas Nelson and Carter Braxton, lost their fortunes and 9 died during the War.
When Samuel Adams signed the Declaration, he said:
We have this day restored the Sovereign to whom all men ought to be obedient. He reigns in heaven and from the rising to the setting of the sun, let His kingdom come.
John Adams said:
I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary Festival. It ought to be commemorated, as the Day of Deliverance, by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty.
John Adams continued:
I am well aware of the toil and blood and treasure that it will cost to maintain this Declaration…Yet through all the gloom I can see the rays of ravishing light and glory…Posterity will triumph in that day’s transaction, even though we [may regret] it, which I trust in God we shall not.
The Moral Liberal contributing editor, William J. Federer, is the bestselling author of “Backfired: A Nation Born for Religious Tolerance no Longer Tolerates Religion,” and numerous other books. A frequent radio and television guest, his daily American Minute is broadcast nationally via radio, television, and Internet. Check out all of Bill’s books here.