Happy Independence Day !
|1727 - 1820|
The Fourth Of July always makes my think about history. Our history. The history of a strong, independent nation. I am, I think, privileged that my personal history includes being a descendant of of one of the signers of the Declaration Of Independence. His name was William Ellery and he was the governor of Rhode Island at the time . The Ellery house still stands in Newport. Even though I have spent a good deal of my life away from New England it will always be home to me - as it was to my ancestors.
I have a decent grasp on the politics of time which necessitated to wording of the Declaration itself. I wonder, however, what these proud, independent thinking men might think about the way their words and and their intentions have been debated and morphed in the ensuing centuries.
Many of the men who were signatories on the Declaration had legal training and knew how to craft their words. In 1787 the Constitution of The United States followed up on the ideals that began with the Declaration. Rhode Island did not send a delegate to that convention - and I have to wonder why not! I cringe when I consider how these participants at this historic event might be utterly thunderstruck at how modern attorneys have taken their words and their intentions and transformed them into the modern day legislative interpretations. I can't help but think that they might be embarrassed at how politicians and lawyers have taken their courageous intentions and morphed them into legalese that becomes nothing more than semantic drivel.
Generally I consider myself to be apolitical. I have too much to do other than follow the political diatribes and special interest mongering that goes on. Today though I am filled with pride for the foresight and courage than my ancestor showed in placing his signature on the Declaration. I believe that these men really did have the best interests of all the people on their minds and in their hearts when they signed one of these two documents that are the foundations of our history. I can't say that I feel the same way about modern politicians - and that saddens me.
It's odd I think that my ancestors risked everything to break from Britain while I, a humble ancestor, have become a hopeless student of British history. Now back to our regular programming schedule!