*Although many colonists feared that
Congress might be too radical, they were also concerned about
the loss of local control and the increasingly intrusive
British government, which many feared was conspiring against
their liberties. They saw what was happening in
Massachusetts, and feared it could happen to them next.
Consequently, boycotts were mostly followed and militia units
begin to train seriously, and the British responded
*Worried about colonial resistance, General Gage, military
governor of Massachusetts, heard of colonial powder stores in
Lexington and Concord, and decided he needs to seize them, and
also hoped to capture Samuel Adams and John Hancock who were
in Lexington at the time. He drew the best soldiers--the
light infantry and the grenadiers--from all his regiments in
Boston, although the fact that they were drawn from different
regiments would later mean that they did not work together as
well as they might have if he had sent a single regiment used
to following the same officers.
*Certain colonists heard of Gage's plan, and three of them
went to warn the towns along the projected route of the army,
and especially to warn Adams and Hancock that the regulars
*Paul Revere, William Dawes, and Dr. Samuel Prescott together
managed to warn the militia or minutemen, and Adams and
Hancock escaped (although only Prescott completed the entire
ride to Concord, after the three were stopped and questioned
by British soldiers).
*Warned, the militia gathered on Lexington green on 19 April,
1775, where the British ordered them to disperse, but fired
upon as they went (because they did not also drop their
weapons as they were told to do). Eight minutemen were
killed and ten wounded. One British solider was wounded
*The regulars proceeded to Concord, where they face more
determined opposition. There ‘the embattled farmers
stood/and fired the shot heard round the world.’ Despite
this resistance, the British destroyed some gun carriages,
entrenching tools, flour, and a liberty pole.
*The British then headed back toward Boston, but were fired
upon the whole way back by militiamen hiding behind trees,
fences, and buildings. 174 regulars were wounded, 73
were killed, and 26 went missing and a siege of Boston by New
England militia began, with Gage's men trapped in the
*As the siege entered its second month in May, 1775, the
Second Continental Congress convened in Philadelphia with
delegates eventually arrived from all thirteen colonies.
This group would ultimately lead the colonies and then the
United States for the majority of the Revolutionary War.
*Some delegates to the Congress were in favour of independence
(these included John and Samuel Adams, John Hancock, Richard
Henry Lee, Patrick Henry, who had supported raising troops in
March, 1775 with the cry of 'give me liberty or give me
death') while others still wanted to reconcile with Great
Britain (including John Dickinson).
*George Washington also arrived as a delegate from Virginia,
but as a war hero from the French and Indian War, a
representative of one of the few colonies to send soldiers to
New England from outside that region, and the tallest man in
the room, he was soon made overall commander of the
Continental Army and headed off for Boston. When he
arrived and proclaimed the collection of rag-tag militia there
to be the Continental Army, the flag he flew was still based
on the Union Jack, but with thirteen red and white stripes for
the thirteen colonies attached.
*During the war, Congress was made up of varying numbers of
delegates from each of the colonies. It did not matter
how many were present from a given state, as each state got
one vote regardless of size or wealth. Congress had a
president, but he was essentially a chairman running the
debate rather than an important figure in his own right.
*John Dickinson, of Pennsylvania, wrote a letter to King
George III called the Olive Branch Petition. This
petition expressed the colonies’ loyalty to the King and asked
him to call for a cease-fire until some solution could be
*In August, 1775, before the petition could arrive, George III
declared the colonies to be in rebellion and outside his
protection, so that further action would be treason,
punishable by death.
*In September, 1775, George III began hiring Hessian
mercenaries. The colonists felt betrayed by the
introduction of foreign forces into what they had thought was
a domestic matter.
*In November, 1775, the Congress learnt that King George had
rejected to Olive Branch Petition. It seemed that the
last chance for peace was gone.
*In January, 1776, Thomas Paine published Common Sense.
This was a simple and compelling pamphlet that everyone could
understand. Unlike most pamphlets written at the time,
it did not refer extensively to the classical Greek and Latin
writers. Rather, as the title implies, it drew upon
common sense—is it sensible that a continent should be ruled
by an island? The book argued for (and convinced many
people to support) a break from Britain—possibly even a
violent one. Within a few months 120,000 copies were
sold, making it the best-selling publication in the colonies.
