Early Settlers of
Their Descendants...Their Stories...Their Achievements
Lifting the Mists of History on Their Way of Life
By: Ethelene Dyer Jones
May--An Important Month in
The “Merry Month of May” for 2010 is soon to end. We will celebrate its last day and an important national holiday, Memorial Day, on Monday, May 31. It is a time to honor our patriotic dead and to recall the sacrifices they made for our freedoms. “Lest we forget,” let us take time to consider the price paid for liberty.
Such beauty as we enjoy can sometimes take our minds from more serious matters. Spring is here with great profusion of growing, blossoming landscapes. But it was also thought by old timers that May was a difficult month, one that required attention to practices of good health to get through the month. Two sayings characterized the month: For those already ill with some critical disease, the prediction was, “Ah, he (or she) will never get up May-hill.” Another had a brighter aspect: “If he can climb May-hill, he’ll do.” Well, we “climbed May hill” again this year, and I hope we are another year wiser as well as having reached another milestone in years accrued. Let us consider some blessing we too often take for granted.
In a review of American history, we see that a new, struggling America following winning of the Revolutionary War set the second Monday in May as a time to have delegates from the thirteen independent states (no longer colonies under the King of England) meet in Philadelphia in 1787, “for the sole and express purpose of revising the Articles of Confederation.”
The Convention was convened on
Many of the arguments, proposals,
objections, revisions and adoptions are a matter of record, and can be
if anyone is an avid student of how our Constitution came about. However, that group of fifty-five delegates
from twelve states represented the citizens, and was truly a
It was to the wise, elderly Benjamin Franklin, that final success of the Convention is due. He rose, and reading from a prepared speech which has been preserved for later generations to read, he stated: “Mr. President, I confess that there are several parts of this Constitution which I do not at present approve, but I am not sure that I shall never approve them…The older I grow, the more apt I am to doubt my own judgment and to pay more attention to the judgment of others…I think a general government necessary for us…what may be a blessing to the people if well-administered…On the whole, sir, I cannot help expressing a wish that every member of the Convention, who may still have objections to it, would, with me, on this occasion, doubt a little of his own infallibility, and make manifest our unanimity, put his name to this instrument.” Benjamin Franklin then introduced the motion to have the delegates sign the document.
And to that document, thirty-nine men
set their signatures, enough to give the newly formed United States of
a document, which, though amended numerous times throughout its more
two-century history, still stands as a beacon to democratic governments
world-wide. One of the major
responsibilities of the president of the
Jones; published May 27, 2010 in The Union Sentinel, Blairsville,
Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
[Ethelene Dyer Jones is a retired educator, freelance writer, poet, and historian. She may be reached at e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org; phone 478-453-8751; or mail 1708 Cedarwood Road, Milledgeville, GA 31061-2411.]