Patriots Left Out

We have just celebrated the call to arms with the Declaration of Independence….the document that set in motion the birth of the United States of America.

Sadly there is much about the beginning of our great nation that is seldom taught to our young……and I try to rectify that oversight.

In the beginning there was the word……

Once the document was written by Jefferson (a point that I dispute) it was signed by the reps at the Congress that ordered the document….but there are a couple of names that are missing from this historic document…Thomas Paine whose ideas were the very basis of the DoI…… ……and John Dickinson from Pennsylvania who refused to sign the document…and yes I said REFUSED.

In the decade before the American colonies declared independence, no patriot enjoyed greater renown than John Dickinson. In 1765 he helped lead opposition to the Stamp Act, Britain’s first effort to get colonists to cover part of the mounting cost of empire through taxes on paper and printed materials. Then, after Parliament rescinded the Stamp Act but levied a new set of taxes on paint, paper, lead and tea with the Townshend Duties of 1767, Dickinson galvanized colonial resistance by penning Letters From a Pennsylvania Farmer, a series of impassioned broadsides widely read on both sides of the Atlantic. He even set his political sentiments to music, borrowing the melody from a popular Royal Navy chantey for his stirring “Liberty Song,” which included the refrain: “Not as slaves, but as freemen our money we’ll give.”

Yet on July 1, 1776, as his colleagues in the Continental Congress prepared to declare independence from Britain, Dickinson offered a resounding dissent. Deathly pale and thin as a rail, the celebrated Pennsylvania Farmer chided his fellow delegates for daring to “brave the storm in a skiff made of paper.” He argued that France and Spain might be tempted to attack rather than support an independent American nation. He also noted that many differences among the colonies had yet to be resolved and could lead to civil war. When Congress adopted a nearly unanimous resolution the next day to sever ties with Britain, Dickinson abstained from the vote, knowing full well that he had delivered “the finishing Blow to my once too great, and my Integrity considered, now too diminish’d Popularity.”

Those days there was nothing that was certain and our history instruction should give all aspects of those historic battles.

Be Smart!

Learn Stuff!

2 thoughts on “Patriots Left Out

  1. Easy to forget that at the time, they were all still technically English, albeit established ‘colonials’. Rebelling against the King was always going to be a step too far for many people.
    Best wishes, Pete.

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