On July 4, 1776, the Second Continental Congress adopted the Declaration of Independence.
But the American Revolutionary War was already in its second year. The 56 men who signed the Declaration had risked their lives. If the United States lost the war, the British could put them to death as traitors. As Benjamin Franklin may have said: “Now we must all hang together, or most assuredly we will all hang separately.” They wouldn’t know their fate until the war was over.