Independence Day Special, Part 1 – From America’s Hidden History: Do Americans know why we celebrate the 4th of July? What important information is being left out of our history books…or just isn’t covered in class? Who gave us our freedom? What was their faith? How did they sacrifice…for you and me? Tune in for a special Independence Day broadcast!
Air Date: 06/30/2021
On-air Personalities: David Barton, Rick Green, and Tim Barton
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Transcription note: As a courtesy for our listeners’ enjoyment, we are providing a transcription of this podcast. Transcription will be released shortly. However, as this is transcribed from a live talk show, words and sentence structure were not altered to fit grammatical, written norms in order to preserve the integrity of the actual dialogue between the speakers. Additionally, names may be misspelled or we might use an asterisk to indicate a missing word because of the difficulty in understanding the speaker at times. We apologize in advance.
Faith And The Culture
Welcome to the intersection of faith and the culture. This is WallBuilders Live! Where we’re talking about today’s hottest topics on policy, faith, and the culture, always doing that from a Biblical, historical, and Constitutional perspective.
This week we’re going to do that in a very special way. We’ve already had a couple great programs this week on the founding of America to celebrate July 4th and Independence Day, and for the next three days we’re bringing you a very special program about Independence Day with David and Tim Barton, a TBN special that you can actually watch online as well.
We’re gonna bring that to our listeners here at WallBuilders Live because it has such great content to remind us how we got our independence what that really means—What does it mean to be free, and how do we preserve that freedom for future generations. We’re gonna dive right into that programming right now. Before we go there, we encourage you to visit our website today at WallBuildersLive.com.
It’s an opportunity for you to see where we are across the country. You can pick out the station closest to you to listen, or you can go to the archives and listen to some of the past programs from the past few months, and then most, importantly, if you’ll like this program and you want to see more of it, you want to get it in the hands of more citizens to equip and inspire them to preserve liberty, then go to WallBuildersLive.com today, click on that donate button, make your contribution. What a great way to celebrate our independence, by teaming up with us, by partnering with us to preserve that independence, to preserve that freedom. You can do that with a donation today.
America’s Hidden History
Don’t forget, the founders gave their lives, fortunes, and sacred honor. They had to financially invest in freedom, and today we do that by engaging in this process and by inspiring and equipping people to be good citizens, to know how to vote, to know what freedom is, to be able to measure candidates according to those freedom principles, and then to engage in good government.
That’s what we do here a WallBuilders Live, we educate people on how to do that, and you can be part of the solution. Go to that donate button WallBuildersLive.com. Make your donation today as a special July 4th, Independence Day celebration.
Let’s dive right in.
Hi, I’m Tim Barton.
And I’m David Barton.
And we’re here in Philadelphia. Behind us is Independence Hall. This is the place where the Declaration of Independence was actually constructed. When we celebrate the 4th of July, we’re really celebrating the accomplishments from the building right behind us.
This is the birthplace of national freedom. We’re going to go all across the northeast looking at the stories of those who gave us that freedom. We’re going to look at their faith, we’re gonna look at their family, and we’re going to look at their sacrifices. It’s remarkable stories.
This is America’s hidden history.
Modern historians have revised rewritten and even deleted entire chapters of American history. So what are we missing? What happened to the history that didn’t make the books? Join historians David Barton, Tim Barton, and special guests as they uncover the facts some historians don’t want you to know. This is America’s hidden History.
How Much Does the Average American Know?
Behind these Independence Hall. And this is where the 56 men were together when we did the declaration. But today, so few Americans know who actually signed the declaration, or even what the declaration is even about. We thought: let’s just go on the street and find out what people actually know.
Hey, I’m Tim.
Hi, I”m Susan.
Nice to meet you.
Okay, we’re doing a survey on the Fourth of July. Why do we celebrate the Fourth of July?
To celebrate American.
Nice to meet you, Greg. OK. What do we celebrate on the Fourth of July?
Close. It was Great Britain. Slavery is a little later.
Hey man, I’m Tim.
Nice to meet you. What do we celebrate on the Fourth of July?
Independence from…. England?
Yeah. Many people have not gotten that right.
My name’s Tim.
Do you know where the Declaration of Independence was signed?
It was signed in Boston Massachusetts.
That’s not a bad guess.
Hi, I’m Tim.
