Today, we celebrate the Declaration of Independence, but haven’t you ever wondered how the British reacted to it?
Did you know there was a rebuttal?
Well, there was. A 142 page rebuttal by a Tory pamphleteer named John Lind titled ‘Answer to the Declaration of the American Congress’, and written in the same snarky tone as an attack ad.
But like most attack ads, it also contained a few facts that the rebels didn’t want to face. You remember the part where the Declaration says King George (quote) ‘has incited domestic insurrections among us…’?
John Lind points out that what the rebels were really upset about was that the King had ‘offered freedom to the slaves.’ Quote: ‘Is it for them to say that it is tyranny to bid a slave be free?’
Lind goes on to mock the founders for writing noble words stating, ‘all men are created equal’ and asserting ‘Life Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness’ and then in the same document, complaining about the King for encouraging the slaves to rise up.
‘Is it for them to complain of the offer of freedom held out to these wretched beings? of the offer of reinstating that equality, which, in this very paper, is declared to be the gift of God to all?’
Of course the British knew a wedge issue when they saw it, and they also had a military agenda in wanting to free the slaves.
But even as we celebrate our separation from the mother country, we have to acknowledge, as Jefferson himself would have, that on this point at least, Mom was right."