The Thomas Nelson House
Facts about the Fourth of July;Tammy
The average age of the Signers of the Declaration of Independence was 45.
The youngest was Thomas Lynch, Jr (27) of South Carolina. The oldest delegate was Benjamin Franklin (70) of Pennsylvania.
The lead author of The Declaration, Thomas Jefferson, was 33.
1 out of 8 signers of the signers were educated at Harvard (7 total). Four each at William & Mary, Yale, and Princeton. George Wythe was a professor at William & Mary and one of his students was Thomas Jefferson.
After signing the Declaration, John Hancock remarked that Congress must now "all hang together". Benjamin Franklin replied, "Yes, we must indeed all hang together, or most assuredly we shall all hang separately."
The initial date the resolution of independence was approved in a closed session of Congress was July 2, 1776. The next day, John Adams remarked in a letter to his wife Abigail: "The second day of July, 1776, will be the most memorable epoch in the history of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival. It ought to be commemorated as the day of deliverance, by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty."
Congress revised the Declaration for final approval on July 4, 1776. The only two signers of the Declaration of Independence who later served as President of the United States were John Adams and Thomas Jefferson. Both John Adams and Thomas Jefferson (bitter rivals) died on the same day, July 4, 1826, the 50th anniversary of the Declaration.
Benjamin Franklin wrote in a letter to his daughter Sarah Bache in 1784:
"For my own part I wish the Bald Eagle had not been chosen the Representative of our Country.
He is a Bird of bad moral character. He does not get his Living honestly.
You may have seen him perched on some dead Tree near the River, where, too lazy to fish for himself, he watches the Labour of the Fishing Hawk;
And when that diligent Bird has at length taken a Fish, and is bearing it to his Nest for the Support of his Mate and young Ones, the Bald Eagle pursues him and takes it from him.
I am on this account not displeased that the Figure is not known as a Bald Eagle, but looks more like a Turkey. For in Truth the Turkey is in Comparison a much more respectable Bird, and withal a true original Native of America.
He is besides, though a little vain & silly, a Bird of Courage, and would not hesitate to attack a Grenadier of the British Guards who should presume to invade his Farm Yard with a red Coat on."
Congress made Independence Day an official unpaid holiday for federal employees in 1870. (In 1938, Congress changed Independence Day to a paid federal holiday)
There were an estimated 2.5 million people living in the newly independent nation in 1776. Total U.S. population in 2011 was 311.6 million.
A salute of one gun for each state in the United States, called a "salute to the union," is fired on Independence Day at noon by any capable military base -
87.5% ($2.8 million) of imported U.S. flags are from China. 11. And for Fireworks 97% ($190.7 million) of imported fireworks are from China. SHAMEFUL
An estimated 150 million hot dogs will be consumed on July 4th
Every 4th of July the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia is tapped (not actually rung) thirteen times in honor of the original thirteen colonies.
John Hancock, President of the Second Continental Congress, was the first signer. This merchant by trade did so in an entirely blank space making it the largest and most famous signature - hence the term John Hancock, which is still used today as a synonym for signature.
Charles Carroll, who represented Maryland, was the last surviving member of the signers of the Declaration. He died in 1832 at the age of 95.
Roger Sherman, who worked as a land surveyor and lawyer, represented Connecticut
Thomas Nelson, Jr., a rich planter-merchant, was one of the most active of the Virginia patriots. Though he made great financial sacrifices during the war and won fame as a militia commander and State politician. In Congress, Nelson was outspoken in his desire to sever the bonds with England. He journeyed to Virginia, in the spring of 1776. At a convention held in Williamsburg in May, he introduced and won approval for a resolution recommending national independence, Nelson was awarded the rank of brigadier general in the militia and was elected to the lower house of the legislature. In the spring of 1778 Congress appealed to men of means in the Colonies to form troops of light cavalry. Nelson, partially at his own expense, outfitted, and trained such a unit. In July he marched it northward to Philadelphia. He obtained munitions and supplies for the militia, commanded troops, attended the legislature, and raised money to help subsidize the war. He was particularly effective in soliciting funds from wealthy plantation owners, to whom he pledged to repay the loans personally if the State should fail to do so. While taking part in the Yorktown siege, according to family tradition he ordered troops to shell his own mansion when he learned it was a British headquarters. His home is owned by The National Park Service in Yorktown Virginia.
Thomas Nelson, Signer of the Declaration of Independence, lies at the foot of his father, who also lies at the foot of his father. The generational walk through time continues as one approaches next the Nicolas Martiau family group. Martiau was granted the original patent for the land that became Yorktown. He is also the earliest American ancestor of both President George Washington and Gov. Thomas Nelson.
This is what reads on Thomas Nelson grave marker
Gen. Thomas Nelson Jr.
Patriot - Soldier - Christian - Gentleman
Born December 16, 1738
Died January 2, 1789
Mover of the Resolution of May 15 1776
in the Virginia Convention
Instructing her Delegates in Congress
To Move that body to Declare the Colonies
Free and Independent States.
Signer of Declaration of Independence
War Governor of Virginia
Commander of Virginia Forces
He Gave All For Liberty
No matter how you celebrate the Fourth of July take a moment and be thankful that we live in the greatest country on earth. Even with our many faults and there are many. America is still a country to be proud of and a country worth defending against enemies domestic and foreign and from corporate enemies at home. Remember the people that fought and died defending America over the last 237 years. They did so because they knew that America is worth defending even with her faults.
Enjoy the Fourth of July with friends and family, be safe, and foremost be patriotic.
It is the duty of each generation to preserve the past for the future we don't yet know." May our generation honor that pledge as have those that came before.
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