American Minute with Bill Federer
The Founding Fathers sacrificed to give their POSTERITY freedom and opportunity.
After signing the Declaration of Independence, 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 … Yet through all the gloom I can see the rays of ravishing light and glory. I can see that the end is more than worth all the means.
And that POSTERITY will triumph in that days transaction, even although we should rue (regret) it, which I trust in God we shall not.”
George Washington wrote in his Orders, July 2, 1776:
“The fate of UNBORN MILLIONS will now depend, under God, on the courage and conduct of this army … We have, therefore to resolve to conquer or die.”
Washington convinced disgruntled officers of the Newburgh conspiracy to disband, stating May 15, 1783:
“By thus determining … you will defeat the insidious designs of our enemies, who are compelled to resort from open force to secret artifice …
You will … afford occasion for POSTERITY to say, when speaking of the glorious example you have exhibited to Mankind, ‘had this day been wanting, the World had never seen the last stage of perfection to which human nature is capable of attaining.'”
At the conclusion of the Revolution, General Washington wrote a “Circular Letter Addressed to the Governors of all the States on Disbanding the Army,” June 14, 1783, stating:
“According to the system of (government) the States shall adopt at this moment, they will stand or fall …
It is yet to be decided, whether the Revolution must ultimately be considered as a blessing or a curse … not to the present age alone, for with our fate will the destiny of UNBORN MILLIONS be involved.”
Colonel William Prescott, who fought at the Battle of Bunker Hill, wrote:
“Our forefathers passed the vast Atlantic, spent their blood and treasure, that they might enjoy their liberties, both civil and religious, and transmit them to their POSTERITY … Now if we should give them up, can OUR CHILDREN rise up and call us blessed?”
Dr. Joseph Warren, who died at the Battle of Bunker Hill, wrote the Suffolk Resolves, September 17, 1774:
“Whereas … Great Britain … of old … persecuted … and exiled our fugitive parents from their native shores, now pursues us, their guiltless children, with unrelenting severity:
And whereas, this, then savage and uncultivated desert, was purchased by the toil and treasure … blood and valor of those our venerable progenitors (ancestors);
to us they bequeathed the dear bought inheritance … and … THEY CONSIGNED IT … UPON US TO TRANSMIT … the glorious purchase … to our innocent and beloved OFFSPRING …”
The Suffolk Revolves continued:
“On the exertions of this important day, is suspended the fate of this new world, and of UNBORN MILLIONS …
If (citizens) … tamely submit to … the arbitrary will of a licentious minister, they basely yield to voluntary slavery, and FUTURE GENERATIONS shall load their memories with incessant execrations (condemnations) …
On the other hand … if we disarm the parricide (killer of relatives) which points the dagger to our bosoms … entailing the endless … curses of slavery upon us, OUR HEIRS and THEIR HEIRS FOREVER;
if we successfully resist that unparalleled usurpation of unconstitutional power …
POSTERITY will acknowledge that virtue which preserved them free and happy … to that latest period, when … time shall be absorbed in the abyss of eternity …”
The Suffolk Resolves concluded:
“Therefore, we … resolve, that it is an indispensable duty which we owe to God, our country, ourselves and POSTERITY …
to maintain, defend and preserve those civil and religious rights and liberties, for which many of our fathers fought, bled and died, and to hand them down entire to FUTURE GENERATIONS.”
Elias Boudinot served as the President of the Continental Congress where he signed the Treaty of Paris.
A Congressman and Director of the U.S. Mint, Boudinot helped found the American Bible Society, stating July 4, 1783
“The deliverance of the Children of Israel from a state of bondage to an unreasonable tyrant was perpetuated by the Paschal Lamb, and enjoining it on their POSTERITY as an annual festival forever.”
Elias Boudinot’s brother-in-law was Judge Richard Stockton, who signed the Declaration.
Stockton previously traveled to England in 1767, where he met with many leaders, including: the Marquis of Rockingham, the Earl of Chatham, and Edmund Burke.
Edmund Burke wrote in Reflections on the Revolution in France, 1790:
“People will not look forward to POSTERITY who never look backward to their ancestors.”
Richard Stockton had the honor of meeting with King George III on behalf of the trustees of Princeton College.
His address acknowledging the repeal of the Stamp Act was favorably received.
The Stamp Act had been passed by the British Parliament in 1765. It required a tax on every piece of printed paper, including legal documents, licenses, newspapers, and publications, effectively restricting communication among American citizens.
Richard Stockton traveled to Scotland, where he met with a young Princeton graduate attending medical school – Benjamin Rush.
