Mountain Views News     Logo: MVNews     Saturday, June 29, 2013

MVNews this week:  Page B:2



 Mountain Views News Saturday June 29, 2013

The Declaration of Independence: 


IN CONGRESS, July 4, 1776.

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and 
equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That 
to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the 
Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety 
and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to 
suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design 
to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.--Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; 
and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct 
object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend 
to them.

He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable 
to tyrants only. 

He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures. 

He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.

He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State 
remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.

He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the 
conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.

He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary powers.

He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.

He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance.

He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.

He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power.

He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:

For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:

For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:

For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:

For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent: 

For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury:

For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences

For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for 
introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies:

For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:

For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.

He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.

He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people. 

He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most 
barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.

He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands. 

He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction 
of all ages, sexes and conditions.

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince whose character is thus marked by every 
act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our Brittish brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them 
of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, 
which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our 
Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority 
of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of 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; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, 
contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine 
Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

Note: The 56 signatures on the Declaration appear in the positions indicated.

Column 1


 Button Gwinnett

 Lyman Hall

 George Walton

Column 2

North Carolina:

 William Hooper

 Joseph Hewes

 John Penn

South Carolina:

 Edward Rutledge

 Thomas Heyward, Jr.

 Thomas Lynch, Jr.

 Arthur Middleton

Column 3


John Hancock


Samuel Chase

William Paca

Thomas Stone

Charles Carroll of Carrollton


George Wythe

Richard Henry Lee

Thomas Jefferson

Benjamin Harrison

Thomas Nelson, Jr.

Francis Lightfoot Lee

Carter Braxton

Column 4


 Robert Morris

 Benjamin Rush

 Benjamin Franklin

 John Morton

 George Clymer

 James Smith

 George Taylor

 James Wilson

 George Ross


 Caesar Rodney

 George Read

 Thomas McKean

Column 5

New York:

 William Floyd

 Philip Livingston

 Francis Lewis

 Lewis Morris

New Jersey:

 Richard Stockton

 John Witherspoon

 Francis Hopkinson

 John Hart

 Abraham Clark

Column 6

New Hampshire:

 Josiah Bartlett

 William Whipple


 Samuel Adams

 John Adams

 Robert Treat Paine

 Elbridge Gerry

Rhode Island:

 Stephen Hopkins

 William Ellery


 Roger Sherman

 Samuel Huntington

 William Williams

 Oliver Wolcott

New Hampshire:

 Matthew Thornton

While we celebrate our country’s greatness let us remember: THE 150TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE BATTLE OF GETTYSBURG

By Craig Hakola

Some live upon the inheritance of 
the world, others strengthen it with 
their courage. 

The battle of Gettysburg was an accidental 
meeting that changed the direction of a 
war and assisted Abraham Lincoln in his 
reelection of 1864. 

On the first morning of July, 1863 the skies 
above Gettysburg began to encounter the 
strolling clouds of a Pennsylvania summer. 
Beneath the wandering artwork of God, two 
armies discovered themselves amassed in the 
Northern blue of an ocean and the Southern 
gray of a shore. It had taken sacrifice, 
disappointment, and the frontier daring of a 
covered wagon devotion to drag the northern 
nation to the place of this July morning. 
Abraham Lincoln was now three years 
chained to the daily reports of suffering, and 
while so much withered before his eyes, one 
article invariably strengthened -- the sight of 
a war that would not die.

This ever darkening period had passed in 
the torment of a thousand lifetimes since 
that day when the two countries were still 
married, and collectively assembled on the 
first week of November 1860 to vote for a 
president. Lincoln had reasoned, Lincoln 
had contended, and Lincoln had fought the 
Democrat candidate Stephen Douglas in 
the Illinois Senate battle of 1858, two years 
before the Presidential election. Lincoln 
lost that decision by a preponderance of the 
ballot. However, two years hence in the 1860 
election, Lincoln had won the national debate 
and the Presidency, with Douglas yet again, 
contending against him for an office. 

It was in the little towns and fiery audiences 
of that Illinois Senate run where Lincoln 
began to distinguish himself nationally in the 
debates against Douglas: first by purifying 
the nation’s understanding of the Declaration 
of Independence, and second by advancing a 
belief in the document as devout as its own 
writer, Thomas Jefferson. No two men of 
the world were more convinced and certain 
of the progressive truth that ripened in the 
Declaration of Independence. The idea…
that all men are created equal, that they 
are endowed by their Creator with certain 
unalienable Rights. 

