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Monday, July 01, 2013

on the way to independence

237 years ago today, there was a motion on the floor that read, in part:
...That these United Colonies are, and of a right ought to be, free and independent states, that they are absolved from all allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the state of Great Britain is, and ought to be, totally dissolved.

A nine-hour debate ensued, led by Pennsylvania delegate John Dickinson, who opposed the idea, and Massachusetts delegate John Adams, who spoke passionately in favor.

But when a preliminary vote was taken, the outcome appeared in doubt. 9 states' delegations voted in favor but 4 withheld support. (Pennsylvania and South Carolina voted no, while New York abstained, and Delaware had no delegates on hand to vote.)

A motion to postpone consideration until the next day was approved.

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