|In this photo:
PUBLICATIONS (in case) include"Votes of American Congress
- 1774";"A Calm Address to our American Colonies"
1776 and "Observations on the Nature of Civil Liberty"
||On loan from the collection of:
||--University of Iowa Main Library, Special Collections, Iowa
||--Andy Ball, Des Moines IA
REPRODUCTIONS (at right) depict an engraving of Philadelphia;
the Statehouse Of Philadelphia (later called Independence Hall
- in 1776 the belfry was unfinished) and a photograph of the
Assembly Room in Independence Hall. At mid-center is a portrait
of THOMAS PAINE.
PORTRAIT (reproduction) of John Hancock (top center)
LETTERS (facsimiles, bottom left) between Abigail and John Adams,
1776, when Abigail pleaded with John to "Remember the Ladies"
when pushing for independence. John responded that "
know better than to repeal our Masculine systems [that are]
little more than Theory
in Practice you know We are the
subjects. We have only the Name of Masters, and [to] give up
would completely subject Us to the Despotism of the
||--Massachusetts Historical Society, Boston MA
PORTRAITS (reproductions) of John and Abigail Adams
ARTWORK (top left) depicting English lords in the court of King
George III accusing Franklin of being "a thief, a liar,
and having delusions of grandeur."
"T'is time to part" (Thomas Paine)
In September 1774, the First Continental Congress
was convened at the Old Statehouse (now Independence Hall) in Philadelphia.
Most of the delegates wanted to return to their prosperous colonial
lives supported by the British Empire, unaware that they would be
at war by the next spring.
In January 1776, political thought was impacted dramatically
by the publication of Common Sense,
hailed by historians as the most brilliant pamphlet ever written.
Published by THOMAS PAINE, the prose forcefully reversed all presumptions
that kept Americans clinging to England. Paine was the first to
publicly question hereditary rule and also focus on the vast resources
of America - "there is something absurd in supposing a continent
to be perpetually governed by an island." Common Sense
swept through the colonies and within six months, colonial leaders
would sign a declaration of independence.
Rich Man, Poor Man, Beggarman, Thief
JOHN HANCOCK, the elegant outlaw, was voted
president of the Second Continental Congress. He was shocked, however,
when his friend John Adams nominated George Washington to head the
army ... it was a position he had fancied for himself.
SAMUEL ADAMS quietly worked behind the scenes.
Frustrated, he wrote a friend that Congress had "the vanity
of the ape, the tameness of the ox, or the stupid servility of the
JOHN ADAMS lobbied constantly, even obnoxiously,
for unified independence. Shrewdly realizing that New England needed
Southern support, his nomination of Washington as Commander-in-Chief
created a strong ally from prosperous Virginia.
BENJAMIN FRANKLIN, still in London in 1774-75,
was accused of stealing and circulating the contents of an anti-American
letter. Bitterly disenchanted, the 69-year-old returned home where
he joined delegates pushing for independence.