I have lived, sir, a long time, and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth: that God governs in the affairs of man. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without His notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without His aid? We have been assured, Sir, in the Sacred Writings that except the Lord build the house, they labor in vain that build it.
Benjamin Franklin, June 1787
No people can be bound to acknowledge and adore the invisible Hand which conducts the affairs of men more than the people of the United States. Every step by which they have advanced to the character of an independent nation seems to have been distinguished by some token of providential agency.
God presides over the destinies of nations.
...my confidence will under every difficulty be best placed, next to that which we have all been encouraged to feel in the guardianship and guidance of that Almighty Being whose power regulates the destiny of nations, whose blessings have been so conspicuously dispensed to this rising Republic, and to whom we are bound to address our devout gratitude for the past, as well as our fervent supplications and best hopes for the future.
If we persevere in the career in which we have advanced so far and in the path already traced, we cannot fail under the favor of a gracious Providence, to attain the high destiny which seems to await us......I enter on the trust to which I have been called by the suffrages of my fellow-citizens with my fervent prayers to the Almighty that He will be graciously pleased to continue to us that protection which He has already so conspicuously displayed in our favor.
The Christian foundation of America is reflected in the biographies of our founders and in the documents they created when forming a government for the newly independent United States of America.
From the corruption of the Church of England in the middle ages and the time of the courageous protestors against abuses in the Church to the Renaissance and discovery of America as a refuge, Christianity has in one way or another dominated most aspects of Western culture.
European explorers to the New Land carried their severely religious heritage with them. America's beginnings were seeded with a Christian background which grew and incorporated itself with the formation of a new nation as is shown in colonial laws and declarations.
As colonists became aware that their best interests were changing, they saw the need for states' independence. The several states were not religiously neutral in their ethical, educational, legal, or political professions and moral values. They were distinctly Christian.
Original Thirteen States
|Colony/State||Year colony founded||Founded by|
|New Hampshire||1623||John Wheelwright|
|Rhode Island||1636||Roger Williams|
|Delaware||1638||Peter Minuit/New Sweden Company|
|South Carolina||1663||Eight Nobles w/Royal Charter from Charles II|
|New Jersey||1664||Lord Berkeley & Sir George Carteret|
|New York||1664||Duke of York|
|Georgia||1732||James Edward Oglethorpe|
After we became a nation, new state and federal laws were written; but they were not begun from scratch. Much of the common law already in the colonies was built upon, not discarded.
The early settlers developed colonial charters that were decidedly evangelical in their purpose, often expressing a goal for their colony to advance the Christian religion. As the country progressed up to the revolutionary war period, state constitutions evolved from the charters. Those state constitutions served to maintain the order already established by the original charters, the charters based on Christianity.
"I verily believe Christianity necessary to the support of civil society. One of the beautiful boasts of our municipal jurisprudence is that Christianity is a part of the Common Law. . . There never has been a period in which the Common Law did not recognize Christianity as laying its foundations."
[Commentaries on the Constitution of the United States p. 593]
This is a photographic reproduction of an original
two-dimensional work of art. The original image comprising the work of art
itself is in the public domain.
This work is in the public domain in the United States because it is a work of the U. S. Federal Government under the terms of Title 17, Chapter 1, Section 105 of the US Code.
The greatest motive I had or have for engaging in or for continuing my pursuit of painting has been the wish of commemorating the great events of our country's Revolution.
First Amendment Religion Clauses- Signers of the Declaration
Debates in the First Federal Congress Regarding A Religious Amendment to the Constitution
Let each citizen remember at the moment he is offering his
