A friend of a friend-56 Americans and Mike McIntyre-July 4


One thing I have learned is that good friends have other good friends. This is a series of stories about “friends of my friends”.

The post below is the story for July 4, 2015. My goal in 2015 is to learn or get re-acquainted with 365 people and doing a daily post on the “the friend of a friend” is helping me get closer to my goal.

For those of us that are Americans this week marks a special time in our history. On July 4, 2015 the United States of America will celebrate its 239th Anniversary. July 4, 1776 is the day that the Declaration of Independence was adopted by the Second Continental Congress.

I have a known a few congressmen and one in particular lived in our Lumberton NC neighborhood and coached my daughter’s t-ball team 25 years ago. His name was Mike McIntyre. Mike was born in Lumberton, N.C on August 6, 1956 and he graduated from Lumberton High School in 1974. He went off to college at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and finished with a B.A Degree in 1978. After his undergrad days he immediately enrolled in the Law School at Carolina and earned his J.D. in 1981.

Mike went into private practice as an attorney after he received his law degree. He was a delegate to the Democratic National Convention in 1980. In 1996 he was elected as a Democrat to the One Hundred Fifth Congress and to the eight succeeding Congresses (January 3, 1997-January 3, 2015). He decided not to seek re-election in 2014.

Today Mike is living in Chapel Hill, NC and working in Raleigh for Poyner Spruill LLP as the law firm’s senior adviser and director of government relations. I began to think about some of the bills that Mike voted for over his 18 years in congress. I also thought about the men he got to follow in congress tha started our country 239 years ago. He was in the footsteps of some amazing men.

The Friend-MIKE MCINTYRE

Mike McIntyre

The Friends of a Friend-56 AMERICANS-photos of the signers of the Declaration of Independence

56-americans

Declaration of Independence

I was curious about the signers of the declaration and began to wonder about the names on that document. Of course I know the obvious ones John Hancock, Thomas Jefferson, and Benjamin Franklin. What I wasn’t sure of us was how many names were on the document.

I also didn’t know for sure was who actually signed it from New Jersey, South Carolina, and North Carolina the states where I have lived. I did some research and here is what I found.

There were 56 men who signed the document and The Declaration of Independence came about through a process.

The names who signed the Declaration from New Jersey included:

Abraham Clark Francis Hopkinson John Witherspoon John Hart Richard Stockton

North Carolina included:

William Hooper Joseph Hewes John Penn

South Carolina included:

Edward Rutledge Thomas Lynch Jr Arthur Middleton Thomas Heyward Jr

In the spring of 1776 two colonies passed resolutions. North Carolina on April 12, 1776 and Virginia on May 15, 1776 voted to declare sovereign independence from Great Britain. For my North Carolina friends you will clearly see April 12, 1776 on the North Carolina flag. This resolution is commonly called the “Halifax Resolves”.

The process continued in Congress when on June 10, 1776 the body decided to postpone for three weeks whether to vote on North Carolina and Virginia’s resolutions. Additionally Congress decided to appoint a “Committee of Five” to draft a broadside statement declaring to the world that America was not part of Great Britain. The five men chosen were Thomas Jefferson-Virginia, John Adams-Mass., Roger Sherman-Conn., Benjamin Franklin-Penn., and Robert Livingston-NY.

On July 1, 1776 a debate raged on all day about the virtues of independence and the document composed by the Committee of Five. Finally at the end of the day the “Committee of the Whole” voted 9–2 with two abstention to go forward with Independence presented by the Committee of Five.

The Committee of the Whole was in essence one large committee representing congress. One vote for each of the 13 colonies was included on that committee. Congress had a majority and just needed to hammer out the details with the document. The entire Congress heard the report from the Committee of the Whole and as body Congress voted for Independence on July 2.

The Committee of the Whole went thru a second reading of the Declaration on July 2nd and recessed for the day. On Wednesday, July 3, the Committee of the Whole gave the Declaration a third reading and commenced scrutiny of the precise wording of the proposed text. Two passages in the Committee of Five’s draft were rejected by the Committee of the Whole. One was a critical reference to the English people and the other was a denunciation of the slave trade and of slavery itself.

The text of the Declaration was otherwise accepted without any other major changes. As John Adams recalled many years later, this work of editing the proposed text was largely completed by the time of adjournment on July 3. However, the text’s formal adoption was deferred until the following morning, when the Congress voted its agreement during the late morning of July 4.

The draft document as adopted was then referred back to the Committee of Five in order to prepare a “fair copy,” this being the redrafted-as-corrected document prepared for delivery to the broadside printer, John Dunlap. And so the Committee of Five convened in the early evening of July 4 to complete its task.

In America we get frustrated by politics and have a tendency to romanticized the past. The truth of the matter we had 56 Americans who followed a process to make policy change. That change has impacted the entire world. When you get all the details about how something gets its START it brings home a fact. That fact is that you have to persevere  and follow a process to bring about change.

Mike McIntyre lived in that world for 18 years.

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