INDEPENDENCE: The Birth of a New America

At 6 o'clock last Tuesday morning in Philadelphia, Virginia Delegate Thomas Jefferson looked out at the gray sky and then noted that his thermometer registered 70°. Soon afterward, there came a crack of lightning and a sudden deluge. By 9 o'clock, the city was awash. Nearly 50 delegates to the Second Continental Congress slowly filled the ground-floor meeting room of the State House on Walnut Street. They conversed quietly but kept a watchful eye on everyone who came through the door. The room steamed. The...

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