“Independence Hall: Independent from God?” - Page 4

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Franklin’s Christian influence from a young age and based upon the solidarity of beliefs with other founders, even influenced his pro-Judeo-Christian works in political arenas.  For example, on that great day of July 4, 1776, Congress appointed Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson and John Adams "to bring in a device for a seal for the United States of America."[26]

After Thomas Jefferson first recommended an image reflecting the "children of Israel in the Wilderness, led by a Cloud by Day, and a Pillar of Fire by night….”, he later accepted Benjamin Franklin’s suggestion to adapt the Old Testament account of God’s parting of the Red Sea (see image below).  Do these symbols seem like they could come from those who didn’t associate the Creator with the God of the Bible?  Would we not label anyone today who would want the words on a national seal, “Rebellion to tyrants is obedience to God,” as a religious extremist?  Although not accepted in the final decision, these drafts reveal the religious temper and sentiment of the Revolutionary period, including among Franklin, Jefferson and Adams.


Benjamin Franklin’s description of
proposed seal in his own hand [27]
(Library of Congress)

Also, in 1777, one year after the creation of the Declaration of Independence, the Second Continental Congress, of which Benjamin Franklin was a member though commissioned to France at the time, [28] voted to import 20,000 copies of the Bible (from “Holland, Scotland, or elsewhere”) for the people

of this new nation, because they could not obtain them from England during the Revolutionary War.  Do we merely suppose Franklin would have opposed such an import?  The Committee of Commerce recommended this to Congress because “the use of the Bible is so universal, and its importance so great” (Journals of Congress, Vol. 8, pp. 734-735).[29]

In the Declaration of Independence itself, while absolving their dependence upon Britain, Franklin and the rest of the signers described the One upon whom they would earnestly trust and depend upon with their sacred honor: “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.”[30]  “Firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence”?  Does “firm reliance” sound like questionable religious conviction?  And does “protection of divine Providence” sound like a distant deistic divine watchmaker?


“All men are created equal” from
the Declaration of Independence

Did Franklin struggle with certain orthodox Christian tenets?  Absolutely.  And that struggle continued in some ways until his death, just a few years after the construction of the U.S. Constitution.  Case in point.  On March 1, 1790, just roughly a month before Franklin’s death, he wrote the following in a letter to Ezra Stiles, president of Yale University, who had asked him his views on religion: “As to Jesus of Nazareth, my opinion of whom you particularly desire, I think the system of morals and his religion, as he left them to us, the best the world ever saw or is likely to see; but I apprehend it has received various corrupt changes, and I have, with most of the present dissenters in England, some doubts as to his divinity; tho' it is a question I do not dogmatize upon, having never studied it, and I think it needless to busy myself with it now, when I expect soon an opportunity of knowing the truth with less trouble...." [31]

With regard to the NPS guide, the point here is: with Franklin’s Christian upbringing, his congressional appeal and testimony of an intervening God during the Revolution, the production of biblical portraits for U.S. seals, congressional colleagues’ requests to import bibles, attending Christ Church with his wife Deborah, calling Christianity “the best the world ever saw or is likely to see,” and his autographed affirmation in the “firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence” for the republic, why would any NPS guide choose to teach a packed audience only on Franklin’s deistic tendencies when his Christian sentiment and work was so much broader?

One thing is certain: if Franklin were a deist, he wasn’t a very good one.

By the way, the Independence National Historic Park official website curriculum material for teachers about Benjamin Franklin’s life (a whopping 56 pages for K-12 grades) does not mention one iota about Franklin’s religious background, beliefs, contributions, attendance at church, etc.[32]


Liberty Bell in Philadelphia, with
the biblical admonition from
Leviticus 25:10 etched around the top

(4) “Most of these men owned slaves.  How could good Christians do that?”

The signers of the Declaration of Independence agreed that, “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.”

Most early Americans believed humans were the highest creation of God. Their views were based in the Bible and expressed in the Declaration of Independence.   That is why our forefathers called all Americans to uphold the worth of all men, women, and children in our founding documents and their writings.

