Late one August night, I was reading "Principles and Acts of the Revolution in America" and came across this gem of a speech that was recorded in a gazette in late 1776. A speech from a Pennsylvania Farmer turned Citizen soldier signing up with the Continental Line. His reasoning to his neighbors... profoundly passionate and exceptionally American of that period... is this in your heart today!? It is in mine. I took the liberty of taking excerpts from the farmer's speech and re-crafted it around my latest oil painting, "The Liberty Boys." This speech was a perfect fit for these two boys that signed up for every purpose and reason the speech hails. - MORESCHI
Here is what reads on the print:
My Friends and Countrymen -
I AM AN AMERICAN!
and am determined to be Free. I was born Free:
and have never forfeited my birth-right; nor will I ever...
I will part with my life sooner than my Liberty, for I prefer an honorable death
to the miserable and despicable existence of a slave.
The ______ who would rob me of my property, because he thinks he has use for it,
and is able to take it from me, would as soon, for the same reason,
rob me of my life, if it stood in his way; but it is God Almighty who gave me my life,
and my property, unlimited right and power to take either or both away.
I therefore conceive myself as having taken up arms in defence of innocence, justice, truth, honesty, honor, liberty, property, and life;
and in opposition to guilt, injustice, falsehood, dishonesty, ignominy, slavery,
poverty, and death; not that I have any fondness for the bloody profession;
not that I delight in the carnage of my species;
or sigh for an occasion of proving my courage: Heaven and you are my witness,
that my voice was sometime, perhaps too long,
'tis a dreadful necessity, that calls me, and calls every man
who can be spared from his other occupation.
In short, we have no alternative left us, but to fight or die;
if there be any medium, it is slavery:
and ever cursed be the man who will submit to it! I will not.
Blest be the Spirit of American liberty, wisdom, and valor!
OF AN HONEST, SENSIBLE, AND SPIRITED FARMER OF
PHILADELPHIA COUNTY, ADDRESSED TO AN ASSEMBLY
OF HIS NEIGHBORS, ON HIS ENGAGING IN THE