Terrorist Threat or Practical Joke?

You hear of a terrorist act or threat nearly every day now.  They are meant to intimidate and control the actions of others.

There’s nothing new about them, except today leaders have become cowed and controlled by even the threat of terrorism.  It didn’t use to be that way in America.

July 3, 1776

A day after agreeing to a resolution for independence, the delegates to Congress discovered an anonymous note which had been left on the President of Congress John Hancock’s Table.

It contained a warning that they all would be destroyed because they had “gone too far”.  A plot had been devised for their destruction unless they halted the course they were on.

Some thought it was a practical joke, but others were not so sure.  Several potential enemies of America had been rounded up in the past few days and a number of prominent loyalist sympathizers had been tarred and feathered.

Some delegates wanted to form a search party to search the cellar below the State House to see if a bomb had been hidden in the munitions storage.  Samuel Adams thought it a waste of time. It was decided to ignore the note and show the world they were not afraid of a silly note.

On the afternoon of July 3rd the delegates to Congress assembled to hear the first reading of the Declaration of Independence that Thomas Jefferson had been working on for several days.


The title, “A Declaration by the Representatives of the United States of America in Congress Assembled”, it was the first time the term “United States of America” had been used in a public document.  These were unfamiliar words that would ultimately define a nation.

The four-page document included a Preamble and philosophy of free government, accusations against King George III, and a closing resolution to be free and independent states.

As the day of debate drew to a close, the adoption of the declaration would have to wait another day.

While the delegates in Philadelphia debated the terms of independence, a former colleague, Silas Deane, was on a secret mission to France to convince them to sell munitions to the rebels in America.  Playing on the dislike of the British by the French, Deane located a source who offered an arrangement to provide the necessary munitions for a war.

Freedom was hard to come by in Europe.  Their best hop to be rid of the oppression of the British empire lie in America.

Asked why he was so willing to help, the new ally said, “May the tree of liberty grow and flourish there:  its seeds will scatter far, and the great winds of change shall blow them across the seas.  You deserve our help.  You deserve the help of all who call themselves friends of freedom!”

When someone is trying to bully or threaten you, do you cower and give in or do you stand by your principles?

Leave a comment about the principles you live by.

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