The Founders believed equality would give legs to freedom.  As John Adams said, “We should begin by setting conscience free.  When all men of all religions…shall enjoy equal liberty, property, and an equal chance for honors and power…we may expect that improvements will be made in the human character and the state of society.”[33]

Of course there are those who vehemently disagree.  Some fight to demonstrate that our Founders didn’t mean what they said when they spoke about being “created equal.” Others say our Founders said what they meant, but were unable to get over cultural prejudices.  Both groups base their objections upon the alleged basis that many of the Founders owned slaves, were what we today would label chauvinistic, were indifferent to the poor, and condoned the mistreatment of Indians, etc.

I don’t have enough room to address all these objections.  Nor do I feel a necessity to defend every action of our Founders or their humanity.  They didn’t treat one another perfectly back then.  In many ways they failed to meet their own expectations.  But, as George Washington wrote, “We must take human nature as we find it.  Perfection falls not to the share of mortals.” [34]  That includes all of us.  Imperfections riddle us all.  We all fall short.  As Protestants, our forefathers believed that too.[35]  

Our Founders also believed there was something inherent in humanity that called it to a higher purpose.  Doing wrong didn’t take away from the fact that they could do better.  The presence of prejudice didn’t negate their desire for equality.  The Declaration was not a guarantee that everyone would always be treated as equals.  Equal rights are one thing—equal treatment is another.  It took

decades before culture would conform to their ideals. Even today we still seek to practice what they preached.

The Declaration of Independence, however, set the course upon which America would sail.  Though culture would have to catch up to their creeds, inherent within that founding document was the equality for slaves, women, [36] poor, Indians, and even the unborn.  As John Adams wrote,

The dons, the bashaws, the grandees, the patricians, the sachems, the nabobs, call them by what names you please, sign and groan and fret, and sometimes stamp and foam and curse, but all in vain.  The decree is gone forth, and it cannot be recalled, that a more equal liberty than has prevailed in other parts of the earth must be established in America.[37]

What matters here is the fact that the Continental Congress adopted the Declaration of Independence, and believed in its contents for the founding and future of America. That document announced to the whole world that America was established upon the biblical belief that “all men are created equal.”  So valued was the entire human race that George Washington declared, “We have, probably, had too good an opinion of human nature in forming our confederation.” [38]

Our Founders led the way, warts and all.   They even confronted their own biases.  For example, while slavery was considered a cultural norm, most Founders wrestled with it as a trespass before the Almighty and humanity.

George Washington: “There is not a man living who wishes more sincerely than I do, to see a plan adopted for the abolition of it.”[39]

John Adams: “Every measure of prudence, therefore, ought to be assumed for the eventual total extirpation of slavery from the United States….I have, through my whole life, held the practice of slavery in…abhorrence.”

Benjamin Franklin: “Slavery is…an atrocious debasement of human nature.” (His final public act before his death was signing a memorial to Congress recommending the dissolution of the slavery system.)

Alexander Hamilton: “The laws of certain states…give an ownership in the service of Negroes as personal property….But being men, by the laws of God and nature, they were capable of acquiring liberty—and when the captor in war…thought fit to give them liberty, the gift was not only valid, but irrevocable.”

James Madison: “We have seen the mere distinction of color made in the most enlightened period of time, a ground of the most oppressive dominion ever exercised by man over man.” [40]

Our Founders’ struggle for equality made a difference.  Their Great Experiment worked.  In just one century America would taste the fruit of respect for all religious beliefs, women’s suffrage, and the abolition of slavery.

More than merely a foundation for our government and morality, the religious fabric of our nation served as the basis for human worth and equality.   They believed that, if we quit viewing life through the grid of a Creator, intentionally or not, we will cheapen human value, regard one another as unequal, mistreat one another, and increase immorality and uncivil behavior in society.   They were right.