*During this time fighting continued. The only major
battle around Boston, the Battle of Bunker Hill on 14 June,
1775, was a Pyrrhic victory for the British, as they won with
terrible loss of life, but did not actually break out of
*American forces, primarily the Green Mountain Boys from
Vermont, went to the British fortress of Ticonderoga, caught
the guards by surprise, and seized it without a fight.
The cannons seized there were taken to Boston by Henry Knox
where they were turned on the British trapped in the city
beginning on 3 March, 1776. On 9 March a ceasefire began
and on 17 March, almost exactly 11 months after the battles of
Lexington and Concord, the British evacuated the city (along
with hundreds of local Loyalists). 17 March is still
celebrated as Evacuation Day in Boston.
*In the spring and early summer of 1776, a number of towns,
counties, and even colonies began to issue local declarations
of independence, or at least sent instructions to their
legislatures or Congressional delegates to begin working for
*With the Olive Branch Petition rejected, fighting continuing,
and people increasingly inflamed by Thomas Paine’s Common
Sense, Congress decided to declare independence
following its proposal by Richard Henry Lee. Five men
(John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Roger Sherman, Robert
Livingston, and Thomas Jefferson) were chosen to work on this,
and Mr Jefferson was selected to write it.
*The Declaration is a statement of purpose. It contains,
first, an explanation of why it is necessary to issue a
declaration; second, an explanation of the inalienable rights
of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; third, it
gives a long list of complaints against King George, some
exaggerated or invented, but based on various real problems
the colonies experienced and meant to demonstrate that he was
a tyrant to whom they owed no loyalty any more; and finally, a
concluding resolution in which the it was declared that the
colonies were, and of right ought to be, free and independent
states and the signers agreed to support the declaration with
their lives, fortunes, and sacred honour.
*This was based on the concept of the social contract and the
rule of law, under which governments must work for the public
good rather than personal interest and derive their powers
from the consent of the governed. If a government ceases
to respect the lives, liberty, and property of its people, it
is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such a
*After Mr Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence,
Congress debated it and to make sure the grievances listed
expressed all infringements on their various colonies, and
also removed a few things. The most controversial
complaint against King George III was that he had waged
cruel war against human nature itself, violating its most
sacred rights of life and liberty in the persons of a
distant people who never offended him, captivating &
carrying them into slavery in another hemisphere or to incur
miserable death in their transportation thither.
This criticism of slavery was removed at the insistence of
South Carolina and Georgia’s delegations. Some people
even then saw hypocrisy in this: English
dictionary-maker Samuel Johnson said, ‘Why do we hear the
loudest yelps for liberty from the drivers of Negroes?’
*On 2 July, 1776, Congress agreed to declare independence, and
Mr Jefferson’s draft was considered, debated, and modified.
*On 4 July, 1776, the modified Declaration of Independence was
officially adopted, although most delegates did not end up
signing it until later, mostly in August and September, but
some even later than that.
*Out of fear of reprisals, the finished, authenticated, signed
document was not sent out to the states until 18 January,
1777, after the Continental armies had won a couple of
victories, although the states had heard the wording of the
document already, and George Washington read a copy of the
Declaration to the people of New York City on July 9th.
They then pulled down the statue of King George III, cut off
the head, cut off its nose, mounted the rest of the head on a
spike, and melted the rest of the statue (which was made of
lead) down into musket balls.
*With this national Declaration of Independence, other states
begin to issue their own declaration and most begin to write
*However, there were some complaints. Abigail Adams
reminded her husband that this Declaration did not really
affect women (because they were not fully citizens, being
unable to vote, largely unable to own property, and
constrained by other laws—under the principle of coverture, a
woman was essentially an appendage of her husbands).
Slaves certainly were not getting independence or liberty from
America, although some British leaders, such as Governor Lord
Dunmore offered freedom to any slave who would fight for the
British. Even with greater freedom and democracy than
the world had ever known starting to come into existence,
complete liberty and equality were a long way away.
*Furthermore, not every American supported the Declaration of
Independence. John Adams estimated that a third of
Americans were actually loyal to the king, while third were
indifferent, and only a third were true blue. This meant
that besides being a war for independence, the American
Revolution also became a civil war, with patriots fighting
against loyalists, who were also called Tories, and who often
had their homes destroyed and their property seized.
*Besides, before this Declaration meant anything, the colonies
had to win a war, and the war did not seem to be going well.
-1776 was released in 1972 and is
based on a Broadway musical of the same name first performed
in 1969. Many of the actors from Broadway played the
same characters in the film that they did on the stage.
