"The arm of the Lord is not shortened," said Frederick Douglass, "and the doom of slavery is certain. I, therefore, leave off where I began, with hope. While drawing encouragement from the Declaration of Independence, the great principles it contains, and the genius of American Institutions, my spirit is also cheered by the obvious tendencies of the age."
Article Seven of the U.S. Constitution reads, "Done in convention…the seventeenth day of September in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and eighty-seven, and of the independence of the United States of America the twelfth."
The Constitution pinpoints the exact year of American Independence with the phrase, "and of the independence of the United States of America the twelfth." The Constitution was written in 1787; the Declaration was written in 1776, which means 1787 is "the twelfth" year "of the independence of the United States of America."
Presidents to this day practice this dating technique in official documents. One recent Presidential Proclamation concludes as follows.
"IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this fourth day of May, in the year of our Lord two thousand sixteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and fortieth."
Our Constitution, written in the fresh vigor of preteen youth, thus recognizes the Declaration of Independence as America's birth certificate. Both documents, therefore, should be considered together. Every American, however, should read the Declaration first.
Let us never forget the document which birthed our nation and gave hope to oppressed people all over the world.
Watch my video, Two Documents Forever Linked.