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The Story Of The Signing

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In the d&ys of the Continental Congress the delegates used to travel to the capital, at the begmning of eaeh seseion, from their soveral nomes, usually on horseback ; fordii'.g t-trcamx, sleeping at miserable country inns, sometimes weather-bound for dajrs. sometimos making circuits to avoid throatened dangers, sometimes accompliehing forced marches to reach Philadelphia in time for some special vote. There lie before me the unpublished papers of one of the signera of the great Declaration, and these papers comprise the diaries of several such journeys. Their simple records rarelyinclude bursts of p&triotism or predictiona of national glory, but they contain many plaintive chronioles of bad bed and worde food, mingled with pleasant glimpses of wayside chat, ana now and then a bit of character-painting that recalls the jovial narratives of Fielding. Sometimes they give a passing rumor of " the glorious news of the surrendering of the Colonel of the Queen's Dragoons with hie whole army, " but more commonly they celébrate " milk toddy and bread and butter" af ter a wettiug, or "the best dish of Bohea tea I have drank for a twelvemonth." When they arrived at. Philadelphia, the delegates put up their horses, chauged tlieir riding gear for thofie habiliments which Trumbull has immortalizod, and gathered to Independence Hall to greet their brotner delegates, to interchange the gtisaip of the day, to repeat Dr. Pranklin's last anecdote or Francis Hopkinjou's last gibe ; thcn proceeding, when the business of the day was opened, to lay the foundation for a new uation. "Before the 19th of April, 1775," said Jefferson, ' ' I had never heard a whisper of a disposition to separate from tlie mother-couutry." Wasli.ngton said : " When I ürst took cómmand of the army (July 3, 1775), I abhorred the idea of independenee; but I sm now fully conviucfcd that notuing else will save us." It ís ouly by dwelling on such words as these that we can measure that vast educational proces9 which brought the American people to the Declaration ot Independence, in 1776. The Continental Ccngfess, in the earlier months of that year, had for many days been steadily drifting on toward the distinct assertion of separate sovereignty, and had declared it irreconcilable with reason and a good conscience for the coloniBts to take the oaths required for the supiort oC the Government under the Crown of Great Britain. But it was not till the 7th of June that Richard Henry Lee, of Virginia, rose and read theee reso1 ifïjnci "That these United Colonies are, and of ' rigbt ouglit to be, free and Ddependont States; ' that they are absolved from all allegiance to the BritiHh Crown, and that all politioal con nection between them and the State of Great ' Britain is, and ought to be, totally dissolved. ' "That it is expediont forthwith to take the ' most effectual measures for lorming foreign : alliancea. "ïhat a plan of conf ederation be prepared and transmitted to the respective coloaies for their eoiiBideration and approbation." These resolutions were presented nnder direct instructions from the Virginia Assembly, the dolegates from the coloiiy selecting Mr. Lee as their spokesman. They were at once seconded, probabiy after previous undisrstanding, by Jolm Adams, of Massachusetts - Virginia and Massachusetts being then the leading eolonies. It was a bold act, for it was HtiU doubtful whether anythinpc better than a degrading death would await these leaderH, if unsueeessful. Gage had written, only the year before, of the prinouera lef t in his hands at Bunker HUI, that " their lives were destined to the cord." Indeed, the story runs t.hat a similar threat was almost as frankly made to the son of Mr. Lee, then a schoolboy in Eugland. He was oue day standing neir one of hia teachers whon some visitor asked the question: "Whatboy isthat?" "He is the son of Eichard Henry Lee, of America," the teacher replied. On this the visitor put his hand on the boy's head and eaid : ' ' We shall yet see your father' head upon the Tower Hül"- to which the boy answered : "You may have it when you can get it.' This was the way in wbich thedanKerwasregardedinEngland ; and we know that Congress directed the Secretary to omit from the journals the names of the mover and seconder of these rosolntions. The record only says, "Certain resolutions respecting