Declaration of Independence, John Trumbull c. 1817. Not pictured: the copious amounts of booze that were undoubtedly being consumed by our country's fathers during this event.
Monday is Independence Day, and I don’t presume to say what is best to drink with what on this auspicious occasion. I think the point of celebratory drinking, for the Fourth anyway, is much less about what’s in the glass and much more about the manner in which it is quaffed — this in celebration of liberty, kinship, and country. To this end, allow me to offer some toasts, bits of speeches and letters, and general quotables that you may find useful for improving the quality and relevance of your revelry this weekend. Speak these aloud, as needed, and take with alcohol.
"A man's country is not a certain area of land, of mountains, rivers, and woods, but it is a principle and patriotism is loyalty to that principle."
— George William Curtis, American writer and orator.
"The immortal memory of Washington. - In the field he taught us to acquire liberty; in the cabinet how to preserve it; and in private life how to enjoy it."
— The Enquirer, 21 July 1804, 4. Halifax Court-House, Va.
"To her we drink, for her we pray, Our voices silent never; For her we'll fight, come what may, The Stars and Stripes forever."
— Stephen Decatur, Commodore, U.S. Navy. Barbary Wars, War of 1812.
“Hold on, my friends, to the Constitution and to the Republic for which it stands. Miracles do not cluster and what has happened once in 6,000 years, may not happen again. Hold on to the Constitution, for if the American Constitution should fail, there will be anarchy throughout the world.”
— Daniel Webster, American statesman.
"These, my dear friend, are speculations for the new generation, as, before they will be resolved, you and I must join our deceased brother Floyd, yet I will not believe our labors are lost. I shall not die without a hope that light and liberty are on steady advance … and even should the cloud of barbarism and despotism again obscure the science and liberties of Europe, this country remains to preserve and restore light and liberty to them. In short, the flames kindled on the 4th of July 1776 have spread over too much of the globe to be extinguished by the feeble engines of despotism. On the contrary they will consume these engines, and all who work them."
— Thomas Jefferson, in a letter to John Adams, 12 Sept. 1821.
We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these united Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States, that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved…And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.
— The Declaration of Independence