Quote of the moment, still: John Adams, July 2 “the most memorable Epocha in the History of America”


“The Second Day of July 1776 will be the most memorable Epocha, in the History of America. . . . 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.”
John Adams to Abigail Adams, July 3, 1776

1776 filled the calendar with dates deserving of remembrance and even celebration. John Adams, delegate from Massachusetts to the Second Continental Congress, wrote home to his wife Abigail that future generations would celebrate July 2, the date the Congress voted to approve Richard Henry Lee’s resolution declaring independence from Britain for 13 of the British colonies in America.

Continental congress DSC_0607

Scene of the crime — Independence Hall in Philadelphia, where the Second Continental congress approved the resolution to declare the colonies independent from Britain – (Photo credit: diablodale)

Two days later, that same Congress approved the wording of the document Thomas Jefferson had drafted to announce Lee’s resolution to the world.

Today, we celebrate the date of the document Jefferson wrote, and Richard Henry Lee is often a reduced to a footnote, if not erased from history altogether.

Who can predict the future?

(You know, of course, that Adams and Jefferson both died 50 years to the day after the Declaration of Independence, on July 4, 1826. In the 50 intervening years, Adams and Jefferson were comrades in arms and diplomacy in Europe, officers of the new government in America, opposing candidates for the presidency, President and Vice President, ex-President and President, bitter enemies, then long-distance friends writing almost daily about how to make a great new nation. Read David McCullough‘s version of the story, if you can find it.)

(Yes, this is mostly an encore post.)

More, and Related articles:

The Lee Resolution.

The Lee Resolution, passed by the Second Continental Congress on July 2, 1776 – Wikipedia image (Wait a minute: Are those numbers added correctly? What are they?)

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10 Responses to Quote of the moment, still: John Adams, July 2 “the most memorable Epocha in the History of America”

  1. […] It’s a day of tradition — oddly enough, since we are in reality a very new nation, and Lee’s resolution to declare independence from Britain came on July 2. […]

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  2. […] Quote of the moment, still: John Adams, July 2 “the most memorable Epocha in the History of Am… (timpanogos.wordpress.com) […]

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  3. […] This is a point of great humor among historians.  Even John Adams, more prescient than most soothsayers, could not predict accurately when Americans would celebrate independence.  Here at Millard Fillmore’s Bathtub, we often make a post on or about July 2, noting that humorous disc…. […]

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  4. Thank you so much for the mention! :)

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  5. […] Update, July 4, 2013: You may want to check the updated version of this post, with more links, and even more history.] […]

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  6. […] Quote of the moment, still: John Adams, July 2 “the most memorable Epocha in the History of Am… (timpanogos.wordpress.com) […]

    Like

  7. […] It’s a day of tradition — oddly enough, since we are in reality a very new nation, and Lee’s resolution to declare independence from Britain came on July 2. […]

    Like

  8. Ed Darrell says:

    Flattery, flattery.

    I think yours is just fine — Readers, go see: http://othemts.wordpress.com/2013/07/02/happy-independence-day/

    Like

  9. Liam says:

    This is a better 2nd of July post than mine. Kudos to you!

    Like

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