So to answer the NPS guide at Independence Hall in July, “Most of these men owned slaves.  How could good Christians do that?”  Because, in the words of George Washington, “Perfection falls not to the share of mortals.”  And that includes NPS guides who distort history and try to demonize our founders’ characters based solely on an accepted cultural practice of the time which they themselves wanted to dissolve.

By the way, though it is very scant, it was good to see the Independence training materials for teachers (K-12) on your website mention: “In the 1830s, many abolitionists were visiting Philadelphia or living there and they were starting to visit the Pennsylvania State House where the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution were created, and where the State House Bell was on display. This Bell had an inscription (words written on it) from the Bible: “Proclaim LIBERTY throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof”. They decided to use this Bell that had hung in the State House when the founders declared that “all men are created equal” as a symbol for FREEDOM for those who still were not equal and did not have any liberty in America: the enslaved Africans. They began printing images of the Bell on their writings, and they renamed it The Liberty Bell.”[41]

 But, as I noted in my preceding content, there was much abolitionist belief and work by our founders prior to the 1830’s.   It would be nice to see any of it added to these website student materials.


Christ Church in Philadelphia

(5) “We don’t really know for sure about their religion.  It’s open for interpretation.  You’ll have to do your own study on that.”

That uncertain statement was a peculiar response coming from the NPS guide, who clearly conveyed with certainty to the audience that day that he had mastered the essentials about the signers and framers.

In response to his comments, “We don’t really know for sure about their religion.  It’s open for interpretation,” consider first everything I’ve already written in the preceding pages.  Secondly, for him to overly generalize about the founders as if they were unclear or obtuse about their religious passion, belief and often dogmatism is clearly a complete oversight of their actions and written and oral testimonies.  As I’ve already detailed, even with the most debatable founders like Washington, Franklin and Jefferson, we have clear evidence of their pro-Judeo-Christian belief, inclinations and work—even in the political arenas.

Even Thomas Jefferson, hailed as the great separatist who fought against the tyranny of religious denominational sectarianism in the state (and vice versa), nevertheless endorsed the use of government buildings (like the Capitol) for church services, weekly attended the church services there while president, signed a treaty with the Kaskaskia Indians that allotted federal money to support the building of a Catholic church and to pay the salary of the church’s priests, and repeatedly renewed legislation that gave land to the United Brethren to help their missionary activities among the Indians.  Can you imagine any

president doing so today?  He would be labeled a radical, who doesn’t respect or obey the separation of church and state!

Let me remind the NPS guides what we do know.  Many today may not realize that there was an active clergy (Presbyterian minister John Witherspoon) among the signers of the Declaration of Independence.  And two others had been previously ministers. Others were sons of clergy.  Virtually all were Protestant Christians.   Most signers of the Constitution were also Protestant Christians, except two, Carroll and Fitzsimons, who were Roman Catholics.

Among the signers of the Declaration of Independence alone, Christian confessions or affirmations of faith can also be easily found among the writings, speeches or actions of most, including Samuel Adams, Josiah Bartlett, Benjamin Franklin, Elbridge Gerry, John Hancock, Samuel Huntington, Thomas Jefferson, Thomas McKean, John Morton, Robert Treat Paine, Benjamin Rush, Roger Sherman, Richard Stockton, Thomas Stone, John Witherspoon, Oliver Wolcott, etc.[42]

The same is true of the writings, actions and/or practices of the signers of the Constitution, like Gunning Bedford, Jacob Broom, Charles Carroll, John Dickinson, Alexander Hamilton, John Hart, William Samuel Johnson, James Madison, James McHenry, Gouverneur Morris, William Paterson, Roger Sherman, etc. [43]  (Remember, these don’t include a long list of others who influenced, aided the influence, ratified or defended the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution).