In an earlier July season of 1776, a nation’s 
founder, Thomas Jefferson, framed a 
golden promise of God by announcing it 
as a birthright of all humanity. Jefferson’s 
Declaration of Independence engaged and 
defeated the notion of his period and any 
henceforth, the notion that any collection 
of politicians could rightfully decree or that 
a single ruler by the endeavor of dictum 
could claim a right transcendent of God’s 
Universal Law to Humanity. The struggle was 
now clearly drawn, for Lincoln had removed 
the idea of a heavenly license for slavery by 
purifying the meaning of “all men.” The battle 
now turned to whether or not one man could 
claim an earthly authority to enslave another.

The Southern slave states had intently watched 
the gifted and quick-witted Lincoln challenge 
the “Little Giant” Stephen Douglas in a series 
of three-hour debates five years earlier. The 
single issue that defined the contentious battle 
for the minds of a nation was the question of 
the age - slavery. Repeatedly and insistently, 
Lincoln purposefully returned to the 
Declaration of Independence as a country’s 
lesson plan. The six foot-four Lincoln, born 
to the Kentucky backwoods, stood amongst 
a forest of people and eloquently amplified 
thread-by-thread, a divine tapestry of truth. 
He pre-formed the instruction with such 
reason and assurance that even the proud 
Jefferson would have admired the storytelling 
composition of Lincoln’s speeches.

Lincoln testified against the divine rights 
proclaimed by kings to enslave earthly 
subjects and stood this error up against 
the common rights of all humanity. Any 
man, now enlighten with the truth of the 
Declaration of Independence that appointed 
himself the privilege of dominating another, 
amounted to the mortal thinking of an ill-
considered king. 

Lincoln frequently admitted that he felt 
helpless during the war, and he was doomed 
to such an emotion as he watched the interval 
between the announcement of his win in 
November of 1860, and the taking of his office 
in January of 1861. It was an interval that 
witnessed the defection of the South from the 
United States. Historians unanimously concur 
that President James Buchanan’s lack of effort 
to resist the southern succession in the period 
before Lincoln was seated to power, was the 
greatest mistake of any Presidency. Like 
Lincoln, James Buchanan was a lawyer, and 
both agreed that the south had committed 
an illegal act in succession. However, unlike 
Lincoln, Buchanan held the suicidal opinion 
that the Office of the Presidency had not the 
legal power vested in the Constitution to 
battle the crime. Lincoln stood completely 
opposed to that view, and argued that the 
implied powers of the Constitution allowed 
the President extreme license in the re-
unification of the nation. 

This year, as we mark the 150th Anniversary of 
the Gettysburg battle, it must be known that 
this was not the first battle of the Civil War, nor 
the last, but the three-day battle became the 
symbol of an extreme meter of sacrifice and 
measure of men who departed this imperfect 
realm, to register with God as heroes. The 
philosophic mind of Jefferson scouted the 
stars and pulled the spoils of heaven into the 
conversation of the world, while the common 
sense of an Abraham Lincoln struggled with 
the right and wrong of that world. Lincoln’s 
defense of Jefferson’s message established him 
as the noble narrator of the Declaration of 
Independence, but in the collected wisdom 
of these two men, and their Executive seats 
of power, they remained helpless to stop the 
country from division. 

The Nation’s final hope for re-unification was 
given to the common and the courageous. 
The responsibility was claimed by boys that 
had never known a razor, or savored a single 
kiss. The war would be settled by men that had 
left their worried wives and children behind, 
and the issue would be adjudicated by the 
wise souls that knew what the Declaration of 
Independence meant to the world. So it is to 
them we give praise, the legions of the brave 
who God has glorified as heroes. 

Their example is self-evident, their 
understanding celestial, their love eternal. 
Their gift to us is sprinkled with the light of 
stars, and if any person should bow in this 
world to pray for another, may they thankfully 
remember they died in a glory above all 
others, as a gilded example of an age. As the 
great acorns of liberty, they fell from the tree 
of this world so that we of this generation 
may know the splendorous tree of liberty.

As the third day of July concluded in 
Gettysburg with the third day of the battle, 
both sides had succeeded in a historic volume 
and the detestable enterprise of killing their 
enemy. The bodies of blue and gray swam 
upon their own blood, but among that blatant 
waste of the world, a Heavenly reminder was 
taking place. When the sun rose among the 
hills and orchards on the Fourth morning 
of July, the Southern Army had vanished, 
abandoning the battlefield. 

Lincoln had won a necessary victory, 
and the troops of Gettysburg noted that 
on the anniversary of the Declaration of 
Independence, God appeared to proclaim the 
coming peace of His Kingdom. The soldier’s 
example at Gettysburg is timeless, their 
deeds forever recorded as an endowment to 
this world. They blessed this earthly place 
with their sacrifice, and for a season, they 
abandoned their infinite love of peace and the 
common comforts of family, for their eternal 
belief in you and I.