-The musical was popular enough to be
performed in the White House for President Nixon, although
when the film version was made he requested that one
song--'Cool, Cool, Considerate Men' be removed because he felt
it insulted conservatives. It was removed from the
version released in theatres, but the scene was still filmed
and the footage was saved, and later restored to the DVD
version of the movie (although some parts of the scene are a
little rough and poorly lit because they did not get the same
attention the rest of the movie did).
-The film was made on sets built in or near
Hollywood, and are pretty realistic, although the large
calendar and the board that shows how each colony is voting on
independence were made up for the play and the movie to make
it easy for the audience to follow the action. The
costumes are decent in terms of historical accuracy, if not
exceptional. A lot of the dialogue is taken from
letters, pamphlets, books, and other things written by the
Founding Fathers, although often one man's words are put in
another man's mouth for dramatic effect.
-There were at least 50 delegates to the
Second Continental Congress at the time the play is set (June
and early July, 1776), but only about 30 are shown (every
colony had more delegates than is shown in the movie, except
Delaware, which did have the three that are shown), and even
some who are present leave for part of the movie while their
historical counterparts did not. This was done mostly
for simplicity's sake, but also to remove powerful characters
who would have taken over the play, such as Samuel Adams (many
of whose attitudes are expressed by his cousin John
Adams). Others who are shown have attitudes rather
different from the historical versions of the same
person. In particular, several characters who are shown
as particularly hostile towards independence were in fact not
as opposed to the idea as suggested for dramatic purposes (a
few even supported it), and opposition to independence in
general is exaggerated for this time period (June and early
July, 1776, although that had been significant opposition to
-John Adams of Massachusetts is the main
character in the movie, and describes himself as 'obnoxious
and disliked,' which is in fact a description he really did
provide of himself many years later, although this may have
been the cynicism of an old man who had not enjoyed serving as
Vice-President or President. At the time the Continental
Congress met, he was widely respected and influential, and did
play a large role in promoting independence, and served
Congress as a diplomat in France, the Netherlands, and
Britain. In the movie, he is something of a combination
of the historical John Adams and his cousin Samuel Adams (who
was actually in Congress at this time).
-Abigail Adams was in Boston while John
Adams served as a Congressional delegate in Philadelphia, but
they often wrote to each other, and valued each other's advice
-Benjamin Franklin of Pennsylvania is
referred to as Doctor Franklin throughout the movie because he
received honorary doctorates from St Andrew's University in
Scotland and Oxford University in England for his
contributions to science in the studies of light, electricity,
weather, oceanography, and more, as well as his many practical
inventions such as bifocals, the lightning rod, and the
stove. Although he initially tried to promote
understanding and reconciliation between Britain and the
American colonies, he eventually decided that was
impossible. He would later serve alongside John Adams as
American diplomats in France, where each would actually find
the other very annoying--their friendship in the movie is
largely fictional. Franklin also served as Governor of
Pennsylvania and helped write the US Constitution.
Franklin is played by Howard Da Silva, who was blacklisted
during the Red Scare and was unable to work in movies or
television throughout the 1950s, although he remained active
in the theatre while he was blacklisted in Hollywood.
-Thomas Jefferson of Virginia was a former
member of the House of Burgesses with an interest in science,
architecture, and music who played the violin. He is
depicted as recently married and desperate to return to his
wife--in fact, they had been married for 4 1/2 years at this
point, although he did want to return to her because he was
worried about her health following a recent miscarriage.
He would later serve as governor of Virginia, ambassador to
France, Secretary of State, Vice-President, and President.
-John Hancock of Massachusetts is President
of Congress, although that is largely a ceremonial role in
which he serves as a chairman for Congressional meetings, but
has little real power. Beyond that, he had been a
prominent member of the Sons of Liberty and was one of the
richest men in the colonies thanks to his successful shipping
business--and possibly smuggling.
-Stephen Hopkins of Rhode Island was a
former governor of Rhode Island and Chief Justice of the
Supreme Court for that colony (and not quite as wild a
character as depicted in the movie). He is shown wearing
a hat at all times, and that is because he became a Quaker
after marrying a woman who was a member of a prominent Quaker
family. Quakers believed that because all people are
equal in the eyes of God, they should be equal in all ways
among each other, too. Traditionally a man took his hat
off when in the presence of his social superiors, but Quakers
believed that was inappropriate and artificial--the called it
'hat honour'--and so they never removed their hats, and also
traditionally called people 'thee' and 'thou' rather than the
more formal 'ye' and 'you.'