M.E. Bradford, late history professor at the University of Dallas, discovered that at least 50, perhaps 52, of the 55 delegates to the Constitutional Convention professed to be orthodox, Trinitarian believers who were in good standing at various Christian churches.  Bradford found that there were 28 Episcopalians, 8 Presbyterians, 7 Congregationalists, 2 Lutherans, 2 Dutch Reformed, 2 Methodists, 2 Roman Catholics, and only 3 Deists. [44]

Even according to “Founders: A Brief Overview” on the National Archives Experience website [45] and  “Signers of the Constitution: Biographical Sketches,” National Park Service website, [46] “Williamson, Madison, Ellsworth, and possibly others had studied theology but had never been ordained.” Abraham Baldwin was a minister.  Often these men were influential in the creation of their home state constitutions, and every state constitution was created with recognition, allegiance to and/or dependence upon Almighty God.[47]

Virtually every signer received an education (public or otherwise) that was steeped in the Judeo-Christian religion.  As you know, most of our early prestigious universities in America were embedded in theological training (Harvard, Yale, Princeton, etc.).  It is estimated that nearly half (24 of 56) of the signers of the Declaration of Independence had eighteenth-century equivalents of bible college or seminary degrees. [48]


Inside Christ Church—visitors checking
out the pew of George Washington,
John Adams, etc.

John Witherspoon, another signer of the Declaration of Independence, explained the sentiment of most of the founders, when he explained these patriotic qualities: “He is the best friend to American liberty, who is most sincere and active in promoting true and undefiled religion, and who set himself with the greatest firmness to bear down on profanity and immorality of every kind.  Whoever is an avowed enemy of God, I scruple not to call him an enemy to his country.”[49]

Our second President John Adams, who assisted Thomas Jefferson in drafting The Declaration of Independence, delivered these words on October 11, 1798 in a military address, "Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other."

And to what religion was Adams referring?  He gave us an answer when he wrote, "The general principles on which the Fathers achieved independence were the only Principles in which that beautiful Assembly of young Gentlemen could Unite...And what were these general Principles?  I answer, the general Principles of Christianity, in which all these Sects were united."[50]

How much clearer can it be?  America was founded as a Christian nation, even though it provided a legal religious openness for the practice of all other faiths.  Our children and grandchildren must understand these things about our history.  And if their teachers or NPS guides won’t teach them, then their parents and grandparents must.

Even the Library of Congress website [51] readily confesses and teaches that on the intricate inter-workings of Congress and Christianity:

Although the Articles of Confederation did not officially authorize Congress to concern itself with religion, the citizenry did not object to such activities. This lack of objection suggests that both the legislators and the public considered it appropriate for the national government to promote a nondenominational, nonpolemical Christianity.

Congress appointed chaplains for itself and the armed forces, sponsored the publication of a Bible, imposed Christian morality on the armed forces, and granted public lands to promote Christianity among the Indians. National days of thanksgiving and of "humiliation, fasting, and prayer" were proclaimed by Congress at least twice a year throughout the war. Congress was guided by "covenant theology," a Reformation doctrine especially dear to New England Puritans, which held that God bound himself in an agreement with a nation and its people. This agreement stipulated that they "should be prosperous or afflicted, according as their general Obedience or Disobedience thereto appears." Wars and revolutions were, accordingly, considered afflictions, as divine punishments for sin, from which a nation could rescue itself by repentance and reformation.

The first national government of the United States was convinced that the "public prosperity" of a society depended on the vitality of its religion. Nothing less than a "spirit of universal reformation among all ranks and degrees of our citizens," Congress declared to the American people, would "make us a holy, that so we may be a happy people."


George Washington's statue
and Independence Hall

No wonder James Madison, the principle author of the Constitution and our fourth president, wrote in Memorial and Remonstrance, 1785: "It is the duty of every man to render to the Creator such homage, and such only, as he believes to be acceptable to him. This duty is precedent both in order of time and degree of obligation, to the claims of Civil Society. Before any man can be considered as a member of Civil Society, he must be considered as a subject of the Governor of the Universe."

