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A Country Worth Dying For Essay

913 words - 4 pages

The Declaration of Independence begins with the words, “When in the course of human events it becomes necessary”. Thomas Heyward Jr. was but one of fifty-six signers of the Declaration of Independence who of necessity stepped forward to articulate and defend the principles of freedom and divinely endowed “unalienable Rights.” Feeling that these rights had been breached upon, the thirteen colonies listed a total of twenty-seven grievances with King George III and England in the Declaration of Independence. I would like to focus on three of those grievances and why one founding father in particular felt compelled to commit them to paper.
The thirteenth grievance states, “He has combined with ...view middle of the document...


The twenty-second grievance bitterly recalls the king giving his consent “For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever” (US Declaration Ind.). On the very day that the Stamp Act was repealed in 1766, Parliament turned and passed the Declaratory Act in its stead. This, in essence, was an even more oppressive act of Great Britain as it “hardened its principle…by asserting its complete authority to make binding laws on the American colonies” (Encyclopædia Britannica).
One revolutionary in particular who worked first hand to abolish such exorbitant taxation was Thomas Heyward Jr. He grew up on a wealthy plantation in South Carolina, and at the age of twenty ventured to England to study law (United States). After five years in London he moved back to America where he began to practice law (Kindig). The next year, in 1772, he was sent on behalf of his parish to the colonial legislature “which was feuding with the Royal Governor over parliamentary taxation” (United States).
Heyward grew more involved with the revolution and was one of the first in South Carolina to resist the oppressive measures of British rule. In 1774 he helped in the appointing of Delegates to the Continental Congress (United States), and in 1775 was elected to Congress himself in the absence of John Rutledge (Vinci). While serving in Congress, he signed both the Articles of Confederation and the Declaration of Independence. In 1778, he made yet another stride for the sake of justice and became a judge in the criminal courts (United States). Due to a just, yet unfortunate, verdict of treason that he handed down involving several persons linked to the British army, England came to hold a personal vendetta against Heyward. In May of...

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