Message From the Mayor: July 2024

Fellow Citizens,

It is July 2024 and it’s hard to believe that 248 years ago, Thomas Jefferson was appointed by the Continental Congress to lead a Committee of Five to write an announcement explaining the reasons for independence. Thomas Jefferson, who chaired the committee and had established himself as a bold and talented political writer, wrote the first draft. This appointment came after June 7, 1776, when Richard Henry Lee introduced a resolution “that these united colonies are and of right ought to be free and independent states.” And we all think we know the rest of the story; but do we really?

We all remember these words from the preamble which were penned by Jefferson to give everyone a reason to shed their blood for the rebellion, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of happiness.” While these are indeed important words to remember, it is the very last line of the document that is the most telling of their commitment to this cause, “And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.” In these 32 words, not only did the signers become famous for their signatures, they also became traitors to the crown with a punishment of death to them and their families and the confiscation of all their possessions.

As we go into this time of celebration, I encourage everyone to go to the link below and study a little about what this holiday really means to you and me: www.archives.gov/founding-docs/declaration/what-does-it-say

As always, you can reach me at (843) 729-0298 or email me at tgoodwin@follybeach.gov