the real Independence Day
237 years ago, today…
When the preliminary vote for Independence was taken yesterday,
Pennsylvania and South Carolina voted no, while New York abstained, and
Delaware had no delegates on hand to vote. Only 9 of 13 voting yes.
A motion to postpone consideration until the next day was approved. It
was clear that lack of support from two of the largest colonies —
Pennsylvania and New York — would not set the new nation off on the right foot.
But, by the time the vote was called on July 2, the situation had
changed. Most importantly, two of the Declaration’s opponents in
Pennsylvania stayed away, permitting the pro-independence voters to gain
a majority. Secondly, Delaware’s Caesar Rodney arrived, after an
all-night ride, to cast his vote for independence. South Carolina
decided to join in to make it unanimous, while New York continued to
abstain, on the basis that the delegates had no specific instructions
from back home.
On July 2, the American colonies declared independence.