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The Declaration of Independence - Henry T. Randall

( Originally Published 1927 )


To the Patriots, the Declaration gave strength and courage. It gave them a definite purpose, and a name and object commensurate with the cost. When it was formally read by the magistracy from the halls 0f justice and in the public marts by the officers of the army at the head of their divisions, by the clergy from their pulpits, its grandeur impressed the popular imagination. The American people pronounced it a fit instrument, clothed in fitting words. The public enthusiasm burst forth, sometimes in gay and festive, and sometimes in solemn and religious, observances as the Cavalier or Puritan taste predominated.

In the Southern and Middle cities and villages, the riotous populace tore down the images of monarchs and Colonial governors and dragged them with ropes round their necks through the streets cannon thundered, bonfires blazed the opulent feasted, drank toasts, and joined in hilarious celebrations. In New England, the grimmer joy manifested itself in prayers and sermons, and in religious rites.

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