Declaration of Independence Signatories

Mar 7, 2024 11:26 · 200 words · 1 minute read reading

On a recent trip to DC I picked up a pocket copy of the Declaration of Independence from the Supreme Court. At the back, it has biographies of the signatories. What’s remarkable is just how much agency people took, how much they shifted their lives around, and how “rag tag” it was.

At one point one of them was personally going out soliciting loans to fund the war effort. Another was a doctor, got infuriated at the way the British treated the colonies, and left medicine to be a politician. He went on to become the first governor of New Hampshire.

Throughout there’s a vibe of “people did what it takes to get it done”, rather than waiting around for someone to give them permission to Do The Thing.

I also get the sense that these were people who didn’t have an externally imposed vision of what life is. That they had inner guides and they worked to do right by those (I’m not saying they succeeded at this, or that their inner guides were right, just that the motivation seems like it has to be internal rather than “in the water” to have generated such a variety of trajectories).

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