iudependence beiug moved and aecondod, liesolved, That the consideraron of them be deferred until to-morrow morning; and that the mombers be onjoined to attend punctualiy at 10 o'clock, in order to take the same into cousidoration." On the next day the diBcussion came up ]roniptly and was continued through Saturday, June 8, and on Monday, June 10. The resolutions were opposed, even with bitterness, by Eobert Livingston, of New York, by Dickinson and Wilson, of PemiHylvania, añd by lUitledge, of South Carolina. Tho latter is reported to have said privately, "that it required the impudenco of a New Euglander for them in their disjointed state to propone a treaty to a nation now at peace ; that no reason could be assigued for prossmg into this measure but, the reasou of every madman, a show of spirit." On the other hand, the impudence, if such it was, of John Adams, went so far as to defend the resolutions as statiug ' ' objects of the most stupendous magnitude, in which the lives and liber ties of millions yet unborn were intimately ïnterested ;" as belonging to "a revolutiou, the most complete, imexpeeted and romarkablo of any in the history of nations." On Monday tho rcsolutions wero postponed, by a vote of seven colonics agoinst five, until that day three wecfcu ;' and itwas aíterward voted (June 11), "iu.tUo rnoanwhile, that no time be lost, iu case Congross agree thereto, that a committee be appointed to prepare a Declaration to that effect." Of tbis committee, Mr. Lee wonld doubtleaa havo been the Chairinan. had he not been already on bis way to Virginia, to attend the eick-bed of hia wife. Hia associate, Thomas Jefferson, waa named iu hia place, together with John Adams, of Massachusetts. Benjamin Frauklin, of Peunsylvania, Iioger Sherman, of Connocticut, and ftobert R. Livingston, of New York. This provided tor the Declaration ; and. on the appointed day, July 1, 1776, Congress prooeeded to the discussion of the momentous rosolutions. Little remaina of us of the debate, and the best glimpse of the opening situation is afforded to the modern reader througk a letter written by Mr. Adama töMetüy Warren, the lüBtorian- a letter dated "Quincy, 1807," but uot printpd nutil Witbin a few years, when it was insertcd by Mr. Frotbingham in the appendk to hia invaluable " lüae of the Eepnblic of the United States." The important passage is as f ollows : "Iremember very well wbat IdidBay; but I will previously state a fact m it lies in my memory, wkich may be somewbat eXplanatory of it. In the previouB mulüpliEd debates which wo had ttpon the subject of iudepondenee, the delogatea froui Now Jeraoy had Voted againat us ; constitucntH rB informed of it and recolled tlitita, and sent us a new set on tmrtxne to vote for ïndependence. Among tlieae were Chieí Justice Stockton -and Dr. Vfitherspoon. In a morning when Congreas met, we expected the question would be put and carried without any further debate because we knew we hftd ft inajolity, and thcught tbat argument bad been exhausted oñ both sides, os indeed it was, f or nothing new was ever aftorward advanced ört either idtj. Büt the Jersey delogaies appEilrlüg for the first time, deBJrad thEtt tbo gestión migbt be discassod. We obsorved to tbem tbat the question was so public, and had been so long discussed in pamphlets, uewspapers, and at overy flreside, tbat they could not be uninforined, and must have made up their minas. They eaid it was true they had not been iüattonti-ve to what had been passing ftbrcod, but they had not beard the argtimtatB in Congress, and did not inclino to give their opinions until they should hear the sentiments of members tbere, Judge Stockton was most . pftrticuíariy importúnate, till Un m6Öib6ts began to say, 'Let tlie gentlemen be gratiüed,' and the eyes of the assembly were turned upon me, and several of them said : ' Come, Mr. Adams ; you have had tlie subject longer at hoart tluvn any of ua, and you must recapitúlate the argumente.' I ivas somewhat. ooufuned at tliis personal appliation to me) and would have beïiii very glad to be excused i bat, as to otïieï psrson rose, after some timio Í Büld : 'This is the first time in my life when I seriously wished for the genius and eloquence of tke celebrated orators of Athens and Eome ; called in this unexpected and nnprepared manner to cïhibit p.11 the argti l.lll UIII'IV 'U' V" ■ ■ ■ w r.