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[459] own mind the approaching terrible conflict of which
Chap. XLIX.} 1776. July 1.
America could not ward off the calamities, not even flattering himself with halcyon days among the colonies after their separation from Great Britain, was content with what he had done; for freedom was in his eyes a counterbalance to poverty, discord, war, and more.

On the second day of July there were present in

congress probably just fifty members. Rodney had arrived from Delaware, and joining Mackean secured that colony. Dickinson and Morris stayed away, which enabled Franklin, Wilson, and Morton, of Pennsylvania, to outvote Willing and Humphreys. The South Carolina members, for the sake of unanimity, came round; so though New York was still unable to vote, twelve colonies, ‘without one dissenting colony,’ 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.’

After this great day, the mind of John Adams heaved like the ocean after a storm. ‘The greatest question,’ he wrote,

was decided which ever was debated in America, and a greater, perhaps, never was nor will be decided among men. When I look back to 1761, and run through the series of political events, the chain of causes and effects, I am surprised at the suddenness as well as greatness of this revolution. Britain has been filled with folly, and America with wisdom. It is the will of Heaven that the two

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