-John Dickinson of Pennsylvania is
portrayed as the main opponent of Independence, and he was the
author of the Olive Branch Petition that tried to restore
peace between Britain and the colonies even after fighting had
broken out in Massachusetts. Although it is not
mentioned, one of his objections to Independence is that he
represented an area with many Quakers (including his wife),
and Quakers are pacifists, opposed to any violence, so not
only he, but the people he represented, hoped to avoid open
warfare as a way to resolve their disagreements with
Britain--he certainly did disagree with British many policies
and had even written about the unique character of the
American people and had written a resolution in Congress about
how it was necessary for the colonists to take up arms to
defend their liberties, but he still did not want to reject
the British system as a whole.
-#4 & #5 are mostly true--John Adams
did ask Abigail to make saltpeter (which in turn is used to
make gunpowder), in part because it was normally purchased
from overseas, and the war made that difficult. Abigail
also did want pins, but not just for sewing--due to a shortage
of cash in New England during the war, pins were actually used
as a form of emergency currency.
-#6 is true--Thomas Paine's Common
Sense was a best seller and did convince many Americans
that it was not common sense for a continent to be ruled by an
-#7 is true--George Washington was
commander-in-chief of the army, chosen (in large part by John
Adams) to ensure that the South was involved in the war, too,
and not just New England.
-#8 introduces Richard Henry Lee of
Virginia, who, as shown in the movie, did introduce the
resolution that the united colonies were, and of right ought
to be, free and independent states. However, he did not
leave Congress to convince Virginia to support
independence—they sent instructions to him in Philadelphia.
-In an interesting bit of film trivia, the
fountain that is in the background for Lee’s musical number,
‘The Lees of Old Virginia,’ is better known to later
generations for appearing in the background of the opening
sequence of the TV show Friends.
-#9 is true. Dr. Lyman Hall was both
a doctor and a minister, as stated in the movie, and not only
served as Georgia's first delegate to Congress, but played a
big role in getting Georgia to send anyone to Congress.
During the Revolutionary War, the British burned his
farm. He would later serve as governor of Georgia, and
in that position he played a big role in creating the
University of Georgia.
-#12 Edward Rutledge was the youngest
signer of the Declaration of Independence and later served as
a state legislator and Governor of South Carolina. While
he is presented later in the movie as a strong supporter of
slavery, and South Carolina and Georgia together did insist
that the Declaration's criticism of the slave trade be removed
as shown in #74, Rutledge himself was not known to have been
outspoken on the issue.
-#14 is mainly correct--Read, Rodney, and
McKean were the entire delegation from Delaware, and Read was
initially opposed to independence, while the others were for
it. Read did eventually sign the Declaration of
Independence and the US Constitution, however, and later
served as Governor of Delaware, Senator from Delaware, and
Chief Justice of Delaware. He and McKean were also
actually friends and neighbours, even through they were
political opponents. Thomas McKean later served as
President of Congress, Governor of Delaware, Chief Justice of
Pennsylvania, and Governor of Pennsylvania. Caesar
Rodney did suffer from cancer (as mentioned in #35) and did
usually cover part of his face with a scarf to hide it.
He did also make a last-minute ride back to Philadelphia from
Delaware, which is commemorated in the Delaware state quarter,
but he did it alone, not because McKean fetched him (as stated
in #70), and he was in Delaware dealing with other
Revolutionary business, not because he was dying--he actually
lived until 1784 and later served as governor of Delaware.
-#16 is partly right in that Dickinson
opposed independence. However, Judge Wilson actually
supported independence personally, although he did not do so
officially until he got instructions to do so from his
district back in Pennsylvania. His character is combined
with other delegates from Pennsylvania who did oppose
independence. Furthermore, it is true that the majority
of Pennsylvania's delegation was opposed to independence for
most of the debate, until one undecided delegate decided to
support Franklin and Wilson in voting for independence, and
John Dickinson and another delegate chose to abstain from
voting, allowing Pennsylvania to vote for independence, a
little like what is shown in #75, but only a little.
Wilson later helped to write the Pennsylvania Constitution and
the US Constitution, and served on the US Supreme Court.
