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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

Flag of Minnesota

On this day in 1858, Minnesota becomes the 32nd state in the Union.
Here is the Preamble to the Constitution of the State of Minnesota:

“We, the people of the state of Minnesota, grateful to God for our civil and religious liberty, and desiring to perpetuate its blessings and secure the same to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution.”

The state flag, seen below, features the state seal. The state motto L’Étoile du Nord, is a French phrase meaning The Star of the North. Minnesota’s first governor, Henry Hastings Sibley, chose this phrase.

True North Star

In his first inaugural address, Sibley said “To Almighty God we should express our gratitude, that we have been preserved in our transition from a Territorial to a State Government[.]”

Then, he concluded by stating his “highest ambition” in conducting the affairs of the state was to not depart “from those principles of integrity and sound democratic policy, which have been the means, under Providence, of placing the American Union in the high position it now holds in the estimation of the world.”

Today, let’s get back to following our true north, aka our lost founding, in order to regain that high position.

Flag of Minnesota

The Great Seal of the State of New York

On this day in 1777, during the American Revolutionary War, the first New York state constitution is formally adopted. The Convention of Representatives of the State of New York met upstate in Kingston.

That first state constitution contains a good amount of the language found the Declaration of Independence. For example:

“We therefore, the Representatives of the United States of America, in general Congress assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the name and by the authority of the good people of these colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these united colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent States.”

Our…

It goes on: “And for the support of this declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor.

Finally, here is the current Preamble:
“We The People of the State of New York, grateful to Almighty God for our Freedom, in order to secure its blessings, DO ESTABLISH THIS CONSTITUTION.” 

Seal of the State of New York

 

Seal of Maine

On this day in 1820, Maine is the 23rd state admitted into the Union. The former province of Massachusetts gained admittance as a free state as part of the Missouri Compromise.

First, here is the Preamble of the Constitution of the State of Maine:
“We the people of Maine, in order to establish justice, insure tranquility, provide for our mutual defense, promote our common welfare, and secure to ourselves and our posterity the blessings of liberty, acknowledging with grateful hearts the goodness of the Sovereign Ruler of the Universe in affording us an opportunity, so favorable to the design; and, imploring God’s aid and direction in its accomplishment, do agree to form ourselves into a free and independent State, by the style and title of the State of Maine and do ordain and establish the following Constitution for the government of the same.”

I Direct

Next, as seen in the state seal depicted below, the North Star is accompanied by the state motto, Dirigo. That is Latin for “I Lead,” or Direct/Guide.

According to the Maine Library Bulletin:
“[T]he Polar Star has been considered the mariner’s guide and director in conducting the ship over the pathless ocean to the desired haven, and as the center of magnetic attraction; as it has been figuratively used to denote the point, to which all affections turn, and as it is here intended to represent the State, it may be considered the citizens’ guide, and the object to which the patriot’s best exertions should be directed.”

Desired haven. Center of attraction. Point of all affections. Citizens’ guide. Object of the patriot’s best exertions. Now that sounds like the “Sovereign Ruler of the Universe” from Whom “the people of Maine” sought “aid and direction.”

In our day, may “We the People” continue to do the same.

 

Seal of Maine

 

Seal of Florida In God We Trust

On this day in 1845, Florida, nicknamed the “Sunshine State” becomes the twenty-seventh state in the Union.

First, here’s the the Preamble of the Florida Consitution

“We, the people of the State of Florida, being grateful to Almighty God for our constitutional liberty, in order to secure its benefits, perfect our government, insure domestic tranquility, maintain public order, and guarantee equal civil and political rights to all, do ordain and establish this constitution.”

We/our

Additionally, Florida shares the “In God We Trust” motto with the United States, and it appears on the state seal, depicted below. The state flag combines overlays the seal on a St. Andrews Cross on a field of white.
Interestingly, the state’s first motto was “In God is our Trust.”
That is how the phrase appears in the fourth and final stanza of “The Star-Spangled Banner” by Francis Scott Key.

You can find that specific verse on Our “Star-Spangled Motto” t-shirt HERE in men’s and HERE in women’s.

 

Seal of Florida In God We Trust

Ohio Seal and Motto With God All Things Are Possible

On this day in 1803, on a technicality, Ohio becomes the 17th state in the union. This date marked the first meeting of the state’s General Assembly that year. In actuality, Ohio became a state a back on February 19.  That was the day President Thomas Jefferson endorsed the United States Congress’s decision granting statehood.

First, here is the Preamble of the Ohio Constitution:
“We, the people of the State of Ohio, grateful to Almighty God for our freedom, to secure its blessings and promote our common welfare, do establish this Constitution.”

Next, the state motto is “With God All Things Are Possible.”
Thus, Ohio is one of five states with mottoes directly referencing God; Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Kentucky, and South Dakota are the others.

Rising, not setting

Lastly, as seen in the image below, the state seal depicts “a rising sun three-quarters exposed and radiating thirteen rays to represent the thirteen original colonies shining over the first state in the northwest territory.”

So, proper acknowledgement of the state’s powerful motto will help ensure that the sun is indeed rising, and not setting on the idea of America and the Judeo-Christian ethics of our lost founding. That’s plenty reason to be optimistic.

 

Ohio Seal and Motto With God All Things Are Possible

Great Seal of the State of Arizona

On this day in 1912, Arizona, known as the Grand Canyon state, becomes the last of the 48 coterminous United States admitted in to the Union.

