~ by James Still ~
All thirteen Colonies approved a Resolution of Independence on July 2, 1776. The completed Declaration of Independence was approved on July 4, 1776. On display, at the National Archives Bldg. in Washington, DC, is the copy ordered on July 19, 1776. It was engrossed [w/ large characters] on parchment and presented to Congress on Aug 2, 1776.
IN CONGRESS, JULY 4, 1776, The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,
When in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume, among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the laws of nature, and, of nature’s God, entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind, requires, that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; that, to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed; that whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles, and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes… But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object, evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security… Journals of Congress, Declaration of Independence, July 4, 1776
James Still (July 2016), RetraceOurSteps.com
“And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.” Journals of Congress, Declaration of Independence, July 4, 1776
“… [Independence] is determined by the Thirteen United Colonies, without one dissenting Colony. We have now Got through with the Whole of the declaration, and… you will soon have the pleasure of seeing it.” Caesar Rodney, Letter to Thomas Rodney, July 4, 1776
“… should we wander from [The Founding Principles]… let us hasten to retrace our steps and to regain the road which alone leads to peace, liberty, and safety.” Thomas Jefferson, First Inaugural Address, March 4, 1801
(Note: I made a correction to my July letter I feel worth mentioning. I originally wrote, “All thirteen Colonies approved a Resolution of Independence on July 2, 1776.” Correction: The New York Delegation abstained from voting because they had not received authorization to vote for Independence at this time. Sorry for the confusion. –James Still)