John Adams July 2nd

On this day in 1776, the Second Continental Congress adopts the resolution for independence from Great Britain. Of course, Congress adopts the Declaration of Independence on July 4th. Twelve of the thirteen colonial delegations vote unanimously, with New York abstaining.

Previously, in early June, Congress appointed a committee consisting of John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Roger Sherman, Robert R. Livingston, and Thomas Jefferson to draft that declaration of independence. Then, the committee presented it to Congress on June 28, 1776.

Our Lost Founding will ‘unfurl’ the Declaration in Our July 4th post.

Illuminations…

The eventual second president John Adams wrote this of July 2nd, to his beloved wife Abigail:

“The Second Day of July 1776, will be the most memorable Epocha, in the History of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated, by succeeding Generations, as the great anniversary Festival. It ought to be commemorated, as the Day of Deliverance by solemn Acts of Devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with Pomp and Parade, with Shews, Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other from this Time forward forever more.”

He continues:

“You will think me transported with Enthusiasm but I am not. — I am well aware of the Toil and Blood and Treasure, that it will cost Us to maintain this Declaration, and support and defend these States. — Yet through all the Gloom I can see the Rays of ravishing Light and Glory. I can see that the End is more than worth all the Means. And that Posterity will tryumph in that Days Transaction, even altho We should rue it, which I trust in God We shall not.” (emphasis added)

John Adams July 2nd

 

George Washington Invisible Hand main

On this day in 1775, following a debate lasting several days, the Continental Congress drafts the Articles of War. The Articles explained that an “armed force be raised… for the express purpose of securing and defending these Colonies” from the “unconstitutional and oppressive acts of the British.”

The sixty-nine Articles outlined the Rules and Regulations for governing the conduct of the Continental Army. The first Article stated that “every officer… and every soldier who shall serve in the Continental Army, shall… subscribe these rules and regulations.”

Diligent and Divine

So, here’s Article II, essentially the first rule to which to subscribe:

Art. II. It is earnestly recommended to all officers and soldiers, diligently to attend Divine Service; and all officers and soldiers who shall behave indecently or irreverently at any place of Divine Worship, shall, if commissioned officers, be brought before a court-martial, there to be publicly and severely reprimanded by the President;

So, the first rule for the Continental Army was basically to go to church.

A few weeks prior, George Washington was unanimously selected by the second Continental Congress as commander-in-chief of the Continental Army. The role of faith in the service and formation of Our country was not lost on Washington. This is evidenced by the quote from his first Inaugural Address that inspired Our t-shirt design:

“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.”

George Washington

The first Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Army

 

Patrick Henry Give me Liberty

On this day in 1776, the Constitution of Virginia is adopted, and Patrick Henry, who helped write it, was elected governor, and served for five non-consecutive terms.

Here is section 16 of that, and the current version of the Constitution:
“SEC. 16. That religion, or the duty which we owe to our Creator, and the manner of discharging it, can be directed only by reason and conviction, not by force or violence; and therefore all men are equally entitled to the free exercise of religion, according to the dictates of conscience; and that it is the mutual duty of all to practice Christian forbearance, love, and charity towards each other.”

“But as for me…”

Lastly, here are a few portions of the Patrick Henry “Give me Liberty, or Give me Death!” speech from the year prior:

“Should I keep back my opinions at such a time, through fear of giving offense, I should consider myself as guilty of treason towards my country, and of an act of disloyalty toward the Majesty of Heaven, which I revere above all earthly kings.
… If we wish to be free…we must fight! An appeal to arms and to the God of hosts is all that is left us!
Besides, sir, we shall not fight our battles alone. There is a just God who presides over the destinies of nations.
… Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!”

LorD

Matthew Thornton

On this day in 1803, Patriot, physician, surgeon, signer of the Declaration of Independence, Matthew Thornton dies at age 89. Thornton was also a New Hampshire delegate to the second Continental Congress. Additionally, he was the President of the five man committee that drafted the first New Hampshire constitution. In fact, New Hampshire was the first of the thirteen states to establish a constitution.

The Only Foundation

Back in 1775, as the newly elected President of the New Hampshire Provincial Congress,  Matthew Thornton wrote a letter To the Inhabitants of the Colony of New Hampshire. Here are a few excerpts:

Friends and Brethren: You must all be sensible that the affairs of America have at length come to a very affecting and alarming crisis.

Duty to God, to ourselves, to Posterity, enforced by the cries of slaughtered Innocents, have urged us to take up Arms in our Defense. … We would therefore recommend to the Colony at large to cultivate that Christian Union, Harmony and tender affection which is the only foundation upon which our invaluable privileges can rest with any security, or our public measures be pursued with the least prospect of success.