-- w - w ments in favor of n meaauïe the most important, !u tny Jndgmeut, tkat had ever been discussed in civil or politieel Bociety, Ifcid no art or oratory to eiliibit, and, coultl produce nöthiug but simple reaaon ahd plaincommon sense. I feit myaelf öppressed by the weight of the subject, "and I bolieved if Denioathenes or Cicero had ever been called to delibérate ol so great a queation, neither would have relied on his own talcnts without a aupislicatiön to Minerva, and a B&brilice to Mercury or the God of Eloqüence.' All this, to be suro, was but a flourish, and nót, as I conceive, a very bngbt exordium ; bnt I feit awkwardly. "I wish some one had rememb3red the speech, for it ia almost the only one I ever made that 1 wish was literally proserved. "John Adams," said Jefferson long afterwardto Mr. Webster and Mr. Ticknoï, "was our Colossus on the üoor. He Was notgraceful nor elegant, nor remarkably ñuent, but he amo out occasionally with a power of thought and expressioii thati moved us from onr soats. It seems a pity that no adequate specimen remaiua to us of this atraightforward eloqüence. And yet it te canse fcr congratulation. on the whole, that the only speech f ully written out after that debate, was the leading argument for the negative. Long years have made us familiar with the considerations that led to national independence ; the thing of interest is to know what was said against it ; and this is juat what we happen to know, through the record oí a single speech. . After any great measure has been carried through, men speedily forget the objections and the objectors, and in a hundred yeara can hardly beüeve that any serious oppoaition was ever inade. How utterly has the name of John Dickïnson paséed into oblivion !- and yet, up to the year 1776, he had, doubtless, contributed more than any one man, except Thomas Paine, to the pohtical emancipation, eo far aa the presa could effect it, of the American people. The "Farmer's Letters" had been roprinted in London with a preface by Dr. Franklin ; they had been translated into Frenen, and thev had been more widely reacl in America than any patriotic pamphlet, excepting only the " CommonSenae" of Paine. Now their author is forgotten- except through the college he founded - because ho ahrauk at the last moment before the storm he had aroused. Who can dejy the attribute oí moral courage to the man who atood up in the Continental Congresa to argue against independeuce ? But John Adams reports that üickinson's mother used to saytohim: "Johnny, you will be hanged ; your estáte will be f orf eited or confiscated ; you will leave your excellent wife a widow," and so on ; and Ádams admita that if his wife and mother had held such language, it would have made him miserable, at least. And itwas under this restrainiug inlluence, so unlike the fearless counsels of Abby Adams, that Dickinson rose on that lst of July and apoke thus : "I value the love of mv country as I ought, but I value my country more ; and I desire this illnstrioiia aesembly to witness the integrity, if not the policy, of my conduct. The flrat campaign will be decisive of the eontrovsray. The Declaration will not strengthen us by one man, or by the least supply, while it may exposé our aoldiera to additional cruelties and outrages. Without aome prelusory trials of our strength, we ought not to commit our country upon an alternative, where to recedo would be infamy, ,.i n ïiovaiyt-. TTiin'ht hfi (Ipstriintimi _ ■ jno nstancel a recollected of a people without a battle fought, or an ally gained, abrogaU ing forever their connection with a warlike commercial empire. It might unitO the different parties in Great Britain against us, and it might créate diaunion arnong ouraelves. "Withother powers, ïtwould ratnerinjure than avaü us. Foreign aid yill not be obtamed but by our actions in the field, whicb are the only evidences of our unión aud vigor tbat will be respected. In tbe war between the United Provinces aud Spain, France and Englaud assiated tho provincea before they declared themselvea inaependent ; if it is tbe interest of any European kingdom to aid us, we shall be aided witbont such a Declaration ; if it ia not, we shal! not bo aided with it. Beforo such an irrevocable step shall bo taken, we onght to know tbe diaposition of the great powers, and how far they will permit one or more of tbem to inter fere. The erection of an independent empire on this continent is a phenomenon in "the world ; ita effects will bo immense, and may víbrate round the globe. How tbey may affect, or be upposed to affect, old