The Declaration of Independence
"At the beginning of the war the colonists had not expected to be free from British rule: indeed they did not wish to be. All they did ask was that they might be treated fairly. But since they had begun to fight, they grew more and more convinced that now nothing less than perfect independence of the mother-country ought to satisfy them.
Then the leading men of the colonies met together at Philadelphia to draw up a writing, in which they declared themselves no longer subject to English rule. Five men, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, Roger Sherman and Robert Livingstone, were appointed to write it out; and when this was done every man in the Congress signed it.
It had been agreed that as soon as the Declaration was adopted the old bell-man should ring the big “Liberty-bell” that hung in the tower of the old State House, in order that the great throng of people outside might know it. This, as I suppose you all know, happened July 4, 1776. "
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