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John Trumbull: A Pictorial Revolutionary Story

While we all know that the Declaration of Independence was not signed on the Fourth of July (instead it was formally declared on July 2, ratified on the fourth, and signed on August 2 --thank you Ed for reminding us of this important fact 😊), it is in essence its ratification that made the independence an actual fact. In a letter, John Adams wrote to his wife Abigail he said that [Sic] "The second day of July 1776, will be the most memorable epoch in the history of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival. It ought to be commemorated as the day of deliverance, by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forever more. [1]

Interestingly, in 1870, the U.S. Congress made Independence Day an unpaid holiday for federal employees. In 1938, Congress changed Independence Day to a paid federal holiday.[2-3]. Independence Day is commonly associated with imposed impromptu family gatherings, picnics, barbecues, parades (we're gonna get one of scale this year .... one showing of our "military might" to the world ... -At least that is what they want us to believe because the reality is that it is nothing less than a show aimed at competing with Bastille Day in France, and the military parades on the Red Square ... ending to be nothing more than a giant rally used by the current power holders to solidify their political base- And sadly, there is not much we, the people, can do to stop this one from happening. As I am trying to keep this blog apolitical (sometimes I just need to put in my two cents ... 😉... I just have to ...) I will keep it at this.


So, leaving politics on the sidelines, once upon a time, more precisely on June 6, 1756, John Trumbull was born in Lebanon, Connecticut.

He was the son of the Connecticut governor Jonathan Trumbull (a first cousin to the poet John Trumbull). During the American Revolution, he served as an aide to George Washington and achieved the rank of Colonel. In 1784 he went to London to study with painter Benjamin West (one of the founders of the Royal Academy of Arts.) It was at the latter's suggestion and with the encouragement of Thomas Jefferson that he started the series of historical paintings and engravings and would work on them for the remainder of his life. He died in New York, NY on November 10, 1843.

And ... that's it for today. To my American readers, wishing you a safe and happy and fun (we must never forget to include fun ... ) 4th of July. To my all my other worlds' readers, a happy and safe end of week and beginning of summer vacations. Don't forget: Be kind to one another. Namaste!





[1] "Letter from John Adams to Abigail Adams, 3 July 1776, 'Had a Declaration…'". Adams Family Papers. Massachusetts Historical Society. Archived from the original on August 25, 2011. Retrieved June 28, 2009. []

[2-3] Heintze, "How the Fourth of July was Designated as an 'Official' Holiday". "Federal legislation Establishing the Fourth of July Holiday".

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