Button Gwinnett signature Declaration

On this day in 1777, signer of the Declaration of Independence Button Gwinnett receives a bullet wound in a duel with political rival Lachlan McIntosh. He would die three days later.

The Georgia Patriot served as a member of the Continental Congress in 1776. As such, he was one of three Georgians to sign the Declaration of Independence.

Gwinnett’s Georgia

Lastly, in 1777 Button Gwinnett helped draft Georgia’s first State Constitution. Here is a portion:

ART. LVII. The great seal of this State shall have the following device: on one side a scroll, whereon shall be engraved, ” The Constitution of the State of Georgia; ” and the motto, “Pro bono publico.” On the other side, an elegant house, and other buildings, fields of corn, and meadows covered with sheep and cattle; a river running through the same, with a ship under full sail, and the motto, “Deus nobis haec otia fecit.”

Translation: “God has bestowed these blessings on us.”

Button Gwinnett signature Declaration

Benjamin Franklin Join or Die

On this day in 1754, the first American newspaper political cartoon was published in the Benjamin Franklin owned Pennsylvania Gazette. The illustration showed a snake cut into sections, each representing an American colony with the caption, “JOIN, or DIE.”

Benjamin Franklin Join or Die

Franklin originally designed the cartoon and text to unite the colonies against the French in the French and Indian War.

In 1765, American colonists began to use it to unite the colonies against the British.

What meaning would you ascribe to it today?

At the Constitutional Convention of 1787 in Philadelphia, an 81 year old Benjamin Franklin united the Founders behind prayer, with this quote that inspired Our shirt below:

“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?”

Benjamin Franklin "See... God governs" t-shirt

On this day in 1758, the fifth President of the United States, James Monroe is born in Virginia. Monroe was the first United States Senator to be elected President.

He was a contemporary of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and James Madison. As such, he was the last American revolutionary to become president. What follows are a few remarks from both inaugural addresses of James Monroe, in 1817 and 1821 respectively.

Fervent Prayers


“If we persevere in the career in which we have advanced so far and in the path already traced, we can not fail, under the favor of a gracious Providence, to attain the high destiny which seems to await us.”

“Relying on the aid to be derived from the other departments of the Government, I enter on the trust to which I have been called by the suffrages of my fellow-citizens with my fervent prayers to the Almighty that He will be graciously pleased to continue to us that protection which He has already so conspicuously displayed in our favor.”


“it is obvious that other powerful causes, indicating the great strength and stability of our Union, have essentially contributed to draw you together. That these powerful causes exist, and that they are permanent, is my fixed opinion; that they may produce a like accord in all questions touching, however remotely, the liberty, prosperity, and happiness of our country will always be the object of my most fervent prayers to the Supreme Author of All Good.”

Firm Reliance

“With full confidence in the continuance of that candor and generous indulgence from my fellow-citizens at large which I have heretofore experienced, and with a firm reliance on the protection of Almighty God, I shall forthwith commence the duties of the high trust to which you have called me.”

James Monroe White House portrait 1819


Hancock Thanksgiving Proclamation

On this day in 1776, the Second Continental Congress gives privateers permission to attack any and all British ships.

A privateer was a private person or ship authorized by a government by letters of marque to attack foreign vessels during wartime and take them as prizes. Even so, the distinction between pirates and privateers was non-existent to those who encountered them on the high seas.

Here is the opening line of the bill:

INSTRUCTIONS to the COMMANDERS of Private Ships or Vessels of War, which shall
have Commissions or Letters of Marque and Reprisal, authorising them to make Captures
of British Vessels and Cargoes.

John Hancock, President of the Continental Congress, signed that bill in response to these ‘hostilities by sea.’

Proclaiming Praise

In a Proclamation of Thanksgiving written for December 11th, 1783 he wrote, in part:

“Whereas it hath pleased the Supreme Ruler of all human events, to dispose the hearts of the late belligerent powers to put a period to the effusion of human blood, by proclaiming a cessation of all hostilities by sea and land… .”

“And whereas in the progress of a contest on which the most essential rights of human nature depended, the interposition of Divine Providence in our favor hath been most abundantly and most graciously manifested, and the citizens of these United States have every possible reason for praise and gratitude to the God of their salvation.”