… In a word, we seriously and earnestly recommend the practice of that pure and undefiled religion which embalmed the memory of our pious ancestors, as that alone upon which we can build a solid hope and confidence in the Divine protection and favor, without whose blessing all the measures of safety we have or can propose will end in our shame and disappointment.”

Matthew Thornton

 

US Great Seal Reverse

On this day in 1782, Congress adopts the Great Seal of the United States. Adoption came six years after the Continental Congress appointed the original committee to design a seal. Congress appointed the original committee just a few hours after they adopted the Declaration of Independence, on July 4, 1776.

The Obverse

US Great Seal Obverse
E Pluribus Unum, Latin for Out of Many, One, was once a de facto motto of the United States. However, it was never codified into law. Thus, In God We Trust is the official national motto.
Our Lost Founding suggests that perhaps the two go hand in hand.

The Reverse

US Great Seal Reverse

Signals signified

Founding Father and Patriot Charles Thomson’s “Remarks and Explanation” are the only official comments about the symbolism and the meaning of the Great Seal. Here is the portion regarding The Reverse:

“The pyramid signifies Strength and Duration: The Eye over it & the Motto allude to the many signal interpositions of providence in favour of the American cause. The date underneath is that of the Declaration of Independence and the words under it signify the beginning of the new American Æra, which commences from that date.–” (emphasis added)

“The Motto” Annuit Cœptis translates to (Providence) favors our undertakings.

Lastly, Thomson, also a Greek scholar, spent his final years working on an English translation of the Bible.

Great Seal Thomson Report Page 2Great Seal Thomson Report Page 1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Colonel William Prescott Bunker Hill

On this day in 1775, the Battle of Bunker Hill (and Breed’s Hill) begins in Boston. Legend has it that it was during this battle that Patriot Colonel William Prescott gave soldiers this famous order: “Do not fire until you see the whites of their eyes!”
This was in order to conserve limited ammunition supplies.

“Be of one heart…”

It is with certainty, however, in August of 1774, in the wake of the Boston Tea Party and the subsequent Boston Port Bill blockading the harbor, that William Prescott wrote the people of the city this note of encouragement:

“Be not dismayed nor disheartened, in this great day of trials. We heartily sympathize with you, and are always ready to do all in our power for your support, comfort and relief; knowing that Providence has placed you where you must stand the first shock. We consider we are all embarked in (the same ship) and must sink or swim together. We think if we submit to these regulations, all is gone. Our forefathers passed the vast Atlantic, spent their blood and treasure, that they might enjoy their liberties, both civil and religious, and transmit them to their posterity. … Now if we should give them up, can our children rise up and call us blessed? … Let us all be of one heart, and stand fast in the liberty wherewith Christ has made us free; and may he, of his infinite mercy grant us deliverance out of all our troubles.” (emphasis added)

Indeed, as Americans, whether we “sink or swim together” largely depends in how we collectively regard our lost founding.

Colonel William Prescott Bunker Hill

 

George Washington Invisible hand angle

On this day in 1775, the second Continental Congress unanimously selects George Washington as first Commander-in-chief of the Continental Army. Thankfully for all Americans then, and ever since, he accepted the appointment.

What follows is an excerpt of a letter he wrote to his wife, Martha, shortly thereafter; he wrote:
“[I]t was utterly out of my power to refuse this appointment without exposing my Character to such censures as would have reflected dishonour upon myself, and given pain to my friends – this, I am sure could not, and ought not be pleasing to you, & must have lessened me considerably in my own esteem. I shall rely therefore, confidently, on that Providence which has heretofore preservd, & been bountiful to me, not doubting but that I shall return safe to you in the fall…” (emphasis added)

Another acknowledgement

Of course, Washington eventually became the first president of the United States.

Finally, a sentiment similar to the letter above, from his first inaugural address, inspired Our “George Washington Invisible Hand” t-shirt design:
“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.

Though invisible, clearly he saw its guiding influence in his own life and in the birth of America.

Find your shirt, HERE.

George Washington t-shirt

Flag of the United States Army

Happy Birthday to the United States Army! On this day in 1775, the Second Continental Congress passes the resolution establishing the Continental Army.

Here is the text of that resolution:

Resolved, That six companies of expert riflemen [sic], be immediately raised in Pennsylvania, two in Maryland, and two in Virginia; … [and] that each company, as soon as completed [sic], shall march and join the army near Boston, to be there employed as light infantry, under the command of the chief Officer in that army.

