The Little Known Story of the Declaration of Independence

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American Thinker

By Scott S. Powell

July 4th, also known as Independence Day, is a much more lighthearted and festive American holiday — with cookouts, parades, beach and boating parties and fireworks — than other patriotic holidays such Memorial Day or Veterans Day. Most people forget that when the 56 members of the Continental Congress signed the Declaration of Independence in 1776, they were in fact signing their death warrants. At the time, Great Britain was the most powerful nation on earth, while the thirteen American colonies were poor and disunited. The British Crown deemed the issuance of a declaration of independence an act of treason, which meant that all signatories would be punishable by death.

It is a little known historical fact that for this reason, combined with the low odds of prevailing against the British Army and Navy, the identities of the 56 members of the Continental Congress who committed to separating from England were not made immediately public. For the first six months following the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776, copies of the document displayed only two signatures: John Hancock, president of the Continental Congress and Charles Thomson, secretary of the Continental Congress.

Indeed, things looked grim for the Continental Army in the first few months of the war for independence. Sir William Howe successfully led the British army to defeat the colonial army and capture New York City by September 1776. While his troops felt utterly overwhelmed, with retreat bringing on dejected morale, General George Washington was a man of extraordinary faith. When Washington first received a copy of the Declaration about a week after its drafting, he had immediately ordered that chaplains be hired for every regiment, stating his purpose was to assure that, “every officer and man, will endeavor so live and act, as becomes a Christian Soldier, defending the dearest Rights and Liberties of his country.”

What prompted the Continental Congress to begin displaying all 56 signatories of the Declaration can be traced to Washington’s determination and success three months later at the Battle of Trenton in December 1776 — a remarkable victory considering the odds were no better than they had been when he faced utter defeat in New York. Perceiving this a miracle and harbinger of more victories to come, and perhaps with apparent taking to heart of the last sentence in the Declaration that “with a firm reliance on the protection of divine providence, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor,” the Continental Congress, aka the Founding Fathers, began posting the fully-signed copies of the Declaration throughout the thirteen colonies in January 1777.

If we take the Declaration of Independence seriously in terms of the words selected to mobilize support for the cause, the Founding Fathers placed everything on the line and trusted the Almighty for the results. As esteemed British historian Paul Johnson notes: “The Americans were overwhelmingly churchgoing, much more so than the English, whose rule they rejected. There is no question that the Declaration of Independence was, to those who signed it, a religious as well as a secular act.”

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The “Articles of Freedom”

The Post & E-Mail

THE RESULTING DOCUMENT OF THE CONTINENTAL CONGRESS OF 2009

By KJ Kaufman

(Dec. 27, 2009) — In November of 2009, a historic event was held in St. Charles, IL at the Pheasant Run Resort.  The event was a Continental Congress, the third to be held in our Nation’s history.  Many have confused a Continental Congress with a Constitutional Convention thinking that the former is intent on re-writing the latter, but nothing could be further from the truth.  The purpose of the First Continental Congress held in our Nation in 1774 was simply a meeting of delegates acting on behalf of the several states that they represented in an effort to:  declare personal rights, denounce taxation without representation, petition the British Crown for a redress of Colonial grievances, and the call for a boycott of British goods.

Much like the First Continental Congress, the Continental Congress of 2009 consisted of delegates of the several states to address the Constitutional deviations by our present day Government and to reinforce Constitutional protections by redress to the Federal Government.  The landmark document coming out of the Continental Congress of 2009 was a document entitled the Articles of Freedom.

The Articles of Freedom in its very essence is the reassertion of Constitutional rights and protections.  The Articles of Freedom also seek to advise the populous on how to reassert our Constitutional rights.  The document is long, but it is important that everyone make their best effort to read the document in its entirety.  You will find yourself enlightened by the time you reach its end.  The document begins with a preface that will give you a taste for the history that was made in St. Charles, IL in November of 2009.  Without further adieu, here is the preface to the Articles of Freedom:

ARTICLES OF FREEDOM

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Preface

Across many administrations and years, by each branch of government, through each major political party, the Constitution for The United States has been violated. The People have formally Petitioned the Government for Redress of the violations in the most humble of terms. The People and their Petitions have been ignored. Each un-remedied violation has taken its toll with dire impact on our economic interests, our people, our quality and way of life and our international and national reputations.

We hold this Truth to be Self- Evident:

Any action, by any branch of the Government, that is
repugnant to the Constitution, is null and void.

On November 11, 2009, and for eleven days continuing morning, noon and night, Citizens of America gathered in St. Charles, Illinois, as Delegates from each of forty-eight States, to discuss these violations, and Government’s refusal to be held accountable, and to recommend a course of action to restore Constitutional Obedience in a Constitutional Republic now challenged to Its core. These were not professional legislators, wordsmiths or attorneys.

These were ordinary, non-aligned citizens from across America and all walks of life. They set aside their lives for this Assembly. They represent You and Me, the Free People of America.

The conclusion of their efforts is This Document called

“Articles of Freedom.”

It is proposed that these Articles be distributed to All in the Land with the intent to draw the attention and courage of a “goodly number of millions of
People” who, entitled to their Freedom and essential to Its maintenance,
Arise to Restore the Constitution for the United States of America.

Then and only then shall America’s Destiny be Fulfilled.

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Click here to read The Articles of Freedom in PDF format