ONE MORE THOUGHT ON THE DECLARATION
The resolution that the American colonies should break from Great Britain and become free and independent states was proposed by Richard Henry Lee, of Virginia, in the Continental Congress, and was unanimously adopted by Congress on July 2, 1776.
The adoption of this resolution on that date caused John Adams to write home to Abigail. He thought that date, July 2, would become the great day of American celebration for independence. He wrote to her:
“Yesterday the greatest Question was decided, which ever was debated the America, and a greater, perhaps, never was nor will be decided among Men . . . .The Second Day of July, 1776, will be the most memorable Epocha [sic], 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. It ought to be solemnized with Pomp and Parade, with Shews [sic], Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires, and Illuminations from one End of the Continent to the other from this Time forward forever more.” (His capitalization retained.)