The Greenville County Republican Women's Club Americanism Program featured talent from the Academy of Arts Logos Theatre in Taylors. The artists included Noah and Nicole Stratton and Dr. Nicky Chavers. The program also featured Glenn Christianson on the piano. Kathy Davis, Americanism Chair arranged the program.
Dr. Chavers founded the Academy of Arts in 1971 and has written hundreds of pieces of music as well as 26 full-length plays and musicals. He portrayed John Adams in the program. Noah Stratton portrayed Patrick Henry.
The address John Adams presented to Congress in support of the Declaration of Independence delivered by Dr. Chavers follows:
John Adams from Massachusetts, speaking in support of the Declaration, and I say Sir, that sink or swim, live or die, survive or perish, I give my hand and my heat to this vote.
It is true, indeed, that in the beginning, we aimed not at independence. But there is a divinity which shapes our ends. The injustice of England has driven us to arms; and blinded by her own interests, she has obstinately persisted, till independence is now within our grasp. We have but to reach forth to it, and it is ours. Why then, should we defer the declaration? Is any man so weak as now to hope for reconciliation with England?
If we postpone independence, do we mean to carry on or to give up the war? Do we mean to submit to the measures of Parliament, Boston Port Bill and all? De we mean to submit and consent that we ourselves shall be ground to powder and our country and its rights trodden down in the dust? I know we do not mean to submit. We never shall submit!
Do we intend to violate that most solemn obligation ever entered into by men, that pledging, before God of our sacred honor to George Washington, when, putting him forth to incur the dangers of war, we promised to adhere to him, in every extremity, with our fortunes and our lives? I know there is not a man here, who would not rather see a general conflagration sweep over the land, or an earthquake sink it, than one jot or tittle of that pledged faith fall to the ground. May my right hand forget her cunning, and my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth, if l hesitate or waver in the support of Washington.
The war, then, must go on. We must fight it through. And if the war must go on, why put off longer the declaration of independence?
Sir, I know the people of these colonies, and I know that resistance to British aggression is deep and settled in their hearts, and cannot be eradicated. Every colony, indeed, has expressed its willingness to follow, if we but take the lead.
Sir, the declaration will inspire the people with increased courage. It will breathe into them anew the breath of life. Read this declaration at the head of the army; and every sword will be draw from its scabbard, and a solemn vow uttered, to maintain it or to perish on the field of honor.
Publish it from the pulpit, and religion will approve it, and the love of religious liberty will cling round it, resolved to stand with it or fall with it. Send it to the public halls; proclaim it there; let them hear it who heard the first roar of the enemy’s cannon; let them see it who saw their brothers and their sons fall on the field of Bunker Hill and in the streets of Lexington and Concord, and the very walls will cry out for its support!
Sir, I know the uncertainty of human affairs, but I see ... I see clearly through this day’s business. You and I, indeed, may rue it. We may not live to the time when this declaration shall be made good. We may die; die colonists; die slaves; die, it may be, ignominiously and on the scaffold. Be it so. Be it so! If it be the pleasure of heaven that my country shall require the poor offering of my life, the victim shall be ready, at the appointed hour of sacrifice, come when that hour may. But while I do live, let me have a country, or at least the hope of a country and that a free country.
But whatever may be our fate, be assured... be assured that this declaration will stand. It may cost treasure and it may cost blood; but it will stand and it will richly compensate for both.
Through the thick gloom of the present, I see the brightness of the future as the sun in heaven. We shall make this a glorious, an immortal day. When we are in our graves, our children will honor it. They will celebrate it with thanksgiving, with bonfires and illuminations. On its annual return, they will shed tears; copious, gushing tears, not of subjection and slavery; not of agony and distress; but of exultation, of gratitude, of triumph and of joy.
Sir, before God I believe the hour is come. My judgment approves this measure, and my whole heart is in it. All that I have and all that I am and all that I hope in this life, I am now ready here to stake upon it; and I leave off as I begun, that live or die, survive or perish, I am for the declaration. It is my living sentiment, and by the blessing of God it shall be my dying sentiment, independence, now, and independence forever!