establiahments, is not ascertained. It is singularly disrespectful to France to make the Declaration before her sonso is known, as wo have sent an agent expressly toinquire whotlier such a Declaration would be acceptable to her, and we have reason to believe he is now arrived at the Court of Versailles. Tho measure ought to be delayed till the common iutereata uhall in tho best manner be cenaulted by common conaent. Britain ought not to be shut, unül we kuow what terma eau be obtained from some competent power. Thus to break with tier bef ore we have"compacted with another, is to make experimenta on the live and liberties oí ray countryraen, which I would aooner die than agree to make. At beat, it ia to throw ub into the hande of somo other power and to He at mercy, f or we shall have passod the river that ia never to be repassed. We ought to retain tlLe Declaration and remain masters of ourown fameaud fato.' Theae were the opinión of the " Pennsylvauia Farmer," a condensod by Bancroft from Jlr. Uickineon'a owu report, no worda being employcd but thoee or tho orator. In the field, some of the bravest men were ülled with amular anxieties. It was thus that (he new Adjutant General, Joaeph Eced, dosenbed tho military situation ; " Witn an army of forcé before, and a aocret one behind, we stand on a point of land with 6,000 oíd troops, if a year's service of about half can entitle them to this name, and about 1,500 raw levies of the province, many disaffected and more doubtful ; every man, from the General to the private, acqiiainted with our trae aituation, is exceedingly diacouraged. Had I known the true posture of affairs, no consideraron would have temptcd me to take prt in this scène ; and thia sentiment is uuiversal." ïhis statement was no laid before the gress, to be eure, but ono from Gen. Washington, cooveying eeaentially the same faots, was read at the opening of that day's sesaion. In spite of this inournful beginning, and notwithstanding the argumenta of Mr. Dickinaon, the opiuions of tho majority in Congreaa proved to be clear and strong ; and the pressure from their oonstitnencies was vet otronger. Nearly every colony hE alreadv taken separato aotion toward independence. and, on tliat lst day of Jnly, the Continental Cpngresa artopted, in committee-, the ltrst reeolütiiia offered by the Virginia delegatea. Tuero wcre nine coloniea in the afiirmativo, Pcnnsylvania and South Carolina votiug in the negativo, the latter unanimoualy, Delaware being divided, and New York not vo'ting, thedelegates from thatcoiony favoring tho meaeure, but having as yet no iiiHtructiona. When tho rssolutions 'jamo up for final a'ítio'i, iü tionVention, the next day, the alate of things had ehanged. Dickinfon and Morriaon of Pcunaylvania bad abseuted themsolves and left au affirmative majority in the dolegation ; Caiaar Bodnoy bad returned irom an abBence, and brought Dolaware into line ; and South Carolina, though atill disapproving the reaolutione, joined in the vote for the eake of unanimity, rr bad been half prorniaed by Ëdward liutleflge, tho dciy before. Tbus, twelVe Bolorjles united ia the momentous actioll ; and Neiv York, thoHgh not VPting, yet indorsed it throtigh a State Cöutention witliin ft week. íhe best outburst of contemporary feeling oer the great event ia to be fonnd in a lel ter by John Adama to his wiie, dated July 3, 1770. He writes as f olJows : "Yesterday the greatest question was decided whioh ever was debated in America, and a greatcr, perhaps, never was nor will be decided anioug meü. Whcn I look back to 17(51, and ïeeollect the setiBs bf political efeiita, the bhain of causes ahd eftects, I am Bürprised át the suddcpnesR as .'BÜ as greatuess of this revolution. Bntaiii has been fllled with föllj and America witb wisdom. Itis the will of Heaven that tho two countries shoukl be sundered forever. It may be the will of heaveu that America shall suffer calamities stül more wasting and diatresses stil! more dreadful. But I Bubinlt all mt hbpes and fears to au ovell-uiing l?rovidence, in wbieh, unfaabiöuable aa the faith hlay be, I fii-mjy believê. "The 2nd day of July, 1776, will be the moat memorable epocha in the history of America, Í atn apt to beiiëve tbat it will be celobrated by succoëdmg gënerations as the great anniveraary festival. It ought to be commemoratod as the day of deliverance, by aolemn acts of devotion to God Almighty, from one end of the continent to the other, irom thia time fonvard for ever"Yo"- fúÜ thin!