|WikiProject Biography / Politics and Government||(Rated Start-class)|
|WikiProject United States||(Rated Start-class, Low-importance)|
There is in fact a good bit of foundation to the fact that Henry Wisner voted for the Declaration. Thomas McKean made this point clear in a letter from 1813
Letter Of Thomas McKean to Caesar A. Rodney
Philadelphia, August 22, 1813
I recollect what passed in Congress in the beginning of July, 1776, respecting Independence; it was not as you have conceived. On Monday, the first of July, the question was taken in the Committee of the Whole, where the State of Pennsylvania (represented by some gentlemen then present) voted against it. Delaware (having then only two representatives present) was divided; all other states voted in favor of it; whereupon, without delay, I sent an Express (at my private expense) for your honored Uncle, Caesar Rodney, Esquire, the remaining member for Delaware, whom I met at the State House door in his boots and spurs, as the members were assembling. After a friendly salutation (without a word on business) we went into the Hall of Congress together, and found we were among the latest. Proceedings immediately commenced, after a few moments the great question was put. When the vote for Delaware was called, your uncle arose and said: "As I believe the voice of my constituents and of all sensible and honest men is favor of Independence, [and] my own judgment concurs with them, “I vote for Independence," or in words to the same effect. The State of Pennsylvania on the 4th of ,July (there being only five members present, Messrs. Willing, Dickinson and Morris, who had in the Committee of the Whole voted against Independence, were absent) voted for it, three to two; Messrs. Willing and Humphreys in the negative. Unanimity in the thirteen States, an all-important point on so great an occasion, was thus obtained; the dissention of a single State might have produced very dangerous consequences.
Now that I am on the subject, I will tell you some truth not generally known. In the printed public Journal of Congress for 1776, Vol. 2, it would appear that the Declaration of Independence was signed on the 4th July by the members whose names are there inserted ; but the fact is not so; for no persons signed it on that day, nor for many days after; and among the names subscribed one was against it-Mr. Read-and seven were not in Congress on that day, namely Messrs. Rush, Clymer, Smith, Taylor and Ross, of Pennsylvania, and Mr. Thornton of New Hampshire; nor were the six gentlemen last named at that time members; the five for P. were appointed delegates by the Convention of that State on the 20th of July, and Mr. Thornton entered Congress for the first time, on the November following, ,when the names of Henry Wisner of New York and Thomas McKean of Delaware are not printed as subscribers, tho' both were present and voted for Independence.
Here false colours are certainly hung out; there is culpability somewhere. What I can offer as an apology or explanation is: that on the 4th July 1776 the Declaration of Independence was ordered to be engrossed on parchment, and then to be signed; and I have been told that a resolve had passed a few days after, and was entered on the Secret Journal, that no person should have a seat in Congress during that year, until he should have signed the Declaration, in order (as I have been given to understand) to prevent traitors or spies from worming themselves amongst us. I was not in Congress after the 4th for Some months, having marched with my regiment of Associators of this city, as Colonel, to support General Washington until a flying camp of ten thousand men was completed. When the Associators were discharged I returned to Philadelphia, took my seat in Congress, and then signed the Declaration on parchment. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 18.104.22.168 (talk) 22:20, 4 November 2013 (UTC)