about the Declaration of Independence
It was the fourth of July 1776
and the English troop ships had just been sighted off the coast of New York. We were meeting in Philadelphia but New York was not that far away. For what seemed like weeks the delegates
had been debating the Declaration of Independence and how to 'clean it
up' by arguing over what words to change. One delegate even demanded
that one 'the' be changed to an 'a' but three others thought that this particular
'the' needed to stay a 'the' and not be changed to an 'a'. And so it went on and on. It would have gone on forever
if someone didn't step up and stop the bickering.
It was looking like I was going
to be climbing the gallows steps by myself for writing the Declaration
of Independence while all the other delegates looked on. It seemed that my neck
alone was to be stretched by the English rope for having started it all.
What you got were pretty paintings
like this one (right) of a group of sedate and older than they were, at the time,
also got some mostly absurd quotes as well.
'John Hancock, President of
the Second Continental Congress, warned the delegates, "There
must be no pulling different ways: we must all hang together."
Benjamin Franklin, Philadelphia's
legendary wit, is said to have added, "We must indeed all hang
together, or most assuredly we will all hang separately."'
These and all the other 'quotes' you
got are misquotes. (Misquotes
are lies that people like to hear.) They were made up much later. The
fear that was created by the arrival of the first English troop ships
prevented any such calm that would in turn would have allowed the invention of such
creative statements as Ben's immediate and snappy comeback. Christ sakes
at any second cannon balls from English ships might have come crashing through the walls
and killed us all.
See the map at the right which shows how the hall we were in was a very dangerous half mile from where the English ships could have easily fired from at any time. Or bring up this 19th century panorama from the steeple showing the river in the background.
In fact four 'man of wars' could have sailed up the river at any time and simultaneously fired a 240 cannon balls broadside into independence hall with it's impossible to miss 5 story tall bell tower and reduced it completely to rubble. Why they didn't kill us all right then and there I have no idea. Truthfuly it was just an indication of the lack of intelligence of their leaders which if you really got down to it then it was the stupidity of the leaders of the British which was causing us to rebel in the first place.
Gosh, the thought of that possibility still sickens me as it did then. It's been 230 years, how long does it take to get over things like this? Anyone who has been in war know exactly how I feel.
Those dangerous times simply did not support such
prose. The misquotes also used some words that were only used by English
aristocrats. Any one who spoke like them were unceremoniously booted back
to England or to Canada. Also, a couple of these words were simply not used
at the time. The problem probably stems from the language of the English
court which is how the Constitution was exclusively written. Ben Franklin
did not talk like that at all. Read Poor Richard's Almanac for examples
of the style of language that he used or read on for an excellent example.
What Ben Franklin said was
much more direct and to the point. Ben bellowed out in his oversized voice
'Fuck it, we are all going to sign'. And then one of the northern
delegates said something to the effect, 'If anyone doesn't sign this paper the
way it is then he is a Tory and a spy. He will never make it out of this
room to tell the enemy our names.'
Another five delegates half
drew their swords and two moved to block the door so that everyone immediately
the signing was like this misprinted stamp of the signing (left or a larger version here). What you got was totally upside
down and the opposite of what happened. So you learned the same B.S. that was sent to England.
The picture on the right is
fairly accurate except that it was also the opposite. I was the one sitting
at the table and then every hour Ben would come by, pickup what I had
written. Then he would go across the room to sit down to read it. I'd dread it when he came back
and made comments like a college professor or reached over for the pen
but most of all I hated it when he suggested an addition. Usually it was a witticism
which belonged in the Farmers Almanac, not in the document I was writing.
Waiting for days on end to
hear his throat clear to get my attention like one of my former professors
just to look up and see his stern face would jolt me back to this world
faster than anything else could. These interruptions had the same effect
on me as probably when you are making love with your girlfriend and she
calls you by her previous boyfriend's name. Ben's additions left me upset
about probably the very same things that your girlfriend calling you by her former boyfriends name does.
What do I mean? For instance, I wondered whether
I should continue and just how important it really was. Also I couldn't
stop at the time to consider these questions. And like you probably did, afterwards
I wondered for a very long time about the explanation that I was given
as a reason and you know durn well that I didn't believe the explanation for even one
I had thought about how to
write the Declaration of Independence for three years and according to
almost all logical thought processes a revolution could not be rationalized.
No colony of any country had successfully revolted and gained independence from any European
power and England was the greatest of those powers. She had huge resources
of men, ships and machines. So there was no other way to write the Declaration
of Independence than to mimic the style of Shakespeare (and parts of the New Testament that
had little logic but in fact seemed to work quite well). So I threw out logic completely and turned 100% to emotions.
I also decided to use the style
of the world's greatest symphonies and a few great novels..
What I am going to share with
you is not a repeat of old information about the meaning of each of the
lines in the Declaration of Independence. I have been there and done that so please go to the library for such banal and false information.
I'm going to share with you
the secrets of how I actually made the Declaration of Independence . Then you
can apply this style to your own declaration or even to love letters.
You will see this next on the detailed
page. Notice how the words build an emotional tension? Then the subtopic ends.
Then there is break. The emotional charge and tension remains. Then a
new subtopic starts but the charge of emotion picks up from where it left
off and builds stepwise. It does this sequence three times and then abruptly
transforms. It becomes a series of short hard and direct thrusting statements
which climax in a crescendo of orgasmic spurts of pain, anguish and rage.
The Declaration of Independence is sex, pure and simple.
This was my intention but then
Ben asked to put in two witty speeches (see the detailed
page) and that ruined the effect that I was trying to achieve.
It should be clear to you
now that the United States is powerful because it has a highly sexually
charged nature integrated deeply into it's very beginning.
The above painting is also realistic
for a second reason. The room looks a lot like mine does now in terms
of cleanliness or lack of it. I used to have five servants that cleaned
up after me and kept things picked up. They were too sickly to work in
the field in the hot summer but the policy was that we all worked. So I
had to make work for them in the form of messes. That way they didn't feel unneeded.
(The original Declaration of
Independence was signed by all participants but I think it was burned by the English
in The War of 1812. When copies were printed on July 4, 1776 the signatures
were not included so that we could literally get out of town quickly without getting killed. As soon
as the evil English found out they would be looking for us and offering
rewards. Once people read the declaration they would support it and protect
us but until they read it and thought it over, which took about two months,
we had to keep our names a secret. Officially it was signed in August.
It's seems to be always that way with us. The unconsciously evil as well
as those who know they are evil go all out to stop us protectors of all
things good long before the good people realize what we have to offer
them and that we are indeed there to help them.)
With all the changes (as
seen here) and the debates on July 4, 1776 there would have obviously been about four
'nays' and about five abstaining if they hadn't been forced at sword point
into all voting 'yea' concerning that durn piece of parchment.