A Committee of the Whole

English: Oil on canvas painting of Richard Hen...

English: Oil on canvas painting of Richard Henry Lee; size without frame 75.6×63.3 cm. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Let us take note that today there is a document in the committee of the whole of Congress, for editing. It was written by Mr. Jefferson, pursuant to a resolution offered Virginia Delegate Richard Henry Lee and seconded by John Adams of Massachusetts.

“Resolved, that these United Colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent States, that they are absolved from all allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain is, and ought to be, totally dissolved.”

We would be wise to note that this resolution was passed with heavy hearts, not from fear, but from long affection for our cousins in the United Kingdom.

Believe me, dear Sir: there is not in the British empire a man who more cordially loves a union with Great Britain than I do. But, by the God that made me, I will cease to exist before I yield to a connection on such terms as the British Parliament propose; and in this, I think I speak the sentiments of America.

Thomas Jefferson, November 29, 1775

So it would be. It is the same conflict that led to Magna Charta, and to the Glorious Revolution. This time carried out in a war that would change the world.

We probably won’t take the time later this week so let’s note now that the ensuing unpleasantness would lead to one of the largest mass emigrations the United States would ever see, that of many Loyalists to Canada. They imparted to the Canucks some measure of understanding us without taking our world famous rowdiness with them. God Bless them.

They like the United Kingdom itself would in time become the friends that prove Bismarck’s dictum true, “Great Nations do not have friend, they have interests”. This nation, whatever the regime in Washington thinks, does.

A film clip perhaps, showing Hollywood’s version of the difference between Americans and Canadians.

And so as we begin the celebration of independence this week, we would be wise to remember that while we have the oldest government in the world, we are amongst the youngest of countries. But we had a head start, for we built this country on the shoulders of giants.


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6 Responses to A Committee of the Whole

  1. JessicaHof says:

    I never knew that about the Loyalists – thank you 🙂


    • A good bit of it was to Halifax, not surprisingly.


      • JessicaHof says:

        That’s a whole bit of history which passed me by. It must have been hard for them?


        • Yeah the whole thing was the usual muddle. One needs to remember that in the colonies sentiment was about 1/3 pro, 1/3 con/ and a 1/3 neutral. Roughly like the Civil War in the border states. Ben Franklin’s [son-in-law ?] the Governor of New Jersey spent the rest of his life in London.

          Vindictive would be a good word, it was a long and nasty war, not much of it on the field of honor between Washington and the British Army.


        • JessicaHof says:

          Really, that is so interesting! I knew nothing about it – and am going to find some books to read. I have always been fascinated by the Civil War, but knew absolutely nothing about the Loyalists and this earlier civil conflict.


      • i have, once or twice, heard it referred to as Britain’s Vietnam. All the pieces are there


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