By the way, while it was good to see in the teacher-training materials on Independence website (in the article “Daily Life and Diversity in 18th Century Philadelphia”) some inclusions on Bishop William White (rector of several churches in Philadelphia, chaplain of the continental congress, etc), the historical content was again very, very scant as to the religious background, beliefs, practices and contributions of the founders.  About the most reported is: “Christ Church started in 1695 as an Anglican Church of England and is still in use today as an Episcopal Church. Its members included signers of the Declaration of Independence, colonial leaders, and everyday citizens. Many famous people are buried in its burial ground, including Ben Franklin.”


When America’s founders debated and adopted the Declaration of Independence in Independence Hall in Philadelphia, they unanimously affirmed that we were “endowed by our Creator with certain inalienable rights.”  250 years later I’m certain they’d be shocked to hear any NPS tour guide in Independence Hall of all places teaching visitors that they (the founders) were a bunch of atheists, non-religious or even quasi-religious citizens and leaders.

The question is, as the unfortunate courses of other historic parks and monuments (see other stories at NationalTreasures.org or detailed in Chuck Norris’s New York Times bestseller “Black Belt Patriotism”), will Independence Hall become independent from God in its American history too?  With over 2 million visitors alone in 2009, [52] over the years how many have already been taught the same lies and half-truths about our founders’ religious beliefs, practice and passions? 

Again, I know you might be tempted to say this is an isolated case, as I have initially heard that from other national parks who have also revised their religious history, but I would be willing to bet that, while I’m sure some tour guides hit the mark regarding America’s religious history, if our NPS guide said what he did, more than you probably know are regurgitating the same skeptical and revisionist materials. 

I guess what I’m asking is threefold.

First, could you please verify that the training materials for the NPS tour guides at Independence Hall include accurate religious background information on those who drafted, debated, adopted and signed the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution?

Second, could you please verify that NPS tour guides themselves are educated and equipped to talk and teach adequately about our country’s and founders’ rich religious heritage (which was deeply  Judeo- Christian, as you know)?

Third, could you please have your website overseers reconsider the information and training materials there for visitors, teachers and students, in light of the relatively scant history given there about the influence of religion (particularly Judeo-Christianity)? [53]  Again, with all the extensive religious background, influence, information and contributions of our founders on our early American republic, why not have at least one or a couple articles solely designated to “Religion and our founders” or“Religion and our early republic” placed under the website existing categories: “Curriculum Materials”[54]  and/or “Other Resources”? [55]

Again, I respectfully ask you, to ponder what the NPS guide said to one hundred of us about the religion of our founders in the Independence Hall tour, and ask yourself, “Is this what we really want our adults and students who visit this historic site by the millions each year to learn?”

(1) “George Washington didn’t even attend church!”

(2) While the NPS guide physically hunched over, mimicked and mocked one carrying and swinging an oversized bible in his hand, he said to the crowd: “Even if I said the founders were Christians, how could we really know?  Just because people carry a big ol’ Bible in their hand, they can still be atheists!”

(3) “Most of these men owned slaves.  How could good Christians do that?”

(4) “We know that Benjamin Franklin was a deist.”

(5) “We don’t really know for sure about their religion.  It’s open for interpretation.  You’ll have to do your own study on that.”

I appreciate your valuable time in this important matter, as I know you are taken to many things.

If you have any personal questions, don’t hesitate to contact me personally.

I eagerly await your response.


Todd DuBord (M.Div.)
Chaplain for Top Kick Productions
(A Chuck Norris enterprise)
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


1 http://www.skylinechurch.org/images/NGAtourBrochure.pdf

2 http://www.nps.gov/inde/parkmgmt/statistics.htm

3 Though it must be said that, at one point, Washington quit partaking in the Lord’s Supper or communion.  Just before it was served, Washington would get up and leave the service.  Differing theories exist as to why he didn’t partake.  As a pastor and biblical teacher, it is very possible that he refused to participate in the Eucharist out of respect for the divine elements and him not feeling worthy for one reason or another—maybe even from an action as far back as his battles in the Revolutionary war.  Despites God’s unconditional love and forgiveness, I’ve known many through twenty years in the pastorate who refrained out of respect for one personal reason or another, but it had no bearing on the sincerity of the faith—their refrain only referenced their deep commitment

all the more.

