Isn’t life so strange in that some people seem to receive a lot of attention and recognition for their deeds and actions, while others doing equally great deeds seem to receive little or no attention or recognition at all.

Such is the case of one man – Caesar Rodney –

perhaps one of the most overlooked characters in our American history,

because without his part, our Declaration may have turned out so very differently without his great part.

You see, in that July of 1776 after the Declaration was written but had not passed, the delegates had to meet and talk and sometimes argue about just what to do. What many do not know is that several of the delegates were in favor of there being no break from England – they insisted that the colonies continue dialogue with the British Parliament, keep working for a peaceful solution.

Because of their unwillingness to vote for independence, the vote for passage of the Declaration was falling far short of passing.

So, how did it pass?

In steps one character – a man most Americans have never even heard of – his name –

Caesar Rodney.

Who was Caesar Rodney? He was one of the delegates from the colony of Delaware to be sent to the Continental Congress meeting there in July, 1776, but he could not get there because he was very sick.

On the first vote for Independence, the vote was short – only ten colonies voted “yes”, and one of the dissenting colonies was his colony, Delaware. Its vote was split and only he could cast the vote to break the deadlock. And on that next day at 1pm, a final vote for Independence was to be taken –

literally everything was on the line.

So, a dispatch was sent to Caesar Rodney’s home.

By the time the rider arrived at Rodney’s home, it was 2am. He explained to Rodney the circumstance.

Rodney was suffering from a severe case of asthma and had been advised that he should not travel.

But despite his serious illness, Rodney prepared to make the trip by horseback of almost eighty miles to Philadelphia –

he had only a few hours to get there or the vote for Independence could very well be lost.

Caesar Rodney rode literally all night long through a terrible storm and the next morning through a severe summer heat wave to arrive at the meeting hall just in time for the 1 o’clock vote.

Because he was sick and exhausted, he had to be literally carried into the meeting hall.

As the other delegates watched on, Caesar Rodney dramatically placed his tie breaking vote, and his selfless act of dedication to the cause of freedom was so moving that all remaining dissenters changed their votes.

Yes, that’s right. The vote for Independence passed because of a man almost unknown in our nation’s history – Caesar Rodney.

The moral to the story?

Do what is right regardless of the recognition you may or may not receive. And remember –

Actions do have results.

What are you being called to do?

About Jerry Stewart

I am a story teller. Since 1998, I have been telling the true stories of our nation and those Americans gone before us.  To say the least, these stories have been well received by Americans, both young and old.  So, here’s where the stories have taken me.  In 1998, I was broadcasting my stories on just one radio station in Washington State.  Today, from Texas 15 years later, these programs are now broadcast through a syndicated radio network to over 400 radio stations all across America, with literally millions of listeners.

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“The Most Famous Tea Party in History”

    We’ve all heard of the Boston Tea Party, but few really know just what happened. The year was 1763 and Great Britain had just ended a war known as the “Seven Years War”, and this war had driven the British government so deep into debt that a series of tax laws were passed to help pay that debt – and these laws made their way to America.

Now, the way the colonists saw it was that they had no say or representation in their national government, and, therefore, Parliament had no right to tax them. This is where the saying came from, “no taxation without representation”.

Well, in 1766, Parliament passed what is called the “Declaratory Act”. This act gave the British government the authority to legislate the laws and rules for the American colonies, and in all cases the government had the final authority.

So, colonist groups began to organize at the grassroots level and they formed patriotic clubs and organizations known as the “Sons of Liberty”. They would use these club meetings to talk through their unfair circumstances and they began to send delegates and representatives to the British leaders to try and convince them that what they were doing was not for the good of the people. But the British government had their own ideas as to what was best for the people, so most of the time they would not even listen.

Starting to sound a little too familiar?

    So as the different Liberty groups in each city began to form and grow, they found themselves linking up with other city groups causing them to become bolder in their speaking out. In the City of Boston there was a famous elm tree where the Sons of Liberty would meet. This tree came to be known as the “Liberty Tree” and it became a rallying point for the growing colonist resistance against the British rule. Soon each city and community began to pick their own liberty tree as a meeting spot as a symbol of their individual liberty. As these liberty groups began to me in large numbers and the attendance began to grow, in their attempt to stop these meetings, the British government ordered that holding any meetings not authorized by the government was against the law. So, the Sons of Liberty members began to meet in secret.

Well, the struggle continued between the colonists and the British government with more and more laws being enacted. What seemed to be the final straw was that in 1773, a new act, the “Tea Act” was passed, placing a heavy tax on all tea transported to the colonies. Shortly after the Tea Act was passed, a number of ships entered Boston Harbor carrying on board hundreds of thousands of pounds of tea. When the local liberty group heard of the ship’s arrival, they sent a message to the ship’s captain not to unload the tea because they would not pay that tax. But the local British authorities would not budge, so there sat the three ships in Boston Harbor.

Now no one knows for sure who really planned that “tea party” or who the real leaders were, but one night somewhere between 30 and 130 Men thinly disguised as Indians boarded the three ships and, over the course of three hours, dumped all the tea into the harbor – this dumping of that tea became known as the “Boston Tea Party”. Interestingly enough, later that Tea Act was actually repealed, but the damage had already been done, and the people had determined that their government would not listen to them – and they began to move for independence.

So, here’s my question for you, “Are the events in our lives which make us wake up and act – are they good or bad?” It was patriot, Edmund Burke, who said, “He who wrestles with us strengthens our nerves and sharpens our skills; our antagonist is our helper”.

But this one thing we do know – if the British government had not pushed the colonists too far, well, today, we might still be speaking with a British accent.

And one last thought, “What should “We The People” be doing today if we feel we are not being heard?

And are mere protests enough? You tell me.

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