Caesar Rodney on Revolutionary War, Philadelphia, 1776

Contributed by Maine Historical Society


A life-long bachelor, Caesar Rodney devoted himself to public service in Delaware, and began distancing himself from British policy by attending the Stamp Act Congress in 1765.

Rodney served with two other Delaware delegates during the Second Continental Congress and the Delaware Assembly gave them permission to each vote as they saw fit concerning independence. In the spring of 1776, Rodney left Congress to aid the Delaware militia, leaving the two remaining delegates deadlocked on the question of independence.

As the vote neared, fellow proponent, Thomas McKean rushed a courier to Rodney describing the urgency. Rodney left immediately, traveling 18 hours and 80 miles through the night. He arrived on July 2, 1776, ill, wet and exhausted, but in time to sway the Delaware vote in favor of independence.

Rodney’s letter, written the day after the August signing of Independence, spoke of committee work, securing support among sympathetic patriots, and the procurement of gunpowder and weapons. Like many of the letters, Rodney’s demonstrates the vast amount of work left after declaring Independence.

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About This Item

  • Title: Caesar Rodney on Revolutionary War, Philadelphia, 1776
  • Creator: Rodney, Caesar
  • Creation Date: 1776-08-03
  • Subject Date: 1776-08-03
  • Town: Philadelphia
  • County: Philadelphia
  • State: PA
  • Media: Ink on paper
  • Dimensions: 23.17 cm x 18.89 cm
  • Local Code: Coll. 420, Box 59/16
  • Collection: John S. H. Fogg autograph collection
  • Object Type: Text

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For more information about this item, contact:

Maine Historical Society
485 Congress Street, Portland, ME 04101
(207) 774-1822 x230

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