F. Scott Key Star Spangled Motto Our Cause it is Just War of 1812

On this day in 1812, the aptly-named War of 1812 begins when President James Madison requests a declaration of war. In his Special Message to Congress he pointed to “a series of acts hostile to the United States as an independent and neutral nation” by Great Britain.

Given the “crying enormity” of these acts and the “solemn alternative,” Madison made clear the source of his trust:
“Whether the United States shall continue passive under these progressive usurpations and these accumulating wrongs, or, opposing force to force in defense of their national rights, shall commit a just cause into the hands of the Almighty Disposer of Events…” (emphasis added)

Our cause

Then, on September 13, 1814, toward the end of this war, the sight of our “broad stripes and bright stars” “by the dawn’s early light,” despite the blistering British Bombardment of Fort McHenry in Baltimore harbor, inspired Francis Scott Key to pen the poem the “Star-Spangled Banner.”
The first verse of his poem became Our national anthem in 1931.

That same flag, and a key couplet from the fourth verse (did you know there was a fourth verse?) of Key’s poem inspired the design for Our “Star Spangled Motto” t-shirt:

“Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
And this be our motto: ‘In God is our trust.’ 

Today, our National Motto is, of course, “In God We Trust.”

Find your shirt in time for the Fourth of July, HERE!

FS Key Star Spangled Motto Our Cause it is Just War of 1812

The Declaration Committee John Adams Thomas Jefferson Benjamin Franklin United States

John Adams and Thomas Jefferson first met at the 1775 Continental Congress in Philadelphia. They became close friends despite the “different conclusions we had drawn from our political reading,” as Jefferson put it.

In fact, they worked together on the “Committee of Five” to draft the Declaration of Independence.

The two founders maintained their friendship until Jefferson became president in 1801. Outgoing President Adams, hoping to ease the transition of power, made political appointments consisting of Jefferson’s ‘Hamiltonian’ political rivals.

Then, in 1809, Jefferson retired from the presidency, and Benjamin Rush, a signer of the Declaration of Independence, worked for two years to revive the friendship between the two. Jefferson lived in Virginia, and Adams in Massachusetts. Even so, the resulting correspondence is legendary, and they did not shy away from discussing political issues, philosophy, and religion.

Fittingly, on July 4, 1826, the fiftieth anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence, Jefferson and Adams died within hours of each other.

Letters, Life, and Liberty

Though often opposed politically, they shared critical common ground regarding the source of our liberty, as evidenced by the following quotes. The first is from the Declaration of Independence:

“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.”

Next, from a letter that Adams wrote to Jefferson on June 28, 1813:
“Now I will avow, that I then believed, and now believe, that those general Principles of Christianity, are as eternal and immutable, as the Existence and Attributes of God; and that those Principles of Liberty, are as unalterable as human Nature and our terrestrial, mundane System.”

This combined quote is inscribed on the Jefferson Memorial:
God who gave us life gave us liberty. Can the liberties of a nation be secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are the gift of God? That they are not to be violated but with his wrath? Indeed I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just; that his justice cannot sleep forever.”

Finally, from the founder that helped mend a broken friendship, Benjamin Rush:
“Without [religion], there can be no virtue, and without virtue there can be no liberty, and liberty is the object and life of all republican governments.”

Adams and Jefferson