Impressed, therefore, with an exalted sense of the blessings by which we are surrounded, and of our entire dependence on that Almighty Being, from whose goodness and bounty they are derived…” 

You may read the entire proclamation of John Hancock below.

At Our Lost Founding, we steadfastly believe in demonstrating gratitude and praise for our Creator while offering fervent supplications. Indeed, those prayers, and imploring that “God Save the United States of America” are timeless traditions that bless our nation.

John Hancock Thanksgiving Proclamation


Thomas McKean and son

On this day in 1734, Patriot and politician Thomas McKean is born in Chester County, Pennsylvania.

McKean was a delegate of Delaware to the Continental Congress. Thus, he signed the United States Declaration of Independence and the Articles of Confederation. He was also President of the Continental Congress in 1781. McKean also served President (Governor) of Delaware, Governor of Pennsylvania, and Chief Justice of Pennsylvania.

Be received

For all that, perhaps his greatest accomplishment was sharing this redemptive advice as Chief Justice of Pennsylvania, which he did with a condemned man:

“You will probably have but a short time to live. Before you launch into eternity, it behooves you to improve the time that may be allowed you in this world. It behooves you most seriously to reflect upon your conduct, to repent of your evil deeds, to be incessant in prayers to the great and merciful God to forgive your manifold transgressions and sins, to teach you to rely upon the merit and passion of a dear Redeemer and thereby to avoid those regions of sorrow, those doleful shades where peace and rest can never dwell, where even hope cannot enter. It behooves you to seek the fellowship, advice and prayers of pious and good men, to be persistent at the throne of grace and to learn the way that leadeth to happiness. May you reflecting upon these things and pursuing the will of the great Father of Light and Life, be received into the company and society of angels and archangels and the spirits of just men made perfect and may you be qualified to enter into the joys of heaven, joys unspeakable and full of glory.”

Thomas McKean died in Philadelphia at the age of 83 in the year 1817. That seems fitting, given that the root words of Philadelphia are phileo meaning “to love” and adelphos meaning “brother.”


Thomas McKean and son



John Adams USS Boston

On this day in 1778, two future presidents of the United States, John Adams and his 10-year-old son John Quincy Adams, sit on board the frigate, Boston, off the coast of Massachusetts.
The warship will take them to France, where Adams will join Benjamin Franklin in securing France as an ally in the war against Great Britain.
Mr. Adams had to be smuggled because of British spies in Boston and British warships just off the coast.

On July 1, 1776, John Adams declared this before the Continental Congress:
“Before God, I believe the hour has come. My judgement approves this measure, and my whole heart is in it. All that I have, and all that I am, and all that I hope in this life, I am now ready here to stake upon it. And I leave off as I began, that live or die, survive or perish, I am for the Declaration. It is my living sentiment, and by the blessing of God it shall be my dying sentiment. Independence now, and Independence for ever!”

John Adams USS Boston

John Jay Supreme Court

On this day in 1790, the Supreme Court of the United States meets for the first time. John Jay, appointed by George Washington, was the first Chief Justice. Jay was a Patriot, a Founding Father, a statesman, and a diplomat. As such, he was one of the signers of the Treaty of Paris.

He wrote this, in part to his eldest son, Peter, in 1784:
The Bible is the best of all books, for it is the word of God and teaches us the way to be happy in this world and in the next. Continue therefore to read it and to regulate your life by its precepts.

Additionally, Jay also served as President of the Continental Congress and the Governor of New York. In fact, he was the only Founding Father that was also a native New Yorker.

Finally, on June 29, 1826, about three years before his death, he wrote this to the Committee of the Corporation of the City of New York:

“I recommend a general and public return of praise and thanksgiving to Him from whose goodness these blessings descend. The most effectual means of securing the continuance of our civil and religious liberties is always to remember with reverence and gratitude the source from which they flow.”

John Jay Supreme Court

Benjamin Franklin Epitaph

On this day in 1706, Benjamin Franklin, the renowned Founding Father and prolific printer, patriot, scientist, statesman, etc. is born in Boston. He was the fifteenth of seventeen children.

Franklin lived until the ripe old age of 84, and died in his adopted home of Philadelphia, where he is buried.

