The men who mutually pledged their Lives, Fortunes and sacred Honor
for the support of this Declaration,
with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence ,
signed the parchment with flourish.
Notable is the bold signature of John Hancock,
who signed it in large script -so the story is told-
King George III would be able to read it ,even with his weak eyes.
With strongly inked strokes signed Lewis Morris, Roger Sherman, and Robert Treat Paine.
Benjamin Franklin finished his signature with a flowery scribble, as , to a lesser extent did Abraham Clark and William Ellery. Looks like the finest calligraphy.
In the middle of the left column of signatures
is a quavering abbreviated signature:
It's wrinkled, crooked appearance is the dandelion on the lawn
of the beautiful, stately signatures and perfectly penned Declaration.
However, it has always drawn my eyes to the bottom left corner
of that treasured document for another reason,
Stephen Hopkins, is my Great-Great-Great-Great-Great-Grandfather.
"In 1764 Stephen Hopkins penned
The Rights of Colonies Examined
published first in the Providence Gazette,
and which in 1765 by the order of the
General Assembly was reprinted as a pamplet,
and reissued in London in 1766 as
The Grievances of the American Colonies
Candidly Examined. This famous work
criticized parliamentary taxation
(the Stamp Act) and recommended colonial
home rule, and established Hopkins as one
of the earliest of the patriot leaders.
In 1765 he was elected chairman of the
committee appointed by a town
meeting in Providence to draft instructions
to the General Assembly on The Stamp Act.
The resolutions that were adopted were
nearly identical to those Patrick Henry
introduced into the House of Burgesses of
As Rhode Island's Chief Justice, he
contributed to America's 'First Blow for Freedom'® ,the sinking of the HMS Gaspee in 1772.
An abolitionist who freed his own slaves in 1773, he sponsored the bill that banned importation of slaves into Rhode Island the next year. Member of the Continental Congress from 1774 to 1776 , he was a proud signer of the Declaration. He had cerebral palsy, which left his right hand weak, he signed with his left hand helping guide his right, saying,
May we Americans, in our course of human events,
be as strong as they in the support of liberty,
even if our hands tremble on occasion.
God Bless America.
Happy Independence Day
From Terry_Jim and the
Lazy Half S Ranch
SACRED TO THE MEMORY OF
HIS NAME IS ENGRAVED
HERE lies the man in fateful hour,
Stephen Hopkins greatly contributed to the destruction by others of the burning of the hated British revenue schooner, HMS Gaspee, by advising Deputy Governor Darius Sessions in March of 1772 that the actions of the commander of the vessel were probably illegal.
the burning of the Gaspee is celebrated annually in Pawtuxet ,RI .
HMS Gaspee was the first ship sunk by the American colonists in the Revolutionary War.
Stephen Hopkins is credited by historians (or considered an un - indicted co-conspirator, if you look at it from the other side of the Atlantic) in the burning of the Gaspee.
Here's the oddity:
The first US ship to sink a German ship in WW II?
The US Merchant Marine Ship SS Stephen Hopkins !!