A Few Facts about our Declaration of Independence -
Drafted by Thomas Jefferson between June 11 and June 28, 1776, the Declaration of Independence is at once the nation's most cherished symbol of liberty and Jefferson's most enduring monument. In exalted and unforgettable phrases, Jefferson expressed the convictions in the minds and hearts of the American people. The political philosophy of the Declaration was not new; its ideals of individual liberty had already been expressed by John Locke and the Continental philosophers. What Jefferson did was to summarize this philosophy in "self-evident truths" and set forth a list of grievances against the King in order to justify before the world the breaking of ties between the colonies and the mother country.
Three Obscure Facts -
There Was No "United States" in the Declaration of Independence.
When the Founding Fathers adopted "The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America" [wiki] on July 4, 1776, they didn’t form the nation called The United States of America.
Indeed, the United States of America actually came into being on March 1, 1781 when the Second Continental Congress ratified the Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union (or more commonly known as the Article of Confederation [wiki]).
Jefferson Was Upset that Slavery was Edited out
In his first draft of the Declaration of Independence, Jefferson [wiki] listed the British crown’s support and importation of slavery to the colonies as one of the grievances:
"He has waged cruel war against human nature itself, violating its most sacred rights of life & 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."
The passage, however, was edited out by request of the delegates from South Carolina and Georgia. Jefferson (himself a slave owner!) remained upset about this removal of the condemnation of slavery until his death.
The Youngest and Oldest Signers
The youngest signer of the Declaration of Independence was Edward Rutledge [wiki] of Southern Carolina. He was 26. Actually that wasn’t the only interesting thing: Rutledge argued for the deletion of Jefferson’s condemnation of slavery (see above). He was also initially opposed to independence, but signed the Declaration for the sake of unanimity. The oldest signer was Benjamin Franklin [wiki], who was 70 at the time. At the signing, Franklin famously said "We must all hang together, or, most assuredly, we shall all hang separately."
And a couple of fun facts -
The Original Declaration of Independence: Faded and Rolled Up
You'd think that the original Declaration of Independence - the very document that founded the United States of America - would be treated with respect. Well, it is now. It is stored in special, bullet-proof encasement made of titanium with gold plated frames and filled with inert argon gas to prevent decomposition, but that wasn't the case right after it was signed (see the faded and beat up copy below).
It Was Not Written On Paper
It wasn't written on hemp either, despite the insistence of some. The Declaration of Independence was written on parchment, which is basically treated animal skin (typically sheepskin). It was inked with iron gall ink, which is made by combining fermented oak marble galls with ferrous sulfate.
A picture of the Original Declaration of Independence.
Now my card! I thought about this card and wanted it to look old and worn like the the above.
The challenges :
The Cuddlebug Spot - Celebrate Independence Day in USA
2 sketches 4 you - sketch challenge/represent the 4th in the squares
Heart 2 Heart CTMH - Something Patriotic
OWH - a birthday card for blog hop
The lighting was not good, but I think I like how it turned out....worn, just like our national treasure.