í me trahsported with enthüsianm, but I am not. I am well aware of the toil, and blood, and treaaure that it will coat ua to maiutain thia Declaration, aud support and defend theae Statea. Yet, througb all the gloom, I can see the raya of ravisbing light and gloiy ; I can soe that the end is worth all the moann. Aud tliat poaterity will triumph in tbat day's tranaaction, even though we shonld rué it, which I trust in God we rciizui uw. John AdaüiS was mistaken ra one prediction. It is tho Fourth of July, not the 2nd, which has been accepted by Americans as "the most memorable epocha." This is one of the many illuetrations of the fact that words as well as deeds are needful, sinco a groat act may soom incompleto until it has been put into a fitting form of worda. It was the vote of July 1 that changed the thirteen eolonies into independent States ; the Declaration of Independence only promulgated the fact and a'signed its reasons. Had this great proelamation turned out to be a confused orillwritten document, it would never liave eclipsed in f ame the original resolution, whioh certainly had no such woak side. Dat this danger was well avferted, tor the Declaration waa to be drawn up by Jefterson, unsürpassed in his time for power of expression. He accordingly framed it ; Franklin and Adains suggested a few verbal amendments ; Sherman and Liviugaton had none to offer ; and the document stood ready to be reported to the Congrees. Some of thosb who thïong to Philadelphia. this summer may f eel an interest in knowing that "the title-deed of our liberties," as Webster called it, was written in '-a new brick-house out in the fields"- a house still standing, at the southwest corner of Market and Seventh streets, less Iban a quarter of a mile from Independonce square. Jefterson had there rented a parlor and bedroom, ready furnished, on the second íloor, for thirty-ñve shUlings a week ; and he wrote the Declaration in this parlor, upon a little writing-desk, three inches high, which still exists. In that modont room we may faney Franklin andAdams listening criticallv, Hherman and LiviDgaton approvingly, to what was for them simply the report of a committee. Jefferson had written it. we are told, without the aid oí a single book; he waa merely putting into moro sj-utematic forra a series of points long familiar; and Parton may be right in the opinión that tho writer was not conscious of any very gtrenuous exercise of his facultics, or of any very eminent service done. Nothiug is so difficult as to transport oursi lves to the actual mood of mind in which great historie acts were performed, or in which their actors habitually dwelt. Thus, on the 7th day of that July, John Adams wrote to his wife a description of the condition of our army, so thrilling and harrowing that it was, as he saya, " enough to lili a humane milid with horror." We faney liim epending that day in sackcloth and ashes; but there follows on the same page another letter, written to the same wife on the same day- a long letter devoted solely to a discouree on the varieties of Engliah Btyle, in which ho urges upon her a carefnlreading of Eollin's '-Belles Lettres," and the Epistles of PJiny the Younger. Yet any one who has ever taken part in diflicult or dangerous actions can understand tbe immense relief derived frorn that half hour's relapae into ' the Btill air of delightful studies." And it is probable that Jefferson and his compamons, even while diaenssing the title-deed of our Hbertios, may have let their talk stray over a nundred collateral themes, as remote from the immediate task as were Pliny and liollin. During tlireo days- the 2nd, 3d, and 4th of July - the Declaration was debated in the Congress. The most viyid historie glimpse of that debate is in Frankiin's consolatorv anecdote, told to Jefferson, touching John Thompson, the hatter. The amendments adopted by Congress have always been ] counted as improvements, becauae tending in the direction of boncisenes aud timplicity ; , though the loss of that stern condemuation of the slave tfado- "a piratical warfaro against ; human nature itsolf"- has alway been regretted. The amended documentj was ünally adopted, like the Virginia resolution, by the vote of twelve colonies, New York Btill abstaining. If Thomas McKean's remiiÜHcencos, at 80, can be truetcd, it oost another effort to secure this strong voto, and Osar llodney had again to be sent f or, to secure the Delaware delegation. McKean says, in