Benjamin Rush later signed the Declaration of Independence and married Richard Stockton’s daughter, Julia.
Stockton and Rush persuaded Rev. John Witherspoon to leave Scotland and come to America, where he became President of Princeton and signed the Declaration.
When the British invaded New Jersey, Richard Stockton and his family had to flee for their lives.
Stockton was betrayed by loyalists, dragged from his bed at night and imprisoned in New York.
His farm was pillaged and his library, one of the best in the country, was burned.
Richard Stockton’s health was broken from over a year in the British prison and he died bankrupt at age 51 on FEBRUARY 28, 1781.
New Jersey placed a statue of Richard Stockton in the U.S. Capitol’s Statuary Hall.
He wrote in his Will:
“As my CHILDREN … may be peculiarly impressed with the last words of their father, I think proper here, not only to subscribe to the entire belief of the great leading doctrine of the Christian religion …
but also in the heart of a father’s affection, to exhort them to remember ‘that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.'”
Richard Stockton’s posterity included his son, also named Richard Stockton, who was a U.S. Senator from New Jersey.
His grandson was Navy Commodore Robert F. Stockton, a hero of the War of 1812. He helped freed slaves found the country of Liberia, West Africa.
In 1846, Commodore Stockton defeated the Mexican army and captured California for the United States, serving as its first military governor.
Stockton, New Jersey, and Stockton, California, were named for Commodore Richard F. Stockton.
Other forefathers continued the tradition, as Proverbs 13:22 stated:
“A good man leaves an inheritance to his children’s children.”
Justice Samuel Chase, who signed the Declaration, warned in a letter he signed “Caution,” (Maryland Journal, October 12, 1787) not rush in ratifying the Constitution:
“The decision, for or against the plan … involves no less than the happiness or miser of you and all your POSTERITY forever.”
James Warren, President of the Massachusetts Provincial Congress, wrote in an article signed “Helvitius Priscus,” published in the Independent Chronicle, December 27, 1787:
“That assembly, who have ambitiously and daringly presumed to annihilate the sovereignties of the thirteen United States; to establish a Draconian Code; and to bind POSTERITY by their secret councils.”
The Preamble of the U.S. Constitution, 1787, states:
“We the people of the United States, in order to … secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our POSTERITY, do ordain and establish this Constitution.”
Ambassador Alan Keyes stated in a Virginia high school assembly, February 28, 2000:
“How does it secure the blessings of liberty to our POSTERITY, to those generations yet UNBORN, to kill them, aborting them in the womb?”
Daniel Webster stated in 1852:
“The world will cry out ‘shame’ upon us, if we show ourselves unworthy, to be the DESCENDANTS of those great and illustrious … men, who fought for their liberty, and secured it to their POSTERITY, by the Constitution of the United States.”
Henry Clay addressed the U.S. Senate, 1850:
“The Constitution of the United States was made not merely for the generation that then existed, but for POSTERITY — unlimited, undefined, endless, perpetual POSTERITY.”
James Wilson, who signed the Declaration, stated at Pennsylvania’s Convention to ratify the U.S. Constitution, November 26, 1787:
“After a period of 6,000 years has elapsed since the creation, the United States exhibit to the world the first instance … of a nation … assembling voluntarily … and deciding calmly concerning that system of government under which they would wish that they and their POSTERITY should live.”
Benjamin Franklin, who signed the Declaration of Independence, wrote of the Constitutional Convention (Federal Gazette, April 8, 1788:
“I have so much faith in the general government of the world by Providence,
that I can hardly conceive a transaction of such momentous importance to the welfare of millions now existing, and to exist in the POSTERITY of a great nation, should be suffered to pass without being in some degree influenced, guided and governed by that omnipotent, omnipresent Beneficent Ruler, in whom all inferior spirits live & move and have their being.”
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Washington, who presided over the Constitutional Convention, warned in his Farewell Address, 1796:
“Avoiding likewise the accumulation of debt … not ungenerously throwing upon POSTERITY the burden which we ourselves ought to bear.”
Jefferson, who penned the Declaration, noted in his Second Annual Message, 1802:
“We are able, without a direct tax … to make large and effectual payments toward the discharge of our public debt and the emancipation of our POSTERITY from that mortal canker (open sore).”
Charles Carroll, the longest-living signer of the Declaration, addressed the city of New York, August 2, 1826:
“Grateful to Almighty God for the blessings which, through Jesus Christ Our Lord, He had conferred on my beloved country in her emancipation …
I am now the last surviving signer, I do hereby recommend to the present and FUTURE GENERATIONS the principles of that important document as the best earthly inheritance their ancestors could bequeath to them,
and pray that the civil and religious liberties they have secured to my country may be perpetuated to remotest POSTERITY and extended to the whole family of man.”