First, here is the Arizona Constitution Preamble:
“We the people of the State of Arizona, grateful to Almighty God for our liberties, do ordain this Constitution.”

Enriched Enterprise

Next, The Great Seal of the State of Arizona, below, depicts the state’s enterprises of mining, ranching, farming, and climate.

Most importantly, the state motto “Ditat Deus,” featured prominently, and in reference to those enterprises, means “God enriches.”

Great Seal of the State of Arizona

 

Seal of Oregon

On this day in 1859, The Oregon Territory is officially admitted in to the Union as the 33rd state. Fittingly, the State Flag and the Great Seal feature the previous state motto “The Union.” This motto reflected the conflicting issues of slavery and statehood at the time.

The current official motto, Alis Volat Propriis, captures the independent spirit of the original provisional government of the territory. After all, it is Latin for “She flies with her own wings.”

Rights and Responsibilities

This is from the Constitution of Oregon Bill of Rights:

“All men shall be secure in the Natural right, to worship Almighty God according to the dictates of their consciences.”

Interestingly, the Bill of Rights also states that “No law shall be passed restraining the free expression of opinion, or restricting the right to speak, write, or print freely on any subject whatever; but every person shall be responsible for the abuse of this right.”

 

Seal of Oregon

Seal of Massachusetts

On this day in 1788, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts ratifies the Constitution, thereby becoming the sixth state in the Union.

The state motto is “Ense petit placidam sub libertate quietem.”
It means “By the sword we seek peace, but peace only under liberty.”

However, the full Latin phrase which serves as the source of this motto provides proper context. First, that phrase: “Manus haec inimica tyrannis ense petit placidam sub libertate quietem.”
Now, the translation: “This hand of mine, which is hostile to tyrants, seeks by the sword quiet peace under liberty.”

Much like the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts also counts the right of “enjoying and defending [our] lives and liberties” among Our “unalienable rights.”

What follows are some additional key excerpts from that Constitution. First, the third and final paragraph of the Preamble:

“We, therefore, the people of Massachusetts, acknowledging, with grateful hearts, the goodness of the great Legislator of the universe, in affording us, in the course of His providence, an opportunity, deliberately and peaceably, without fraud, violence or surprise, of entering into an original, explicit, and solemn compact with each other; and of forming a new constitution of civil government, for ourselves and posterity; and devoutly imploring His direction in so interesting a design, do agree upon, ordain and establish the following Declaration of Rights, and Frame of Government, as the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.”

Rights, Duties, and Happiness

To conclude, this next, highly instructive portion immediately follows the Preamble:

PART THE FIRST
A Declaration of the Rights of the Inhabitants of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts

Article II.

It is the right as well as the duty of all men in society, publicly, and at stated seasons to worship the Supreme Being, the great Creator and Preserver of the universe. And no subject shall be hurt, molested, or restrained, in his person, liberty, or estate, for worshipping God in the manner and season most agreeable to the dictates of his own conscience; or for his religious profession or sentiments; provided he doth not disturb the public peace, or obstruct others in their religious worship.

Article III.

As the happiness of a people, and the good order and preservation of civil government, essentially depend upon piety, religion and morality; and as these cannot be generally diffused through a community, but by the institution of the public worship of God, and of public instructions in piety, religion and morality… .”

 

Seal of Massachusetts

Seal of Kansas

On this day in 1861, Kansas becomes the 34th state to join the Union, doing so as a free state.

Here’s a portion of the preamble of the Kansas Constitution:

“We, the people of Kansas, grateful to Almighty God for our civil and religious privileges, in order to insure the full enjoyment of our rights as American citizens, do ordain and establish this constitution of the state of Kansas…”

Ingalls, Impossible, Immortality and Injustice

Additionally, the state motto, “Ad astra per aspera,” is a Latin phrase meaning “To the stars through difficulties.”
John James Ingalls coined the motto in 1861, the same year as statehood.  He elaborated that, “The aspiration of Kansas is to reach the unattainable; its dream is the realization of the impossible.”

Ingalls was a member of the Wyandotte constitutional convention, which admitted Kansas as a free state. He also served as a state senator.

Indeed, it was Ingalls who wrote: “Irrespective of creeds and theology, they are wise who would recognize God in the Constitution, because faith in a Supreme Being, in immortality and the compensations of eternity conduces powerfully to social order by enabling man to endure with composure the injustice of this world in the hope of reparation in that which is to come.”

Our Lost Founding recognizes this, and it exists to share this world-changing wisdom with you so that your citizenry here and in the hereafter may be well-founded.

Seal of Kansas

Michigan State Seal

On this day in 1837, President Andrew Jackson signs a bill making the two peninsulas of Michigan the 26th state in the Union. Previously, the Territory of Michigan was part of the Northwest Territory ceded under 1783 with the Treaty of Paris.

First, here’s the Constitution of Michigan Preamble:
We, the people of the State of Michigan, grateful to Almighty God for the blessings of freedom, and earnestly desiring to secure these blessings undiminished to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this constitution.

Multiple Mottos

Also, the Great Seal, as seen below, contains three Latin mottos:
1) E Pluribus Unum, which means “Out of many, one,” and is a motto of the United States
2) Tuebor, translates to “I will defend”
3) Si Quæris Peninsulam Amœnam Circumspice, says “If you seek a pleasant peninsula, look about you,” and this is the official state motto.

Finally, let us indeed look about. Our American heritage, in other words, Our Lost Founding, is worth defending for the sake of many, and for posterity.

 

Michigan State Seal