The Richmond History Podcast

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Signing Your own Death Warrant

A pic of Skinny Mr. Gerry form the Library of Congress

I saw this amazing quote in Joseph Ellis' Founding Brothers.  Benjamin Rush liked to tell the story that as they were sending the Declaration of Independents to the printer, he over heard Benjamin Harrison of VA say to Eldridge Gerry of Mass "I shall have a great advantage over you Mr. Gerry, when we are all hung for what we are now doing, from the size and weigh of my body I shall die in a few minute but from the lightness of your body you will dance in the air an hour or two before you are dead."

Rush recalled that the comment "procured a transient smile but it was soon succeeded by the solemnity with which the whole business was conducted."

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