Do you know where the Declaration was signed?
I do. Pennsylvania.
Yeah! It’s Philadelphia.Hey Tom, nice to meet you. Where was the Declaration of Independence Signed?
Well, that’s a really tough one. So if it wasn’t in Quincy, it had to be Philadelphia.
That’s exactly right. It was signed in Philadelphia.
Yes. Do you know where in Philadelphia?
Actually that building right there.
Oh OK. This building right here?
The Story of Carpenters Hall
I’ve been there yet. Right. Right here from out of town right. You didn’t know that yet. OK. So when you visit that you want to get that right next time.
It’s apparent there’s a lot of things we don’t know about the signers of the declaration, and a lot of things we need to learn. So there’s a lot of ground we’re gonna cover today. My dad’s going one direction, I’m going to another. We literally are covering ground trying to learn and uncover some of these stories. Join us today as we discover this on America’s hidden history.
Just around the corner from Independence Hall is a small structure known as Carpenters Hall. Carpenters Hall is right behind me. This is where the founding fathers first got together two years before they signed the Declaration of Independence. They met here at Carpenters Hall, and said, “Alright, what are we going to do with 13 colonies? We’ve been separate states. How do we join together? How do we respond to Great Britain?”
This was new for them, because the guys from Georgia had never met the guys from Pennsylvania, and the guys in Massachusetts didn’t know the guys from Virginia. This is the first time they get together. They started to meet, and they open it up, they convene and make sure they have had all the people they needed.
And one of the very first acts they did was open with prayer. But it’s not the little prayer like we would use at a city council meeting. This was serious stuff. They went right around the corner to Christ Church and got the Reverend Jacob Shea to come pray. According to historical records, it looks like that opening prayer session ran for about two hours.
It All Started With Faith
But they didn’t just pray. When you look at the writings of those who were there, like John Adams, who wrote his wife Abigail, he said that they also studied four chapters of the Bible that morning, and that God spoke to them out of one of those chapters, out of Psalm 35, and changed their whole attitude on what might occur.
So this is the starting place of what two years later led to the Declaration of Independence. And it starts with a strong act of prayer. Faith.
A Moment From American History
This is Tim Barton from WallBuilders with another moment from American history. Too often today history education excludes great black heroes from the American founding. Such as Lemuel Haynes.
Haynes, though abandoned as a baby, pioneered churches across upper New England. He became the first black American to pastor a white congregation, to receive an honorary master’s degree, and to be ordained by a mainstream Christian denomination, The Congregationalist.
He was a soldier during the American Revolution and in his churches on George Washington’s birthday he regularly preached sermons honoring George Washington. Even late in his life he expressed his willingness to go back to battle if necessary to protect America, which he called, “a sacred ark.”
American history is filled with numerous examples of black heroes who are largely ignored by mainstream education today. For more information about Pastor Lemuel Haynes and other colonial Patriots go to WallBuilders.com.
How Many People Signed the Declaration of Independence?
What’s your name?
Alexis. OK, thank you guys for doing this. Do y’all know how many people signed the Declaration of Independence?
A little more. Do you know how many people signed the declaration?
You are so close. Okay now we also probably should point out where are you from?
I’m from Russia.
From Russia. And you already know more than most Americans do.
We talked earlier about Carpenter Hall, and at Carpenter Hall we mentioned that they opened that original session of Congress with prayer. They did so with the Reverend Jacob Shea of Christ Church coming over to pray. Christ church is where so many of the Founding Fathers attended church. As a matter of fact, seven signers of the Declaration are buried here at Christ Church, and one of those signers is Francis Hopkinson, a signer of the declaration from New Jersey.
Francis, in addition to designing an early American flag that didn’t catch on, was a federal judge appointed by George Washington. And on top of that he’s a church music director. He’s a choir leader. He played the organ here at Christ Church.
This is actually a hymn book that he did.
It’s the first hymn book in American history to have musical notation in it. Is the book of Psalms. He put the entire book of Psalms to music, and this is the product of a signer of the Declaration, who’s a strong patriot and a strong Christian.
Do you know the difference between the Declaration and the Constitution?
The Declaration and the Constitution? I have no clue.
What’s the Difference Between the Declaration and the Constitution?
What’s the difference between the declaration and the Constitution?