-#19--William Franklin was born to Benjamin
Franklin and an unknown mother in 1730, and Benjamin Franklin
acknowledged him and raised him as his own son. Benjamin
Franklin helped William get the post as Royal Governor of New
Jersey, but they fell out in 1774 as the crisis between
Britain the colonies grew worse. In 1776 William
Franklin was arrested (as stated in #37) and imprisoned in
Connecticut, including eight months in solitary
confinement. He was released in 1778 as part of a
prisoner exchange, but stayed in British-controlled New York
City until 1782, at which point he sailed for England and
never returned to America. He and his father wrote to
each other a few times after the war ended, and met once
briefly in London, but never really reconciled. William
Franklin had an illegitimate son of his own, William Temple
Franklin, who also was largely raised by Benjamin and even
served as his secretary while Benjamin was working as a
diplomat in France.
-#21, #56, & #57 are all
correct--General Sir William Howe planned to invade New York
and New Jersey with the help of his brother, Admiral Lord
Richard Howe. Together they had about 25,000 regulars
and 10,000 sailors, the largest expeditionary force Britain
would amass prior to World War I, and they ultimately did
seize New York City and hold it for the rest of the war.
-#22 Dr. Josiah Bartlett was actually a
doctor as well as a politician, and later served as Governor
of New Hampshire. In another connection with late 20th
and early 21st Century television, the fictional president in
the series The West Wing is said to be descended from Dr.
Josiah Bartlett, and is even named after him.
-#23 is mostly correct in and of
itself--Richard Henry Lee did officially propose independence
with this wording, but he did not go to Virginia to get that
declaration, he was instructed to do so by a message sent to
him in Philadelphia. Likewise, he did not go back to
Virginia to serve as governor as stated in #40, although he
did leave Congress before the Declaration was signed (although
he signed it the next time he was in town). He later
served as President of Congress and as a US Senator.
-#26 is more or less correct--New York's
delegation did abstain from a number of votes, including the
initial vote for independence because they had no instructions
from New York on which way to vote. Eventually New York
did instruct her delegates to sign the Declaration.
-#27 is not particularly accurate, and even
offends some people from North Carolina. Not only did
Joseph Hewes support independence on his own, North Carolina
had adopted the Mecklenberg Resolves on 31 May, 1775 stating
that ' all Laws... derived from the Authority of the King or
Parliament, are annulled,' sometimes described as the first
declaration of independence in America.
Furthermore, North Carolina and South Carolina were not
politically or economically very similar, and North Carolina
was never really inclined to yield to South Carolina.
-#29 and especially #31 are important,
because most colonists had been proud to be part of a
powerful, rich, and free empire, and it was only when they
felt their rights as English people were being violated that
they felt forced to declare independence from a government
that no longer respected their rights, as is also seen in #65.
-#36--Reverend John Witherspoon was a
Presbyterian minister and served a president of Princeton
University for 26 years.
-#41 is party true--Mr. Jefferson did want
to return to his wife, but that was because Martha Jefferson
was in poor health following a miscarriage and a case of
gestational diabetes, and he was worried about her. Her
health was always poor, and she died in 1782 and the age of
33. She asked her husband to never marry again, and he
didn't. She did not actually visit her husband in
Philadelphia as shown in #46; the only delegate to Congress to
have his wife nearby was John Dickinson.
-#43--Roger Sherman was from Connecticut,
and while his contribution to the Declaration of Independence
was not large, he played a major role in creating the US
Constitution, including the Great Compromise that allowed
large states to be represented in the House of Representatives
based on their population, while small states would still have
an equal say in the Senate, where every state gets two votes
no matter what. This solved one of the major debates in
the creation of the Constitution, making him one of our most
important Founding Fathers. Later he served as in both
of those houses, as a Representative and a Senator from
-#44 Robert Livingston was from New York,
although he did not go home to celebrate the birth of a child,
but rather to attend to other political issues (so that he
never actually signed the Declaration of Independence,
although one of his cousins did sign it, and another cousin
signed the US Constitution). Later, Livingston served as
the highest-ranked judge in New York (in which role he swore
George Washington in as President of the United States) and
was the Ambassador to France who negotiated the Louisiana
Purchase. He also funded the experiments of Robert
Fulton that produced the world's first profitable steamboat.
-#49 is based on an actual statement by
Adams in a letter written in 1790 that 'The History of our
Revolution will be one continued Lye from one End to the
other' and that Franklin and Washington would get credit for
the whole thing, pretty much as stated in the movie (except
without mentioning Washington's horse).