a letter written in 181a to John Adama: " I sent an express for Cicsar Hodney to Dover, in the county of Kent, in Delaware, at my private expense, whom I met at the State House door on tho Fourth of July, in his boots; he rosided oighty .milea f rom the city, and just arrivod as Oongress met," Jefferaon bas, however, thrown much doubt over these octogenarian recollections by McKean, and thinks that ho confoiiuüed the different votea together. There is little doubt that this hurried nigutnrido by Rodney was in preparation for the 2nd of Jnly, not the Fourth ; and that the vote on the Foürth went quietly through. But the Declaration, being adopted, was next to be aigned; und here again we come upon an equally hopolesR contradictiou in testimony. This same Thomas McKean wrote in 1814 to ex-President Adams, Bpeaking of the Declaration of Independence, " No man signed it on that day"- namely, July 4, 177G. Jefferaon, on the other hand, writing some yeara later, thought that Mr. McKean's memory had ceived mm, Jenerson nimsen aaneruuy, irum bis early notes, that " The Deolaration was reported by the committee, agreed to by the House, and signed by every member present, except Mr. Dickinson." But Jelïerson, who waa also an octogenarian, seerus to have forgotteu the subsequent signing of the Declaiation parchment, until it was recalled to Iiíh memory, as Uo states, a few years later. If thero was a previous signiug of a written documoiit, the manuscript itaelf bas long since disappeared ; and tlie accepted historie opinión is that both these venerable wituesses wero mistaken; that the original Declaración was signed ouly by the President and Secretary, Jolin Hancock and Charles Thompson; and that the general signing of the parchment copy took place on August 2d. It is probable, at least, that fifty-four of the sixty-six names were appended on that day; and that it was afterward signed by Thoruton, of New Hampshire, who was not then a member, and by McKean, who was then temporarily absent. Jefferson used to relate, "with much merriment," says Parton, that the flual signing of i the Declaration was hastened by a very trivial i circumstance. Near the hall was a large stable, whence the nies issued in legions. Gentlemou ■ were in those days poculiarly seusitive to suoü discomforts by roason of eilk stockings; and when tina annoyanco, superadded to the summer heat oí' rhiladelphia, had becomo intolorable, thoy hastened to bring the busineaa to a conclusión. This raay eqnally well refer, however, to tho original vote; llies are flies, whether in July or Auguet. American tradition has clnng to the phrasos assigned to the different participante in this scene : John Hanoock's commentary on his own bolrt haüdwfiting, -'Tliere, John Bullmay read myname without apectaclea;" Franklin a, "Wo must hang togethor, or elso, most aasuredly, we shall all hang separately ;" and the lieavy Harrison's remark to the slender Elbridge Geriy, that, in that event, Gerry would bo kickiug in tho air long after his own fate wouM be sottled. These thinga may or may not have beon said; but it gives a more human interest to tho event, when we know that they were oven attributed. What we long to know is, that the great acts oí history were done by men liko ourselvos, and not by dignified machines. Even thoBO who look with the greatest prido and hopo upon the present and futuro of thia natiou, munt admit that the Continental Congress contaiued in mGaremarkablylargeproportion of ablt and eminent men. The three most cmiüont delegatioüe, uatural'y, were irom what iVere theli the threo lêading States - Tirgiuia, Massachusetts, slnd Penüsylvania. Virginia contribulbd Thomas Jefforson, who framed the Declaration; Eicharfl Honry Leo, whose resolutions preceded it; Francia Lightfoot Lee, his brother; Wythe and liraxton, who had Btood by Patrick Henry in the old House of Burgc-sses; Nelson, who had firut propoeed organizing the colonial militia of Virginisi and who later, as a General in the field, botnbardtid hiu own houso at; Yorktowü, and Ilarrisoh, afterward the lathor cf a President. Maeaachusette Sent Hancock, tho 1'rcHident of the Congress ; öamuel Adams, who Bharoü with Hancock the honor of being excepted from a royal pardon ; John Adams, "our Colossuaon tho Hoor;" Elbridgo Gerry, afterward Commiasioner to Franco and Yice President of the . United States, and Iiobert Treat Pallie, who had ttoted as public prosecutor after tho Bobton maasaöre. Pennsylvauia