So, this Army represented not just New England, but all 13 colonies. In addition, the United States Army became America’s first national institution.

Of course, the Congress named General George Washington Commander-in-Chief. Washington stated the following in his General Orders on July 2, 1776:

The fate of unborn Millions will now depend, under God, on the Courage and Conduct of this army—Our cruel and unrelenting Enemy leaves us no choice but a brave resistance, or the most abject submission; this is all we can expect—We have therefore to resolve to conquer or die: Our own Country’s Honor, all call upon us for a vigorous and manly exertion, and if we now shamefully fail, we shall become infamous to the whole world—Let us therefore rely upon the goodness of the Cause, and the aid of the supreme Being, in whose hands Victory is, to animate and encourage us to great and noble Actions… .”

Also, the Army Cadet song includes this stirring line:
May God give me the compassion and judgment to lead and the gallantry in battle to win.”

Lastly, here is the third chorus of the Army Song, “The Army Goes Rolling Along”:

“Men in rags, men who froze,
Still that Army met its foes,
And the Army went rolling along.
Faith in God, then we’re right,
And we’ll fight with all our might,
As the Army keeps rolling along.”

 

Flag of the United States Army

Stars and Stripes

On this day in 1777, during the American Revolution, the Continental Congress adopts the Stars and Stripes as the national flag:

“Resolved, that the flag of the United States be thirteen stripes, alternate red and white; that the union be thirteen stars, white in a blue field representing a new constellation.”

Stars and Stripes

Flag Day

Then, on May 30th 1916, President Woodrow Wilson gave Proclamation 1335 – Flag Day:

My Fellow Countrymen:

Many circumstances have recently conspired to turn our thoughts to a critical examination of the conditions of our national life, of the influences which have seemed to threaten to divide us in interest and sympathy, of forces within and forces without that seemed likely to draw us away from the happy traditions of united purpose and action of which we have been so proud. It has therefore seemed to me fitting that I should call your attention to the approach of the anniversary of the day upon which the flag of the United States was adopted by the Congress as the emblem of the Union, and to suggest to you that it should this year and in the years to come be given special significance as a day of renewal and reminder, a day upon which we should direct our minds with a special desire of renewal to thoughts of the ideals and principles of which we have sought to make our great Government the embodiment.

I therefore suggest and request that throughout the nation and if possible in every community the fourteenth day of June be observed as FLAG DAY with special patriotic exercises, at which means shall be taken to give significant expression to our thoughtful love of America, our comprehension of the great mission of liberty and justice to which we have devoted ourselves as a people, our pride in the history and our enthusiasm for the political programme of the nation, our determination to make it greater and purer with each generation, and our resolution to demonstrate to all the world its vital union in sentiment and purpose, accepting only those as true compatriots who feel as we do the compulsion of this supreme allegiance. Let us on that day rededicate ourselves to the nation, “one and inseparable” from which every thought that is not worthy of our fathers’ first vows in independence, liberty, and right shall be excluded and in which we shall stand with united hearts, for an America which no man can corrupt, no influence draw away from its ideals, no force divide against itself,-a nation signally distinguished among all the nations of mankind for its clear, individual conception alike of its duties and its privileges, its obligations and its rights.

In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of the United States to be affixed.

Done at the City of Washington this thirtieth day of May, in the year of our Lord one thousand nine hundred and sixteen, and of the independence of the United States of America the one hundred and fortieth.”

Honor our colors

Flag Day was formally established in 1949 when President Harry S. Truman signed the Act of Congress:

WHEREAS the American flag, which has become the symbol of our freedom, was adopted by the Continental Congress on June 14, 1777; and

WHEREAS it is our custom to observe June 14 each year with ceremonies designed not only to commemorate the birth of our flag but also to rededicate ourselves to the ideals for which it stands; and

WHEREAS this beloved emblem, which flies above all our people of whatever creed or race, signalizes our respect for human rights and the protection such rights are afforded under our form of government:

NOW, THEREFORE, I, HARRY S. TRUMAN, President of the United States of America, do hereby ask that on Flag Day, June 14, 1949, the people of the Nation honor our colors by displaying them at their homes or other suitable places and by giving thanks for their privileges as citizens under this flag as well as by engaging in earnest contemplation of the obligations inherent in citizenship. I also direct the appropriate officials of the Government to display the flag of the United States on all Government buildings on Flag Day.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Seal of the United States of America to be affixed.

DONE at the City of Washington this 24th day of May in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and forty-nine, and of the Independence of the United States of America the one hundred and seventy-third.

