“Before God, I believe the hour has come. My judgment approves this measure, and my whole heart is in it.
All that I have, and all that I am, and all that I hope in this life, I am now ready here to stake upon it.
And I leave off as I began, that live or die, survive or perish, I am for the Declaration.
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It is my living sentiment, and by the blessing of God it shall be my dying sentiment. Independence now, and Independence for ever!”
– John Adams, Speech to Congress, July 1, 1776; “The World’s Best Orations,” David Josiah Brewer, editor (F.P. Kaiser, Albany, New York: 1899) p. 3856