-#52 is actually true--Samuel Chase was
known as Old Bacon Face. He later served on the US
Supreme Court, where he has the distinction of being the only
Supreme Court Justice to ever be impeached, although in the
end he was not convicted. The charge was that his
decisions were biased against his political enemies, but it
was decided that wasn't actually a crime that he could be
removed from office for.
-#54 is untrue. The War Committee
never went to investigate conditions in New Jersey.
However, Adams, Franklin, and Edward Rutledge did make a trip
to New York in September, 1776, to meet with General Howe to
discuss peace. The peace conference was a failure, of
course, because Howe could not recognise the Declaration of
Independence, but some details of the trip inspired this part
of the movie.
-#55 is from the song that Richard Nixon
wanted removed from the movie.
-#60 is a widely-reported myth, and is
partly true. Benjamin Franklin did criticise the eagle
as a bird that steal fish from other birds, and did say that
the turkey was a much more respectable bird, largely for the
reasons stated in the movie, but he never went so far as to
propose the turkey as America's national bird.
-#66 uses a term for slavery, 'peculiar
institution,' that was actually first used in 1830 by South
Carolina politician John C. Calhoun, and simply meant that
slavery was unique to the South. In many ways, 1776
takes the debate about slavery from the mid-1800s and puts
it in 1776. People certainly were debating the morality
of slavery during the American Revolution (and even before
it), but the clear divide between North and South shown in the
movie is really mixing later attitudes into an earlier
era. For one thing, in 1776, slavery existed in all 13
colonies, although some in New England soon abolished
it. Slavery was particularly important in New York, in
addition to its importance in the Southern colonies.
-#67 is true, to an extent. Mr.
Jefferson did want to free his slaves, but in fact, due to his
deep debts, was mostly unable to do so. A few were freed
in his will, but most were sold to cover his debts. On
the other hand, many other signers of the Declaration did free
their slaves, including John Hancock, John Dickinson, and
Stephen Hopkins. George Washington also freed his slaves
upon his death. Benjamin Franklin had owned slaves when
he was younger, but had turned against slavery in the 1760s,
although he did not become an outspoken abolitionist until the
1780s (despite what he claims in the play).
-#68 refers to the triangular trade, which
actually could follow a couple of different routes. It
might carry rum to West Africa to trade for slaves who were
sold in the Caribbean sugar colonies and molasses that was
purchased there was then taken to New England and distilled
into rum, some of which would then go to West Africa. On
the other hand, it might involve manufactured goods from
Europe going to Africa where they were traded for slaves, who
were then carried to the New World and sold. Raw
materials from the New World would then go to Europe where
they would be processed into manufactured goods which might
then be re-sold in the colonies or might be taken to Africa
and traded for more slaves who would then be shipped to the
New World. In either case, the route between Africa and
the Americas was referred to as the Middle Passage, and was
truly brutal as slaves were packed into cramped and unsanitary
conditions for weeks or months.
-#76 is partly true. Dickinson did
leave Congress, although not right away, and he did become an
officer in the Pennsylvania militia and even help delay a
later British attack on Philadelphia. He also helped
write the Articles of Confederation that would serve as a
framework of government from 1781 until the US Constitution
was adopted in 1788. Dickinson also signed the US
Constitution and served as governor of Delaware and of
-#77 is supposedly what John Hancock really
said upon signing the Declaration, although that is probably
just a myth.
-#78 reflects the military situation in New
York at this time. The troops that Washington sent to
Brooklyn Heights were soon defeated, too, although Washington
was able to evacuate most of them so they could fight again
another day rather than be captured. New York City would
be entirely lost before the end of summer and held by the
British until several months after the war officially ended.
-#79 is not entirely correct. Lewis
Morris had already left Congress to serve as a general in the
New York militia. However, his home was damaged by the
British and had to be rebuilt after the war, and his three
oldest sons did serve in the Revolutionary War. New York
did send instructions not long afterwards for the New York
delegates to sign the Declaration, but they did initially
abstain from the vote.
-#80 was actually done by another delegate
from Rhode Island, William Ellery, but when he was watching
Stephen Hopkins sign, Hopkins's hand was shaking from what was
probably Parkinson's disease, but Hopkins looked at him and
said 'my hand trembles, but my heart does not.'