Even in his early twenties, his wit and wisdom was on full display. Of note, in 1728 he wrote his own epitaph, revising and sharing it with friends throughout his life. Here is one such version, with a copy below:

The Body
Ben Franklin Printer,

Like the Cover of an old Book
Its contents torn out
And stript of its Lettering & Gilding,
Lies here Food for the Worms,
yet the Work shall not be lost:
For it will, as he believed, appear once more
In a new & most beautiful Edition,
Corrected and Amended
the Author.

Benjamin Franklin Epitaph

“I have lived a long time…”

At age 81, as the elder statesman at the Constitution Convention in his adopted home, Franklin urged the Assembly toward morning “prayers imploring the assistance of Heaven, and its blessings on [their] deliberations.” In so doing, he made this famous quote, which inspired Our Benjamin Franklin shirt:

William Ellery

On this day in 1727, William Ellery, signer of the Declaration of Independence is born in Newport, Rhode Island. He worshipped at the Second Congregational Church of Newport. Fittingly, he was known to say “The Lord reigneth” in times of trouble.

Interestingly, the size of Ellery’s signature on the Declaration of Independence is second only to that of John Hancock. Ellery also signed of the Articles of Confederation.


He was a 1747 graduate of Harvard College in 1747, and along with Ezra Stiles, pastor of the Second Congregational Church of Newport (and future president of Yale), he co-authored the charter for the college that became Brown University. Its motto, “In Deo Speramus,” also featured on its Seal, means “In God We Hope.”

A few years later, in 1770, Ellery became involved with the Rhode Island Sons of Liberty.

During the American Revolution, in a letter to Pastor Stiles dated July 20, 1776 he wrote, “The Road to Liberty, like the Road to Heaven is strewed with Thorns. Virtue lives in Exertion. But thank Providence…

William Ellery walked those hard roads, and as seen on his tombstone, also in Newport, he “wait[ed] for death with the hope of a Christian.”

At Christmastime, it’s worthwhile to take some time to consider the source of Our hope.

William Ellery

Flag of Pennsylvania

On this day in 1787, Pennsylvania becomes the second state when it ratifies the U.S. Constitution, which, of course, was drafted in Philadelphia.

In fact, that ratifying convention also occurred at the Pennsylvania State House, which we now know as Independence Hall.


Indeed, those delegates were inclined to “secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity,” as stated in the U.S. Constitution.
The text of the Preamble of the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania makes that abundantly clear.

WE, the people of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, grateful to Almighty God for the blessings of civil and religious liberty, and humbly invoking His guidance, do ordain and establish this Constitution.”

“Convincing Proofs”

Though born in Boston, Benjamin Franklin was among those Pennsylvania delegates to the the Constitutional Convention. There, he urged the Assembly toward morning “prayers imploring the assistance of Heaven, and its blessings on [their] deliberations.”
In so doing, he made the famous quote below, which inspired one of Our shirts.

“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?”

See it in Our shop:


Flag of Pennsylvania

On this day in 1927, the work of carving and sculpting the Mount Rushmore National Memorial begins. The project was declared complete on October 31, 1941.

The iconic granite sculpture, attracts millions annually to the Black Hills of South Dakota.

According to sculptor Gutzon Borglum, “The purpose of the memorial is to communicate the founding, expansion, preservation, and unification of the United States with colossal statues of Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln, and Theodore Roosevelt.”

With that stated purpose in mind, what follows is a ‘Mount Rushmore’ of quotes from the aforementioned presidents. Two of these quotes adorn Our Lost Founding shirts:

George Washington
“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.”

Thomas Jefferson
“I shall need, too, the favor of that Being in whose hands we are, who led our forefathers, as Israel of old, from their native land and planted them in a country flowing with all the necessities and comforts of life, who has covered our infancy with His Providence and our riper years with His wisdom and power

Abraham Lincoln
“In regard to this Great book, I have but to say, it is the best gift God has given to man. All the good the Savior gave to the world was communicated through this book. But for it we could not know right from wrong. All things most desirable for man’s welfare, here and hereafter, are to be found portrayed in it.”

Theodore Roosevelt
“Every thinking man, when he thinks, realizes that the teachings of the Bible are so interwoven and entwined with our whole civic and social life that it would be literally impossible for us to figure ourselves what life would be if these standards were removed.”


Finally, here is your humble Our Lost Founding Founder at our National Memorial:


Me at Mount Rushmore, Summer 2019