Sunday, August 25, 2019

Signing the Declaration of Independence & The Speech of the Unknown Man

“The following is taken from Washington and His Generals: or, Legends of the Revolution by George Lippard, published in 1847. The signers of the Declaration of Independence sat in Independence Hall at Philadelphia, contemplating losing their heads or being hanged. Their courage wavered. The document sat there unsigned. An extraordinary catalyst was needed to move them to action. An unknown man rose and gave an electrifying speech. He disappeared soon after.

By signing the Declaration, all were guilty of high treason under British law. The penalty for high treason was to be hanged by the neck until unconscious, then cut down and revived, then disemboweled and cut into quarters. The head and quarters were at the disposal of the crown.
No wonder they wavered! No wonder they discussed back and forth for days on end before signing the document that carried so grave a penalty. An old legend dramatizes the story of the one who galvanized the delegates and gave them the courage to sign that document.
But still there is doubt–and that pale-faced man, shrinking in one corner, squeaks out something about axes, scaffolds, and a–gibbet!
"Gibbet!" echoes a fierce, bold voice, that startles men from their seats–and look yonder! A tall slender man rises, dressed–although it is summer time–in a dark robe. Look how his white hand undulates as it is stretched slowly out, how that dark eye burns, while his words ring through the hall. (We do not know his name, let us therefore call his appeal).”


Transcendent Origins of the United States of America

"No People can be bound to acknowledge and adore the invisible hand, which conducts the Affairs of men, more than the People of the United States. Every step, by which they have advanced to the character of an independent nation, seems to have been distinguished by some token of providential agency."
George Washington;
First Inaugural Address

“An Invisible Hand in the affairs of men? In an age of power politics, scientific miracles, and ultimate threats, it may come as a surprise that one of the most widely accepted and ancient of ideas was that a divine hand established and ruled nations. Early Americans believed that an unseen intelligence directed the course of the American Revolution and guided the destiny of this nation. John Adams wrote, "America was designed by Providence for the theatre on which man was to make his true figure." And Patrick Henry said, "There is a just God who presides over the destinies of nations."
“Evidence of the invisible hand of God is nowhere more apparent than in the affairs of our nation. For the swift ascent of the American Republic was nothing less than miraculous.
From a loose coalition of seaboard states united as much by their dislike of the British king as by brotherly affection, the United States grew from a tiny preindustrial community to the world's preeminent economic, technological, and military power in less than two centuries. America became a land of political and religious freedom, a beacon of hope to the nations, and a stage for the playing out of a great historical epic...”