Monday, April 30, 2007

I See Fireworks

Adams sings:

I see the pageant, and pomp, and parade!

I hear the bells ringing out!

I hear the canons roar!

Adams extraordinary prophesy about the way Americans would celebrate the signing of the Declaration of Independence is written in a letter, July 3, 1776, to his wife Abigail. The original lines are as follows:

"I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival. It ought to be commemorated as the day of deliverance by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illumination, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward."

He goes on to say regarding what this declaration will mean:

"...I am well aware of the toil and blood and treasure that it will cost us to maintain this Declaration and support and defend these States. Yet, through all the gloom, I can see the end is more than worth all the means. And that posterity will triumph in that day's transaction, even though we should rue it, which I trust God we shall not."

1 comment:

Doak said...

Adams was prescient in other matters as well. As a student, he wrote to a friend that he believed America could someday become the dominant power in the world, much the way Britain was then. He saw it as part of the natural evoluation of mankind toward freedom, however; not the thinly veiled imperialism it was to become.

He also predicted that if the slavery clause was cut from the Declaration, the U.S would pay dearly for it a hundred years hence--predicting the Civil War and only missing it by a decade or so.