Sunday, May 15, 2011

May 15, 1776: "one thing after another seem gradually to lead" to Independence

On this date, Stephen Hopkins, a representative of Rhode Island and Provindence Plantation in the Continental Congress, wrote to the governor of the colony, Nicholas Cooke, "I suppose that it will not be long before the Congress will throw off all connection as well in name as in substance with Great Britain, as one thing after another seem gradually to lead them to such a step, they having, within a few days, past a resolve, earnestly to recommend to all the Colonies who, at present are not under a perfect form of Government to take up and form such, each Colony for themselves which I make no Doubt most of them will very soon do."

Referring to the same legislation, and the Preamble to it passed on May 15, Congressman John Adams from Massachusetts wrote to James Warren, "This Day the Congress has passed the most important Resolution, that ever was taken in America."

Paul Herbert Smith, ed., Letters of Delegates to Congress, 1774-1789: Vol. 3: January 1-May 15, 1776 (Washington, D.C.: Library of Congress, 1978), 676, 681.
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