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The room in “Independence Hall ” in which Congress sat when the proceedings respecting a Declaration of Independence took place and when the Declaration on parchment was signed (except perhaps by Thomas M:Kean). (The photograph was taken in July, 1905.)

OF INDEPENDENCE

—ITS HISTORY

I have sometimes asked myself whether my country is better for my
having lived at all? I do not know that it is. I have been the
instrument of doing the following things; but they would have been
done by others; some of them perhaps a little better.

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NEW YORK · DODD, MEAD AND COMPANY · MCMVI

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Preface

T HIS work is offered to the American people

not only in the hope that it may be welcomed

as a readable and reliable history of the Declaration of Independence but in the hope that it may in some degree tend to keep alive in their hearts the love of Liberty that possessed the Fathers.

Benjamin Rush writes, to Rev. Mr. Gordon, at Roxbury, Mass., December 10, 1778: "[Rid] Put us not off with Great Britain's acknowledging our independance Alas! the great Ultimatum of our modern patriots. It is liberty alone that can make us happy. And without it the memorable 4th of July 1776 will be execrated by posterity as the day in which pandora's box was opened in this country. I am impatient to see your history."

That there are numerous quotations between its covers is due to a belief of the author that the subject called less for his own views than for facts, and also to a belief that the very words afforded the most pleasing presentation.

From some of those whose names have come down to us, numerous quotations have been made; from others, none at all. In this, there has been no intent to slight any particular person or Colony. Many of the patriots were

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