Actually, it was a nerve-racking declaration

July 4, 1776—The text is unanimously agreed to by the Continental Congress

When Ben Franklin said “Indeed we must all hang together or most assuredly we shall all hang separately,” he wasn’t being flip. 

Every man who signed the Declaration understood he might also be signing his own ticket to the gallows. (Yet not one representative of the Thirteen Colonies refused to do so.)

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