Oh… the Declaration about life, liberty and–
What’s the difference between the declaration and the Constitution?
The Constitution was our own statehood when we separated from Britain…
and the other one was…
What’s the difference between the declaration and the Constitution?
I know the Constitution has certain like I guess way of life.
The Declaration came before the Constitution.
That it was signed before that and I think the Constitution was just the official it seemed like the declaration was the rough draft.
What’s the difference between the declaration and the Constitution?
So the Declaration of Independence was where we became independent from Great Britain. The Constitution was more, once we were independent, what our rules and regulations are. What our goals were.
Absolutely. This is how we operate as a government. Perfect!
We’re in Virginia, which is where the final battle of the American Revolution took place.
And this is the home of a signer of the Declaration, Thomas Nelson Jr. who, was key in that final battle in winning American independence. He was actually one of the younger signers of the declaration, about 38 years old when he signed, but he was a very wealthy man. This is a very elegant house for that period of time
The Story of Thomas Nelson Jr.
He was willing to use his wealth to help advance American independence, and it really cost him a lot of his fortune. Interestingly, in the early part of the revolution, the British fleet is coming up the Chesapeake and that’s real close here. And they thought that well they’re going to take Virginia. Well, what happened was the fleet went on up to Philadelphia. So the first part of the is really in the northern states, but by the latter part of the revolution the British army is coming here toward Yorktown.
At the same time, the American general who became a traitor, Benedict Arnold, he has now switched over to the British. He’s got a fleet of ships, and they’re coming up from the other direction. So you’ve got all of the British forces amassing here at Virginia.
As that’s happening, the call goes out that we need help.
We need military, we need troops. We don’t have enough in the Continental Army. You”ve got to remember that, at the time of the American Revolution, when you have all these Americans say, “Hey, let’s take on the British and the British, the greatest power in the world.”
Nobody thought they could win.
We didn’t have our own military. We had a bunch of farmers, and shopkeepers, and store owners, and we’ll grab our squirrel guns and do what we can. But nobody thought they were going to win, so nobody loaned them any money.
Bring A Speaker To Your Area
Hey, this is Tim Barton with WallBuilders. And, as you’ve had the opportunity to listen to WallBuilders Live, you’ve probably heard a wealth of information about our nation, about our spiritual heritage, about the religious liberties, and about all the things that make America exceptional.
And, you might be thinking, “As incredible as this information is, I wish there was a way that I could get one of the WallBuilders guys to come to my area and share with my group.”
Whether it be a church, whether it be a Christian school, or public school, or some political event, or activity, if you’re interested in having a WallBuilders speaker come to your area, you can get on our website at www.WallBuilders.com and there’s a tab for scheduling. If you’ll click on that tab, you’ll notice there’s a list of information from speakers bio’s, to events that are already going on. And, there’s a section where you can request an event, to bring this information about who we are, where we came from, our religious liberties, and freedoms. Go to the WallBuilders website and Bring a speaker to your area.
Financial Crisis Point
As they’re running short of troops and supplies, one of the calls goes out from the Continental Congress, it says, “We’re asking young men across the colonies, young men who have any kind of wealth or fortune, to start being banker and bankrolling some groups of artillery, groups of calvary, et cetera.”
What young Thomas Nelson did was he got here in Virginia, and got a bunch of young men together, and they brought their horses, and he bankrolled the entire regiment of cavalry here out of his pocket.
Well, he did that and they took that Calvary out and helped Washington up north, and then they come back south, and then as they’re seeing all the British start to converge here.
They recognize, “You know, the British, you’ve got a lot of ships and a lot of fleets, and we really need some help.”
They get the French fleet to come, but we’ve got to pay for that. It cost a lot of money. Congress went to Thomas Nelson and said, “Can you see if you can raise several million dollars there in Virginia to help pay for the French fleet to come?”
Thomas Nelson replied, “Well, they went to all the folks he knew had money. Everybody said there’s no way we’re giving money to the American government. These guys won’t win.”
Nelson is like, “Well, would you give it to me?”
“Well, yeah. We’ll loan you money.”
The Hand of Providence
Nelson put his own name on the line and got the money that was needed. But he did it personally at his own expense. So all of this stuff that he’s point in and by the way he was so giving in nature that the state early made him the Commander and forces of all the military in the state of Virginia.
