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So through the night rode Paul Revere;
HENRY WADSWORTH LONGFELLOW
THE CONCORD HYMN
(The Concord Hymn was written by Ralph Waldo Emerson, to be sung at the completion of the Concord Monument, April 19, 1836.)
By the rude bridge that arched the flood,
Their flag to April's breeze unfurled, Here once the embattled farmers stood,
And fired the shot heard round the world.
The foe long since in silence slept;
Alike the conqueror silent sleeps; And Time the ruined bridge has swept
Down the dark stream which seaward creeps.
On this green bank, by this soft stream,
We set to-day a votive stone;
When, like our sires, our sons are gone.
Spirit, that made those heroes dare
To die and leave their children free, Bid Time and Nature gently spare
The shaft we raise to them and Thee.
THE UNITED STATES BECOMES
WHEN petition after petition, asking England to repeal her unjust laws, had been sent across the water only to be ignored, and when England's King had sent troops to America to put down his rebellious subjects, the colonial leaders felt that dependence on England could no longer be endured. The colonies must throw off England's yoke and be free.
So, John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Roger Sherman, Robert R. Livingston and Thomas Jefferson were appointed to draw up a declaration of independence. It was Thomas Jefferson who put into words the convictions and
THOMAS JEFFERSON beliefs of the whole committee.
The declaration was submitted to the Continental Congress which met in Independence Hall, Philadelphia, and after much discussion the members on July 4, 1776, voted for its adoption. Then each signed his name below this solemn pledge, “And, for the support of this declaration we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor."
THE DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE
ADOPTED BY THE CONTINENTAL 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; and accordingly all experience hath shown that mankind are more disposed to suffer while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. 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. Such has been the patient sufferance of these colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former systems of government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute tyranny over these states. To prove this, let facts be submitted to a candid world.
He has refused his assent to laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.
He has forbidden his governors to pass laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.