Temple's Diary Temple's Diary

The Electric Franklin

July 2, 1776
"Congress Voting the Declaration of Independence" by Robert Edge Pine, completed by Edward Savage.

Congress has voted for independence! To my surprise, Pennsylvania was reluctant but Grandfather eventually carried the day. He was highly excited when he came home. "Let's have our own celebration right here, around the dining table," he said. "We could do it the day after tomorrow, July 4th. Jane and Sally, get us a really good dinner, please, and I'll work on a plan I'm devising for all of us to read it aloud, in turn, this extraordinary document. Something we'll remember to our last day."

— "What about Willy?" I asked. "He cannot read yet and he won't give us a minute's peace if he feels excluded."

We had to find a way to keep the three-year-old busy, and Benny came up with an idea:

— "Grandpapa could cut up into pieces this thing we'll be reading, one piece for each person, and Willy can hand out the pieces to us. He knows the numbers up to 5, so all we have to do is mark them." With his new teeth, Benny's lisp has almost gone. I miss it.

Aunt Sally, too, had an idea. "I have a big red sash in my drawer. With a piece of chalk I'll write on it Independence. Then I'll wrap it around Willy and pin it tightly. He'll love it."