4 Though committed to church attendance, Washington’s diaries tell us that he would not always attend church services on Sundays due to his multiple public and private responsibilities as well as bad weather.

5 http://www.pbs.org/georgewashington/milestones/inaugural_address_about.html

6 http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/american_originals/inaugtxt.html

7 George Washington, The Writings of George Washington, John C. Fitzpatrick, editor (Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Offce, 1932), Vol. XV, p. 55, to the Delaware Indian Chiefs on May 12, 1779.

8 http://www.ushistory.org/valleyforge/washington/prayer.html

9 Washington, George.  Farewell Address, 1796.  http://avalon.law.yale.edu/18th_century/washing.asp

10 http://www.mountvernon.org/visit/plan/index.cfm/pid/885/

11 http://wilstar.com/holidays/wash_thanks.html

12 Letter from George Washington to Benedict Arnold, September 17, 1775

13 Letter to the United Baptist Churches in Virginia, May 10, 1789

14 http://www.loc.gov/exhibits/haventohome/haven-haven.html

15First Inaugural Address-- http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/american_originals/inaugtxt.html

16 Franklin, Ben. “Information to those who would remove to America,” 1787

17 Barton, David.  “Affidavit in Support of the Ten Commandments” from Wall Builders http://www.wallbuilders.com/LIBissuesArticles.asp?id=87

18 Article VI of Constitution: “…no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.”

19 To Jedidiah Morse on February 28, 1797.  It is interesting to note that, though a majority of Americans continue to claim to be Christians, a Gallup Poll discovered 45 percent of us would support an atheist for president. Jones, Jeffrey, “Some Americans Reluctant to Vote for Mormon, 72-Year-Old Presidential Candidates,” Gallup Poll, 2/20/07

20  Thomas Paine, Thoughts on Defensive War, 1775

21  Justice James Wilson, a signer of the Constitution, explained the relation between natural law and nature’s God: “As promulgated by reason and the moral sense, it has been called natural [law]; as promulgated by the Holy Scriptures, it has been called revealed law. As addressed to men, it has been denominated the law of nature; as addressed to political societies, it has been denominated the law of nations. But it should always be remembered that this law, natural or revealed, made for men or for nations, flows from the same divine source; it is the law of God….What we do, indeed, must be founded on what He has done; and the deficiencies of our laws must be supplied by the perfections of His.”  Barton, David.  “Affidavit in Support of the Ten Commandments,” Wall Builders http://www.wallbuilders.com/LIBissuesArticles.asp?id=87

22 To James McHenry, on November 4, 1800,


23 George F. Cooledge & Brother: New York

24 http://www.christchurchphila.org/Historic_Christ_Church/Church/Church_History_and_Those_Who_Attended/86/

25 Franklin, Benjamin. “Memoirs of the Life and Writings of Benjamin Franklin,” p. 389.  This was a motion by Franklin to start each day of the convention with daily prayers, particularly because after five weeks of meeting, the Constitutional Convention was experiencing gridlock and divisions.  James Madison recollected that “Hamilton & several others expressed their apprehensions that however proper such a resolution might have been at the beginning of the convention, it might at this late day, 1. bring on it some disagreeable animadversions. &  2. lead the public to believe that the embarrassments and dissensions within the Convention, had suggested this measure.” http://www.beliefnet.com/resourcelib/docs/21/Benjamin_Franklins_Request_for_Prayers_at_the_Constitutional__1.htmlSo it was later said by Dr. Franklin (“Memoirs”) that: “The convention, except for the three or four persons, thought prayers unnecessary.”  But it was only because his constituents believed the public would believe, that after meeting for five weeks and still not being in harmony over their congressional work, the motion for daily prayer would accentuate their disagreements in the public’s eyes—so they agreed to keep their prayers to a private matter.

