Caesar Rodney – Patriot 1784

Caesar Rodney has been called the savior of the Declaration of Independence

Caesar Rodney of Delaware made an historic ride to vote for the adoption of the Declaration of Independence

Rodney served as a soldier, a judge, a delegate to the Continental Congress, chief executive of Delaware, speaker of the Delaware Assembly, and justice of the Delaware Supreme Court. His name was Caesar Rodney.

During the Continental Congress’ debate over the resolution on American independence, it became clear that the Delaware delegation was deadlocked. Colonel McKean sent to Delaware for Rodney to return to Philadelphia to break the deadlock.

Caesar Rodney’s Historic Ride

On the night of July 1-2, 1776, Rodney undertook an 80-mile ride through a driving thunderstorm and torrential rain. His route took him over muddy roads, swollen streams and slippery cobblestone streets. Suffering from facial cancer and asthma, Rodney rode on, knowing the fate of independence was hanging by a slender thread.

On the afternoon of July 2, he arrived at Independence Hall during the last minutes of the debate. He is reported to have said “As I believe the voice of my constituents and of all sensible and honest men is in favor of independence, my own judgement concurs with them. I vote for independence.”

Today, an equestrian statue in Wilmington commemorates Rodney’s ride to Philadelphia.

In January, 1999 Caesar Rodney, was honored by having his likeness on the first commemorative State quarter issued. The reverse of the Delaware quarter depicts his historic ride for liberty.

Delaware State Quarter honors the historic ride made by Caesar Rodney

 

Although the exact date of his death is unknown, it is believed he died between June 26 and June 29, 1784



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Caesar Rodney's grueling ride to Philadelphia saved the Declaration of Independence from being defeated by the Continental Congress. Was your family in Philadelphia at the time? What a great family story.

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