Tag Archives: Independence Day

Lincoln on the Declaration of Independence

Cross-posted to the blog of the Abraham Lincoln Institute for the Study of Leadership and Public Policy

From Lincoln’s remarks delivered at Independence Hall on Feb. 22, 1861:

I am filled with deep emotion at finding myself standing here in the place where were collected together the wisdom, the patriotism, the devotion to principle, from which sprang the institutions under which we live.…[A]ll the political sentiments I entertain have been drawn, so far as I have been able to draw them, from the sentiments which originated, and were given to the world from this hall in which we stand. I have never had a feeling politically that did not spring from the sentiments embodied in the Declaration of Independence. I have often pondered over the dangers which were incurred by the men who assembled here and adopted that Declaration of Independence—I have pondered over the toils that were endured by the officers and soldiers of the army, who achieved that Independence. I have often inquired of myself, what great principle or idea it was that kept this Confederacy so long together. It was not the mere matter of the separation of the colonies from the mother land; but something in that Declaration giving liberty, not alone to the people of this country, but hope to the world for all future time. It was that which gave promise that in due time the weights should be lifted from the shoulders of all men, and that all should have an equal chance. This is the sentiment embodied in that Declaration of Independence.

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Filed under Abraham Lincoln, American Revolution

Happy Original Independence Day

Go out to your backyard tonight and set off those fireworks a couple of days early.  When your irate neighbors open their windows and lean out to ask you what the heck you think you’re doing, you can give them a little history lesson. 

The Continental Congress actually voted to make America independent on July 2, 1776.  That was the day the delegates adopted the resolution, presented by Richard Henry Lee, that the colonies were in fact “free and independent States.”  No wonder John Adams assumed independence was settled when he wrote to Abigail on July 3.

The Fourth of July, therefore, is not the “original” Independence Day, but the anniversary of the formal acceptance of the Declaration of Independence by Congress.  And, of course, it’s also the anniversary of our victory over the aliens.

Here are a few other independence-related myths from HNN.  Anyway, it’s the independence that counts, right?

(Independence Hall photo from Wikimedia Commons)

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Filed under American Revolution