For the most part the silly conspiracy theories about the establishment of the United States are good only for laughs. One of my favorites, however, features a speech from a mysterious figure usually associated with Freemasons, Rosicrucians and/or the Bavarian Illuminati of Adam Weishaupt.
I don’t believe for one minute that such an enigmatic man showed up and tipped the balance toward ratifying the Declaration of Independence with a fiery, impassioned speech. However, I DO believe that the wording of that fictional tirade is pretty moving and nicely captures the feel of Independence Day.
Here is the relevant part. I’m omitting the ridiculous section where this mystery man supposedly made Nostradamus-style predictions about America’s future.
“They (the British) may stretch our necks on all the gibbets in the land. They may turn every rock into a scaffold, every tree into a gallows, every home into a grave and yet the words of that parchment can never die!”
“They may pour our blood on a thousand scaffolds and yet from every drop that dyes the axe a new champion of freedom will spring into birth. The British king may blot out the stars of God from the sky but he cannot blot out His words written on that parchment there. The works of God may perish … His words, never!”
“The words of this Declaration will live in the world long after our bones are dust. To the mechanic in his workshop they will speak hope. To the slave in the mines, freedom. But to the coward kings these words will speak in tones of warning they cannot choose but hear.”
“Sign that parchment! Sign if the next moment the gibbet’s rope is about your neck! Sign if the next minute this hall rings with the clash of falling axes! Sign by all your hopes in life or death as men, as husbands, as fathers, brothers! Sign your names to the parchment or be accursed forever!”
“Sign, and not only for yourselves but for all ages, for that parchment will be the textbook of freedom … the Bible of the rights of man forever!”
The stranger then supposedly disappeared before the Continental Congress’ members could thank him. Uh. Yeah. Right. But I repeat, the wording is so filled with leonine fire that it’s a shame the speech wasn’t real. The sentiments still apply, though.
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