The 4th of July is the most important Holiday in this great country of ours, as regards its history.
You see, this is a day of celebration where Americans of every race, creed and color, gather with their families and friends to stuff their faces with hot dogs, hamburgers, and anything else they can get their hands on to barbecue, and to play games, watch a video, and get plastered to the gills!
On that day TV News is full of stories of the pride of the American Educational System showing off their knowledge of the reasons we celebrate this day.
Based on what I saw this is what my fellow citizens know:
A bunch of rich, white, land owners Independently went to Philadelphia and went about declaring, to all who would listen, that they were Constipated.
Thomas Hancock, George Adams, John Jefferson, Ben Washington, and a bunch of others, including Abraham Lincoln, and Robert E. Lee, ended their parade with a confab that resulted in the writing down of all their various grievances and a resolution to do something to redress them such as form a self-governing society ( including a unanimous vote that they meet again, once sober, to write down a bunch of rules to live by. ). They then drew lots and sent some guy named Franklin Revere down to the riverbank, to wave a candle at the British Fleet, moored in the harbor, and tell them to Piss Off!
Well, I tell you, I was never so proud of my fellows than when I saw them showing just how smart they were! It was awesome!
I wish to share with you a secret, passed down thru the generations from a Colonial Ancestor of mine, one Billy-Festus Partypooper, a printer by trade:
There were THREE, linguistic, versions of the Declaration of Independence printed that week, long ago.
Yes, I said 3. 2 for mass consumption, and 1 single copy that was hand delivered, by courier, to merry ol' England, for the Kings eyes only (With a copy of it kept for records purposes by persons unknown)
The first, in Plain English, everyone is familiar with, begins as follows:
"When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.
Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.--Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world."
The 2nd, mass produced, version was in Redneck, a language in widespread use in the hinterlands of the Colonies back then, and that can be sporadically found still to be spoken to this day.
A copy of a fragment of the Declaration was found in an attic of an old Boston whorehouse in 1876, and is now in the possession of the National Archives.
It reads as follows:
"He has refused his Assent t'Laws, the dawgoned-est wholesome an' necessary fo' th' public fine. He has fo'bidden his Govahno's t'pass Laws of eemeejut an' pressin' impo'tance, unless suspended in their operashun till his Assent sh'd be obtained; an' when so suspended, he has utterly neglecked t'attend t'them, dawgone it. He has refused t'pass other Laws fo' th' accommodashun of large districks of varmints, unless them varmints'd relinquish th' right of Representashun in th' Legislature, a right inestimable t'them an' fo'midable t'tyrants only. He has called togither legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfy, an' distant fum th' deposito'y of their public Reco'ds, fo' th' sole purpose of fatiguin' them into compliance wif his measures. He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, fo' opposin' wif manly firmness his invashuns on th' rights of th' varmints."
The copy for the eyes of George III himself was, of course, written in the King's English, to cover all the bases of political niceties, and Diplomatic Protocol.
2, separate, fragments were found in a Courthouse in Jackson, Mississippi, in 1976 and are also in the possession of the National Archives as well.
The 1st fragment reads as follows:
"In evry stage of these Oppressions We 'ave Petitioned for Redress in the most 'umble terms: Us repeated Petitions 'ave been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince 'oose character is so marked by evry act wich may define a Tyrant, is unfit ter be the chuffin' ruler of free blokes."
The 2nd fragment appears to be the concluding portion of the Declaration, but without the signatures.
It reads as follows:
"We, therefore, the chuffin' Representatives of the united States of America, right, in General Congress, right, Assembled, appealin' ter the Supreme Judge of the world for the bloomin' rectitude of us intentions, do, in the Name, right, and by Auffority of the good Blokes of these Colonies, right, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought ter be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance ter the bloomin' British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the bloody State of Great Britain, is and ought ter be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they 'ave full Power ter levy War, conclude Peace, right, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and ter do all uvver Acts and Finks wich Independent States may of right do. And for the bloomin' support of this Declaration, wiv a firm reliance on the chuffin' protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge ter each uvver us Lives, our Fortunes and us sacred 'onor."
Legend has it that my ancestor, upon reading the document for the first time, shook his head and wondered, "Why is the power to levy war at the head of the list?"
Then he went to press with the whole damn thing! ;-D
Long may Freedom reign in the greatest country in the world!
This piece of FICTION was written for the "What If" (69th) edition of the Carnival of
Genealogy, on April Fool's Day. ;-D