Chief Justice John Jay address the American Bible Society, May 13, 1824:
“Man was originally created and placed in a state of happiness, but, becoming disobedient, was subjected to the degradation and evils which he and his POSTERITY have since experienced.
The Bible will also inform them that our gracious Creator has provided for us a Redeemer.”
President John Tyler stated in his Fourth Annual Message, December 3, 1844:
“Expressing our gratitude to the Supreme Ruler of the Universe for the … blessings which our country … has enjoyed … in the progress of time the inestimable principles of civil liberty will be enjoyed by millions yet UNBORN.”
Theodore Roosevelt stated in his Inaugural Address, March 4, 1905:
“No people on earth have more cause to be thankful … to the Giver of Good who has blessed us …
Much has been given us, and much will rightfully be expected from us …
If we fail, the cause of free self-government throughout the world will rock to its foundations, and therefore our responsibility is heavy, to ourselves … and to the generations yet UNBORN …
We have faith that we shall not prove false to the memories of the men of the mighty past. They did their work, they left us the splendid heritage we now enjoy.
We in our turn have an assured confidence that we shall be able to leave this heritage unwasted and enlarged to OUR CHILDREN and OUR CHILDREN’S CHILDREN.”
Franklin D. Roosevelt stated in his Armistice Day Address, November 11, 1942:
“In Arlington we are in the presence of the honored dead. We are accountable to them — and accountable to the generations yet UNBORN for whom they gave their lives.”
Franklin Roosevelt stated at Fenway Park, Boston, Massachusetts, November 4, 1944:
“We shall be standing before a mighty bar of judgment — the judgment of all of those who have fought and died in this war — the judgment of generations yet UNBORN — the very judgment of God.”
President Ronald Reagan addressed the Alfred M. Landon Lecture Series on Public Issues, September 9, 1982:
“I know now what I’m about to say will be very controversial, but I also believe that God’s greatest gift is human life and that we have a sacred duty to protect the innocent human life of an UNBORN CHILD.”
Reagan wrote in “Abortion and the Conscience of the Nation” (The Human Life Review, 1983):
“We cannot diminish the value of one category of human life — the UNBORN — without diminishing the value of all human life.”
In an address “A Charge to Keep,” delivered during his 2000 Presidential Campaign, George W. Bush stated:
“I have a reverence for life, my faith teaches that life is a gift from our Creator. In a perfect world, life is given by God and only taken by God.
I hope someday our society will respect life, the full spectrum of life from the UNBORN to the elderly. I hope someday UNBORN children will be protected by law and welcomed in life.”
President Trump declared in his State of the Union Address, February 5, 2019:
“Let us work together to build a culture that cherishes innocent life. And let us reaffirm a fundamental truth: all children — born and UNBORN — are made in the holy image of God.”
America’s forefathers were willing to sacrifice their prosperity for their POSTERITY, pledging their lives, fortunes, and sacred honor to give freedom and opportunity to generations yet UNBORN.
Today, many are willing to sacrifice their POSTERITY for prosperity, burdening their children and grandchildren with the loss of freedom and an unpayable debt, just as long as they can have the government provide for them today.
Ancient Israel was a republic for 400 years where people ruled themselves under the Law.
But when priests neglected teaching the Law, society became debased, and “every man did that which was right in his own eyes.”
As crime and insecurity increased, naive citizens cried out for a king to restore order and take care of them, not realizing that it would cost them their freedom.
Likewise, settlers came to the shores of America some 400 years ago and planted the seed of a republic, where people ruled themselves under the law.
But as society becomes debased, with students being taught to tolerate every conceivable immoral act — each doing what is right in their own eyes — then respect for law decreases, crime and insecurity increase, and naive citizens cry out for big government to restore order and take care of them, not realizing it will cost them their freedom.
Daniel Webster addressed the New York Historical Society, February 23, 1852:
“If we and our POSTERITY reject religious instruction and authority, violate the rules of eternal justice, trifle with the injunctions of morality, and recklessly destroy the political constitution, which holds us together,
no man can tell, how sudden a catastrophe may overwhelm us, that shall bury all our glory in profound obscurity.”
John Adams, who signed the Declaration, wrote on April 26, 1777:
“POSTERITY! You will never know how much it cost the present generation to preserve your freedom! I hope you will make a good use of it.
If you do not, I shall repent in Heaven that I ever took half the pains to preserve it.”
Self-Educated American 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.