But in working with George Washington, it’s interesting that, in the middle of the revolution, as they’re saying thanks, and we don’t have funding but we keep winning battles.
George Washington writes Thomas Nelson a letter. He says, “Thomas, the hand of providence has been so conspicuous in all this that he must be worse than an infidel that lacks faith, and must be more than wicked, that have not gratitude enough to acknowledge his obligations.”
In other words, “Thomas, if people have seen what you and I have seen here, and they don’t feel an obligation to acknowledge God for what He’s doing, they’re just flat wicked. They’ve got no spiritual heart at all.”
That was kind of the tone. They kept seeing God pull all these things off.
Thomas Nelson’s house goes back to 1730. So we’re surrounded by all these old houses, and because this is a nice house, guess where the British officers went? They went in the House.
As a matter of fact, Thomas Nelson thought that General Cornwall was the commander of the British forces was in his own home because that’s where the principal officers were. So it comes time to chase the British out of Yorktown.The American artillery is out there, and they’re just firing away at the town trying to get the British out.
The Siege of Yorktown
And as Nelson is watching all the artillery being fired down on town, he sees all these houses being hit except his own house. His house is where the British Generals are.
He goes and ask the artillery guys, “How come my house is not getting hit?”
They said, “Sir, you’re the governor. You’re the banker. We’re not going to hit your house.”
He says, “Yes, you will. You aim at my house.”
“No, we’re not going to.”
So he started offering them money every cannon that would hit his house. So, intentionally, he starts bombing his own house. Cannonballs went through the wall and killed some British, and so the British scoot out of here.
Here you have a guy who did so much more for the rest of us, and what people say, “Oh, those wealthy guys.”
Well, it may be one thing if you keep all your wealth to yourself, but he was willing to sacrifice all of his wealth for the good of the country. It was really good that he was willing to do that, because without what he did to bankroll here, the final battle of the Revolution, Yorktown, we might never have won against the British.
So, Thomas Nelson, by the way, like the others you’ve seen, he too was a strong man of faith. Way back when this thing started, back in Boston Tea Party, at the very front end of the Revolution, he’s one of the guys who calls for a nationwide day of fasting and prayer. So he did seek God’s assistance often throughout the Revolution. Strong man of faith.
This is the home of young Thomas Nelson junior, one of the wealthiest men in the Revolution, who was willing to give it all so that we could have freedom.
A House that Bears Testimony
Now, I mentioned how the Thomas Nelson was willing to turn the cannons on its own house when he found that they weren’t hitting his house.
And here’s part of the evidence right here.
You see that nice, round pockmark right there? That’s where a cannonball hit, and it just BOOM! And you find those pockmarks all over the side to this house.
There’s evidence that he was turning the cannons on his own house.
Matter of fact, when you get over here, there’s still got a cannon ball right there in it, and the same is true up top. Another cannonball right up there, just all over the side of the house. You have the evidence of his willingness to give his life, his fortune, and his sacred honor, which is what he had pledged to do in the Declaration, and this house bears testimony to the fact that he was willing to keep his word.
So you’ve seen something of the home and life of Thomas Nelson Junior. It’s interesting to see what his contemporaries and his peers said about him. For example, this is from James Madison, also a Virginia founder.
He said, “General Nelson was expelled by no man and the generosity of his nature, in the nobleness of the sentiments and the purity of his revolutionary principles, and in the exalted patriotism that he answered every service and sacrifice that his country might need.”
Thomas Nelson Junior.
Front Sight Handgun Training Course
Hey friends! Rick Green here, from WallBuilders Live. What do Dennis Prager, Larry Elder, Ben Shapiro, Rick Green, Tim Barton, David Barton – what do all these folks have in common other than the fact that they’re conservative commentators that defend the Constitution and educate America on the Constitution?
They’re all raving about Front Sight Firearms Training Institute. In fact, if you go to my website right now today at RickGreen.com, you can watch the video of Dennis Prager training at Front Sight, or Larry Elder, or Tim Barton, or myself out there training at Front Sight. It’s an opportunity for you to learn how to defend yourself and your family to make sure that you are ready and able to do that. It is a fantastic place to train. They train 30 to 40,000 people a year, and they’re just wonderful to work with.