26 http://www.loc.gov/exhibits/religion/rel04.html

27 http://www.loc.gov/exhibits/religion/f0402as.jpg

28 http://www.loc.gov/exhibits/treasures/franklin-congress.html

29 http://memory.loc.gov/cgi-bin/ampage?collId=lljc&fileName=008/lljc008.db&recNum=360&itemLink=r?ammem/hlaw:@field(DOCID+@lit(jc00897))%230080361&linkText=1 This biblical import was affirmed by the thirteen Colonies by a narrow 7-6 vote, but it was not enacted upon by Congress, probably because Robert Aitken (1734-1802), a Philadelphia printer and the first to publish a Bible in this U.S., was already busy printing the New Testament in 1777, which would also be followed in 1778, 1779, and 1781. (At first the committee thought domestic productions too expensive, only to learn in the end that it was being done by Aitken at less cost than it would be to import).

30 http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/charters/declaration_transcript.html

31 Carl Van Doren. Benjamin Franklin. New York: The Viking Press, 1938, p. 777

32 http://www.nps.gov/inde/forteachers/upload/Benjamin%20Franklin%20Lesson%20Plans%20Feb%202010.pdf

33 John Adams to Dr. Price, 1785.  “Americans are so enamored of equality that they would rather be equal in slavery than unequal in freedom.” Alexis de Tocqueville

34  To John Jay, August 1, 1786.

35 “It is a pity that such feelings should exist; but they are the offspring of human nature, which is not what it should be, nor what it once was.” John Jay to Judge Peters Bedford, January 25, 1819.

36 “Abigail Adams writes to her husband, John, who is attending the Continental Congress in Philadelphia, asking that he and the other men--who were at work on the Declaration of Independence—‘Remember the Ladies.’ John responds with humor. The Declaration's wording specifies that "all men are created equal." http://lcweb2.loc.gov/ammem/naw/nawstime.html

37  To Patrick Henry, June 3, 1776

38 George Washington to John Jay, August 15, 1786 in John Jay’s Correspondence and Public Papers of John Jay (Vol. 3), p.  208

39 George Washington also demonstrated the value of women for many, “Nor would I rob the fairer sex of their share in the glory of a revolution so honorable to human nature, for, indeed, I think you ladies are in the number of the best patriots America can boast.”  From George Washington to Annie Boudinot Stockton, August 31, 1788

40 West, Thomas G.  Vindicating the Founders, p. 5.

41 “Quest for Freedom: Abolitionists and the Underground Railroad”--


42 http://www.wallbuilders.com/LIBissuesArticles.asp?id=8755

43 http://www.wallbuilders.com/LIBissuesArticles.asp?id=8755

44 M.E. Bradford, A Worthy Company: Brief Lives of the Framers of the United States Constitution, 1982.

45 http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/charters/constitution_founding_fathers_overview.html

46 http://www.nps.gov/history/history/online_books/constitution/bio.htm

47 http://www.usconstitution.net/states_god.html

48 http://www.wallbuilders.com/LIBissuesArticles.asp?id=100

49 John Witherspoon, 1776

50  To Thomas Jefferson on June 28, 1813.  There are many other quotes like these.  For example, John Quincy Adams, America’s sixth President, spoke at an Independence Day celebration in 1837, “Is it not that the Declaration of Independence first organized the social compact on the foundation of the Redeemer's mission upon earth? That it laid the corner stone of human government upon the first precepts of Christianity…?  Finally, Andrew Jackson, our seventh President, pointed to a Bible as he lay sick near death in 1845 and said, "That book, sir, is the rock on which our republic rests."

51 http://www.loc.gov/exhibits/religion/rel04.html

52 http://www.nps.gov/inde/parkmgmt/statistics.htm

53 http://www.nps.gov/inde/forteachers/

54 http://www.nps.gov/inde/forteachers/curriculummaterials.htm

55 http://www.nps.gov/inde/forteachers/otherresources.htm





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