óoutributed Dr. Frankhn. "the Genius of the Day and the patrón of American Liberty " Eoijert MorriSj "the financier of the Bevolutiou," by whosö ëole. liredit the Continental army was sustained in ita closiug campaigh, and who was afterward a priaoner for debt j Moitou, who had been a member of the "Stamp Act Congreaa ;"' Üoes, the mediator between tho colonista and the Indiana ; Dr. Bush, renowned for science and for humanity ; Clymcr, soldier, student, writer, and prison mformer ; the lrish-born Taylor and ömith, and the Scotch TT Lmvju. Yfct the other Coloniea were repreaentod by delegationa hardly leas eminent. New York sent Livingston, of " Liviugstons Manor," the correspondent of Edmund Burke, and one of the framers of the "Addrees to the People of Great Britain," in the first Centinental Congress ; Lewis, the Welsh merchant, to whom the Britiah (iovernment hadgiven 6,000 aerea of land for hia services in the ïrench and Indiauwar; ïloyd, who, during the greater part of the Eevolution, was au exile from hls home, leaving it in the hands of the British ; and Morris, afterward succeeded in Congresa by his more famous brother, Gouverneur. New Jersey sent Ilopkinson, lawyer, trit and poet- the author of "The Battlo of the Kega ' Dr. Witherapoon, the Scotch clergjman, President cf Princeton College ; Stockton, a patriot, and tho aucestor of patriota ; Clarke, known as "The Poor Man'a Counsellor ;" thongh not a lawver, and " honest John Hart." New Hampshiro had choaen Dr. Bartiett, the firat to sign the parchment roll ; Dr. Thornton, who succeeded Gov. Wentworth, and became actmgGovernor of New Hampshire ; and Whipple, who rose flora a oabinboy to be a General oommanding with Stark at Bennington, and undor Gates at Saratoga. Connecticut sent Koger Sherman, shoemaker, lawyer and judge, who had Ktudiod whilo working at his bench, and had beconie a profound lawyer on borrowed law bnoks : UimtthKton, aftcrward President of Congress, and Wolcott, who deienaea the Connecticut coast againat Ti-yon, and, later, made peace with the Bix Nations. llhode Island sent Hopkins, who had introduced a bilí into the lthode Ieland Assembly to aboliah slave importation, and had, at the same time, emancipated his own slave ; and Ellery, whose houao wan burned by the British army as soon as it took posseaaion of the island. Delawsre had elected Eodney, who rode eighty miles, as already stated, to be present at the vote for indepeudence ; Bead, whojhad rouaed his colony to contributo for the sufferera by the Boston Port bill, and McKean, the ouly 'man who served in a Congreas throngh the wholc Kevolutionary war. The South Carolina delegates, formitig at first the only delecatiou which had united in opposmg mdependdence, were equally united in finally approviug and practically uustaiuiDg it, Middleton losing hia f ortane in the cause, Hayward beiug scarred for" Ufe by a guuehot wcund, and both, with Eutledge, being impriaoned for a year at St. Auguetino by tho Britieh ; while young Thomas Lynch, who had come from the London Temple to eapouse hia country's cauao, escaped the dangers of war only to be lont at aea at 30. These were all nativea of the colony from which they came ; dut North Carolina and Georgia were honorably representtd by what we should now ca)] "carpet bagger." North Carolina sent Hooper, a Massaelmsetta man, who had Stodièd law uuder Jaruea Otis ; Hewes, the New Jersey Quaker, and Peau, the Virgiuian, who afterward ralliod the mouutaineers of hia adopted State against Cornwallis, Georgia, again, aent the Virginian, Walton, who tiad learned to read by the light of pine knots when a carpenter's apprentice ; the English Gwmnett, and HalJ, of Conneoticut, who at iirst carne alone to the CougreBS, and was admitted to represent nis district before the youug colo ny had made up its mind. Finally, Maryland was repreaonted by Chase, who, as Judge upon the bench, afterward said Jto a timid Sheriff doubtful about gettiDg some rioters to JfUl, " Summon me, Mr. Sheriff, and l'll take 'em ; by Paca, who said, after his flrst session, thai the Virginia gontlemen alone seemed able to carry on the Government, so tliat no one else was ueeded ; Stone, one of the committee that afterwards iïained the Articles of Confedcration, and Charles Carroll, who, lest some name sake should share Ma lisks, added " of Carrollton" to his name. This is the story of the signing. Of the mombars who took part in that eilent drama of 1770, eome carne to greatness in conseqnenco, becominK Preaidents, Yice Presidenta, Governors, Chief Justicea or Judpes ; othera carne, in equally direct consequence, to poverty, llight or imprinonment. " Huntcd like a íox by tho enemy ;" " a priaouer twenty-f our houi's without food," "not daring to rëmain two successivo nights beneath ono shelter "-these are the reoords we may find in the annals of the llevolution with rcBpect to many a man who stood by John Hancock on that summer day to sign his name. I.t .'