Timetable to Independence
June 7 - August 2, 1776
With the passage of time and the events of the war. the concept of
independence gradually took root and became a growing popular movement.
Many of those in the Congress saw the fulfillment of a dream of liberty in
fighting for independence. Below is a list of chronological events and how
they relate to the moves for independence that took place in the hot summer
The Road to Independence, 1776
- June 7
- In Congress, Richard Henry Lee introduces a resolution,
"That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be,
free and independent states."
- June 11
- A committee is selected to write a formal declaration of the
reasons for independence. Members include Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin
Franklin, John Adams, Roger Sherman, and Robert Livingston.
- July 1
- Debate on Lee's resolution begins in Congress.
- July 2
- Twelve delegations vote to adopt Lee's resolution. New York
- July 3
- The Declaration of Independence is read in Congress and debate
begins on the document. Wording of the document is of special concern.
- July 4
- The Declaration of Independence is adopted by twelve of the
thirteen delegations. Again, New York abstains. On this date, only John
Hancock signs the Declaration.
- July 8
- In Philadelphia, the Liberty Bell rings signaling adoption by
Congress of the Declaration.
- July 15
- Belatedly, New York delegation votes to adopt the Declaration of
- August 2
- In a formal signing ceremony, fifty members of the Second Continental Congress
sign the Declaration of Independence.
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