 

Under God

Later, on this day in 1954, President Dwight Eisenhower signs a bill to include “Under God” in the Pledge to the Flag:

FROM THIS DAY FORWARD, the millions of our school children will daily proclaim in every city and town, every village and rural school house, the dedication of our nation and our people to the Almighty. To anyone who truly loves America, nothing could be more inspiring than to contemplate this rededication of our youth, on each school morning, to our country’s true meaning.

Especially is this meaningful as we regard today’s world. Over the globe, mankind has been cruelly torn by violence and brutality and, by the millions, deadened in mind and soul by a materialistic philosophy of life. Man everywhere is appalled by the prospect of atomic war. In this somber setting, this law and its effects today have profound meaning. In this way we are reaffirming the transcendence of religious faith in America’s heritage and future; in this way we shall constantly strengthen those spiritual weapons which forever will be our country’s most powerful resource, in peace or in war. (emphasis added)

Flag Display

Finally, for a primer on flag display etiquette, here is a portion of United States Code Title 4 Chapter 1 Section 6:

§ 6. Time and Occasions for Display.
(a) It is the universal custom to display the flag only from sunrise to sunset on
buildings and on stationary flagstaffs in the open. However, when a patriotic
effect is desired, the flag may be displayed 24 hours a day if properly
illuminated during the hours of darkness.

(b) The flag should be hoisted briskly and lowered ceremoniously.

(c) The flag should not be displayed on days when the weather is inclement, except
when an all-weather flag is displayed.

(d) The flag should be displayed on all days, especially on New Year’s Day,
January 1; Inauguration Day, January 20; Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday, the
third Monday in January;15 Lincoln’s Birthday, February 12; Washington’s
Birthday, third Monday in February; Easter Sunday (variable); Mother’s Day,
second Sunday in May; Armed Forces Day, third Saturday in May; Memorial
Day (half-staff until noon), the last Monday in May; Flag Day, June 14;
Independence Day, July 4; Labor Day, first Monday in September; Constitution
Day, September 17; Columbus Day, second Monday in October; Navy Day,
October 27; Veterans Day, November 11; Thanksgiving Day, fourth Thursday
in November; Christmas Day, December 25; and such other days as may be
proclaimed by the President of the United States; the birthdays of States (date
of admission); and on State holidays.

Benjamin Franklin Lightning Experiment with kite

On this day in 1752, Benjamin Franklin conducts his famous experiment in which he flies a kite during a thunderstorm. The experiment demonstrated the electrical nature of lightning. From that, Franklin invented the lightning rod, and coined several terms we use today such as electrician, battery, and conductor.

Franklin was one of our preeminent founding fathers, having served as a legislator in Pennsylvania, as a diplomat in England and France, and he is the only politician to have signed the Declaration of Independence (1776), the Treaty of Alliance with France (1778), the Treaty of Paris (1783) and the U.S. Constitution (1787).

Convincing Proofs

Clearly, Benjamin Franklin was one of our most prolific American patriots, if not the most. Nearing the end of his full and storied life, he petitioned for prayer at Constitutional Convention of 1787 in Philadelphia:

“I have lived a long time, Sir, a long time, and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth—that God governs in the affairs of men. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without his notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without his aid?”

His quote, and his sketch of another of his inventions, the bifocals, inspired Our Benjamin Franklin shirt. Get yours HERE.

Benjamin Franklin Lightning Experiment

 

Samuel Adams on voting

On this day in 1772, the HMS Gaspee, an armed British customs schooner runs aground off the Rhode Island coast. It was in pursuit of the Hanna, an American smuggling ship.

In what could be regarded as the first naval engagement of the American Revolution, as many as 67 colonists, angered by British Parliament’s Townshend Acts, board the Gaspee. They subsequently shoot its captain in the abdomen, send him and his crew to shore, and set the ship aflame.

The resulting “Gaspee Affair” intensified British-American relations and prompted Boston Patriots to found the first Committee of Correspondence. These inter-colonial committees publicized the anti-British activity that occurred throughout colonies and British plans to restrict Americans rights. These lines of communication laid the foundation for a new national unity.

Of course, Samuel Adams was the one who organized this first committee.

A Solemn Trust

Similarly, it is Mr. Samuel Adams who inspired Our first t-shirt with the quote below, which we the people should bear in mind for the 2018 elections:

“Let each citizen remember at the moment he is offering his vote that he is not making a present or a compliment to please an individual – or at least that he ought not so to do; but that he is executing one of the most solemn trusts in human society for which he is accountable to God and his country.”

‘Correspond’ this voting wisdom with your ‘committee,’ and get your shirt HERE:

Samuel Adams on Voting Accountability t-shirt