.s a pleasuve to think that not one of tUem ever diagraced, publicly or conspicuously, the name he had written. Of the rejoicings which, everywhere throughout the coloiiies, followed the signing, the tale has been often told. It has boen told ao ofton, if tho trath must be confcsBed, that it is not now easy to distincuish the romance from the simple fact. The local antiquarions of Philadelphia bid us dismias forever from tho record tbc pioturesque old bell-ringer and hia eager boy, waiting breathlesaly to announce to the asaenibied thousonds tho final vote of Congress 01: tho Deelaration. The tale ia declared to bo f pure fiction, of wbicli mere exwts uot even a local tradition. The sessions of CoDgross were then socrot, apd there was no expeetant crowd outsidc. It was not till the 5th of July that Cougreaa sent out circulara announcing the Deelaration ; uot till tho Ctli that it appeared in a Philadelphia uewspaper ; and not till tho 8th that it was read by John Nixon in the yard of Iudepondence Hall. It was rcad from an observatory there orccted by the American Philoeophical Society, seven years bofore, to observe the transit of Venus. Tho Kiug's arms over the door of the Supreme Court room in Independence Hall were torn down by a committoe of the volunteer f orce called "Aasociators." These trophioa were burned in the evening in tho presouce of a grcat crowd of uitizeng, and no doubt ainid tho joyful pealing of the old " Independence " bell. There is also a tradiüon that on the afternoon of that day, or posBibly a day or two earlier, thero was a joyful private ce'lebratiou of the groat event, by Jojffcrson and others, at the garden-house of a country-seat in Frankford (near Philadelphia), then occupied by Dr. Enoch Edwardu, a leading ])atiiot of that time. It ia cortain that a portion of tho Higuera of the Declaration mot two yeara after, fov a cheery conimemoration of their great achiovement, m the Philadelphia City Tavern. Tho enjoyment of the occasion waa enhanced by tho recent deliverance of tho city from the presence of Gen. Howe, and by the contrast betwecn tuis festival and that lately given by the Bntish oflicers to him. A brief glimpae at . the patriotic occasion, from the hitherto unpubliahed diaiiea of William Ellery, may well t close thia narrative. i " Ou tho glorious Foiirth of July (1778), celebrated in the City Tavorn, with my brother delogates oí Congreás ind a nuraber of other gentlemen, amonnting, in the wholo, to nbout eighty, the anniversary of Iiidopenñency. The entertainment was elegant and well cendncted. There wei e f our tables spread ; two of them extendod thewhole length of tlio room, the other two crossed them at right angleis. At tho end of the room, opposite the upper table, was erected an qrcheatra. At the head of the upper table, and at tho PreBident's right hand, Btood a large baked pudding, in tho center of wbich as plantod a staff, on which was diuplayed a crimson ñag, in the midet of which was this omblematic device : An eye, denoting rrovidence ; a label, on which was inscribed, 'An appeal to He&ven ■' a man with a drawn sword in hia hand, and in tho other the Declaratioh of indepeiidoncy, and at his feota soroll inscribed, 'The doclaratory acts.' As soon as tho dinner bogan, the music, consisting of olarionets, hautboys, Fronch liorna, violins, and bass viole, opened and continued, making proper pauses, until it was flnished. Then the toasts, followed by a discharge of üeld-pieces, were drank, and so the afternoon ended. In thG evenirig there was a cold colUtion and a brilliant exhibition of breworks. The street was crowded with people durini the exhibition. "What a Btrange vicissitude in human affaire ! These, but a few years since colonies of Great Britain, are now free, sovereign and independent States, and now oolebrate the anniveraary of their independence in the very city where, but a d.xy or two before. Gen. Howe exhibited his ridiculous Cliamphaitre."-Scribnerfor July.


Old News
Michigan Argus