And, you can go with us! We’re headed back out. We’re going to have a great time out there as the WallBuilders family and if you’re a supporter of WallBuilders, we have an amazing deal for you. It”s actually going to cost you 1/10th the normal price to attend this two day handgun training because you’re going with us. And, you”ll also get the Constitution crash course. I”ll be teaching on the Constitution, you’ll get the intellectual ammunition that you need to defend the Second Amendment and our Constitution. As well as getting the physical training on how to defend yourself and your family.
And, this is for everyone – guys, gals, everyone should take this class. No matter how much you’ve shot your whole life or if you’ve never touched a gun, learn how to defend your family. We’re going to be going several times throughout the year and we would love to have you be a part of that. Check it out at RickGreen.com today to find out the dates, get all the specifics, and get all of your questions answered. Check out RickGreen.com today to join us on this Front Sight trip for both your constitutional and handgun defense training.
I’m at Princeton University, and I’m standing in front of the house where the President of Princeton resides. Now, the reason I’m standing here is because, during the founding era, one of the presidents of Princeton was actually a sign of the declaration. His name was John Witherspoon. This is where he stayed during his term as President, actually, John Witherspoon was a minister in Scotland. He was recruited by many founding fathers to come and be an influencer in America, specifically to come be the president here at Princeton.
Now, when he got here, not only was he the President, he led the Theological Seminary. He also was the pastor here on campus. He goes on to sign the Declaration, and in the midst of all he’s doing to help promote things in America, and help promote freedom biblical values, he realizes, “A lot of people, even in the state of New Jersey, don’t have their own Bible.”
So he’s largely responsible for this work right here. It was a Bible done for every family in the state of New Jersey so they could have their own copy of the Bible. Well, he goes on as a preacher. He continues preaching. This is one of his volumes of sermons, in fact, he has a four volume set, and a 12 volume set, and even a 15 volume set. He preached a lot of sermons.
The reason I point that out as most people they don’t know the founding fathers, but we often hear that they weren’t religious. We have no idea that they were ministers of the Gospel who signed the Declaration. Well, there sure were.
In fact, they were presidents of universities, and John Witherspoon personally trained more founding fathers than any single other individual, than any other university, and this is the place where he lived when he was president of Princeton.
Where Princeton, New Jersey, and this is the home of Richard Stockton. He’s one of the signers of the Declaration from New Jersey. He was one of the most effective attorneys in this part of the state, actually he was very wealthy, as you can tell from his home. But when he signed the Declaration, the British were after him just like they were after the other signers.
When he believed that the British were coming through this area he gathered up his family and he took them about 30 miles away to where he thought they’d be safe.
But he ended up in the middle of a bunch of loyalists, that is, British supporters. One night they captured him, and they turn me over to the British and the British put him in a prison ship, and on that prison ship he was tortured, and he was abused, and mistreated, and starved.
That prison ship had been a 64 gun British man of war, but they cut the masts off it. They took the cannons out of it and they crammed twelve hundred prisoners down underneath. And he was there with the others.
It was horrendous treatment.
When Congress found out about it, they went to George Washington said, “Hey, go talk to the British General and see if that’s the way they’re going to treat prisoners, because if it is, we’ll start treating the British prisoners that way.”
The British said, “Non no. You can have him back.”
Celebrate Independence Day With Us!
But when he got back, his library had been burned by the British, he’d had of the greatest legal collections in the state. They had taken his horses. They they butchered his livestock. He had nothing but desolation when he got back. He’s back, and he has six kids. He’s dying, he knows it, and he knows his kids are about to be fatherless. What do you do?
Sorry friends, but we are out of time for today. You’ve been listening to David and Tim Barton talking about Independence Day. There’s going to be a three day program that we”ll bring to you. You can actually watch the video of this as well. We’ll have links today at WallBuildersLive.com.
But what a wonderful way to celebrate Independence Day. We encourage you, this week, not just to have the cookouts and all the things that we do during Independence Day—do those things, I’m encouraging that, you should do that—but we also encourage you to take time to remind yourself how we became free in the first place.
Teach your children what freedom is all about and encourage them so that when it’s their turn, they would do their part to preserve freedom for future generations. Tune in tomorrow and the next day, and we’ll get the second and third parts of this very special program about Independence Day. Thanks for listening to WallBuilders Live.