As we prepare to celebrate one of our favorite summer holidays, it’s appropriate to contemplate the significance of the 4th of July. While gathered around the barbecue or admiring the fireworks, let’s remember to toast to our founding fathers, honoring their celebration of the Declaration of Independence.

Celebratory Toasts

After the Declaration of Independence was adopted on July 4, 1776, it is said that the delegates celebrated with toasts of wine. The signing was a cause for great celebration, and wine was undoubtedly part of the festivities. The Founding Fathers toasted to their newfound independence and the future of the United States.

John Adams and Madeira Wine

John Adams, a signer of the Declaration, was a fan of Madeira wine. Madeira was a popular drink in the American colonies due to its ability to withstand long sea voyages without spoiling. Adams once remarked on his fondness for the wine, noting that he and his wife Abigail would frequently enjoy it together. In fact, during the Second Continental Congress, Madeira was a common sight among the delegates, providing them some comfort and relaxation amidst their intense deliberations.

Benjamin Franklin’s Wine Diplomacy

Benjamin Franklin, a key figure in the signing of the Declaration, was well-known for his love of wine. Franklin believed in the diplomatic power of wine and often used it to foster good relations. He famously said, “Wine makes daily living easier, less hurried, with fewer tensions and more tolerance.” Franklin’s diplomatic efforts in France, which helped secure crucial support for the American Revolution, were often accompanied by fine French wines.

Jefferson’s Influence

Thomas Jefferson, one of the principal authors of the Declaration of Independence, greatly appreciated wine. Although he wasn’t in Philadelphia during the signing (he was in France as the U.S. Minister), Jefferson became known for his extensive wine collection and efforts to bring fine European wines to America. His influence on American wine culture is profound, as he believed wine was a healthy and civilized beverage.

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