vote that he is not making a present or a compliment to please an individual —
or at least that he ought not so to do; but that he is executing one of the most
solemn trusts in human society for which he is accountable to God and his
Samuel Adams, in the Boston Gazette, April 16, 1781
|Name||State||Place of Birth||Birth Date||Death Date||Occupation|
|Adams, John||Massachusetts||Quincy, MA||10/30/1735||7/4/1826||Lawyer|
|Adams, Samuel||Massachusetts||Boston, MA||9/27/1722||10/2/1803||Merchant|
|Bartlett, Josiah||New Hampshire||Amesbury, MA||11/21/1729||5/19/1795||Physician|
|Braxton, Carter||Virginia||Newington, VA||9/10/1736||10/10/1797||Plantation Owner|
|Carroll of Carrollton, Charles||Maryland||Annapolis, MD||9/19/1737||11/14/1832||Merchant/Plantation Owner|
|Chase, Samuel||Maryland||Somerset Co., MD||4/17/1741||6/19/1811||Lawyer|
|Clark, Abraham||New Jersey||Elizabethtown, NJ||2/15/1741||9/15/1794||Lawyer/Surveyor|
|Clymer, George||Pennsylvania||Philadelphia, PA||3/16/1739||1/24/1813||Merchant|
|Ellery, William||Rhode Island||Newport, RI||12/22/1727||2/15/1820||Lawyer/Merchant|
|Floyd, William||New York||Brookhaven, NY||12/17/1734||8/4/1821||Land Speculator|
|Franklin, Benjamin||Pennsylvania||Boston, MA||1/17/1706||4/17/1790||Scientist/Printer|
|Gerry, Elbridge||Massachusetts||Marblehead, MA||7/17/1744||11/23/1814||Merchant|
|Gwinnett, Button||Georgia||England||1735||5/15/1777||Merchant/Plantation Owner|
|Hall, Lyman||Georgia||Wallingford, CT||4/12/1724||10/19/1790||Physician/Minister|
|Hancock, John||Massachusetts||Quincy, MA||1/12/1737||10/8/1793||Merchant|
|Harrison, Benjamin||Virginia||Charles City Co., VA||4/7/1726||4/24/1791||Plantation Owner/Farmer|
|Hart, John||New Jersey||Hunterdon Co., NJ||1711||5/11/1779||Land Owner|
|Hewes, Joseph||North Carolina||Kingston, NJ||1/23/1730||10/10/1779||Merchant|
|Heyward Jr., Thomas||South Carolina||St. Helena Parrish, SC||7/28/1746||3/6/1809||Lawyer/Plantation Owner|
|Hooper, William||North Carolina||Boston, MA||6/17/1742||10/14/1790||Lawyer|
|Hopkins, Stephen||Rhode Island||Providence, RI||3/7/1707||4/13/1785||Merchant|
|Hopkinson, Francis||New Jersey||Philadelphia, PA||10/2/1737||5/9/1791||Lawyer/Musician|
|Huntington, Samuel||Connecticut||Windham, CT||7/3/1731||1/5/1796||Lawyer|
|Jefferson, Thomas||Virginia||Albermarle Co., VA||4/13/1743||7/4/1826||Lawyer/Plantation Owner|
|Lee, Francis Lightfoot||Virginia||Mt. Pleasant, VA||10/14/1734||1/11/1797||Plantation Owner|
|Lee, Richard Henry||Virginia||Stratford, VA||1/20/1732||6/19/1794||Plantation Owner/Merchant|
|Lewis, Francis||New York||Wales||3/21/1713||12/30/1802||Merchant|
|Livingston, Philip||New York||Albany, NY||1/15/1716||6/12/1778||Merchant|
|Lynch Jr., Thomas||South Carolina||Prince George's Parrish, SC||8/5/1749||1779||Lawyer|
|McKean, Thomas||Delaware||Chester Co., PA||3/19/1735||6/24/1817||Lawyer|
|Middleton, Arthur||South Carolina||Charleston, SC||6/26/1742||1/1/1787||Plantation Owner|
|Morris, Lewis||New York||West Chester Co., NY||4/8/1726||1/22/1798||Plantation Owner|
|Morris, Robert||Pennsylvania||England||1/31/1734||5/8/1806||Merchant/Land Speculator|
|Morton, John||Pennsylvania||Ridley Township, PA||1724||1777||Farmer|
|Nelson Jr., Thomas||Virginia||Yorktown, VA||12/26/1738||1/4/1789||Merchant/Plantation Owner|
|Paca, William||Maryland||Abington, MD||10/31/1740||10/13/1799||Lawyer/Plantation Owner|
|Paine, Robert Treat||Massachusetts||Boston, MA||3/11/1731||5/12/1814||Lawyer/Scientist|
|Penn, John||North Carolina||Carolina Co., VA||5/6/1740||9/14/1788||Lawyer|
|Read, George||Delaware||Northeast MD||9/18/1733||9/21/1798||Lawyer|
|Rodney, Caesar||Delaware||Dover, DE||10/7/1728||6/29/1784||Plantation Owner/Soldier|
|Ross, George||Pennsylvania||New Castle, DE||5/10/1730||7/14/1779||Lawyer|
|Rush, Benjamin||Pennsylvania||Philadelphia, PA||1/4/1746||4/19/1813||Physician|
|Rutledge, Edward||South Carolina||Christ Church Parrish, SC||11/23/1749||1/23/1800||Lawyer/Plantation Owner|
|Sherman, Roger||Connecticut||Newton, MA||4/19/1721||7/23/1793||Lawyer|
|Stockton, Richard||New Jersey||Princeton, NJ||10/1/1730||2/28/1781||Lawyer|
|Stone, Thomas||Maryland||Charles Co., MD||1743||10/5/1787||Lawyer|
|Thornton, Matthew||New Hampshire||Ireland||1714||6/24/1803||Physician|
|Walton, George||Georgia||Cumberland Co., VA||1741||2/2/1804||Lawyer|
|Whipple, William||New Hampshire||Kittery, ME||1/14/1730||11/28/1785||Merchant|
|Williams, William||Connecticut||Lebanon, CT||4/18/1731||8/2/1811||Merchant|
|Witherspoon, John||New Jersey||Scotland||2/5/1723||11/15/1794||Minister|
|Wolcott, Oliver||Connecticut||Windsor, CT||11/20/1726||12/1/1797||Lawyer|
|Wythe, George||Virginia||Elizabeth City Co., VA||1726||6/8/1806||Lawyer|