Benjamin Rush to John Adams

Benjamin Rush to John Adams Worksheet

Worksheet Description

This worksheet features a passage from a letter written by Benjamin Rush to John Adams, dated July 20, 1811, which recounts the mood and atmosphere during the signing of the Declaration of Independence. The passage captures a moment of levity amid the grave proceedings, as Benjamin Harrison of Virginia jests with Elbridge Gerry about the consequences of their rebellion against the British crown. The excerpt is designed to give students a glimpse into the personal experiences and emotions of the Founding Fathers during a pivotal moment in American history. After reading the passage, students are asked to explain what it is about, thereby engaging with the material on a deeper level.

The worksheet is intended to teach students about the human aspect of historical events, particularly the mixture of seriousness and humor that can accompany momentous occasions. It provides a personal narrative that complements the broader historical facts, helping students to connect with the individuals behind the Declaration of Independence. By analyzing the passage and explaining its content, students practice critical reading and comprehension skills. Additionally, the task encourages reflection on the weight of the decision the signatories were making, and the camaraderie and tension present during such a historic event.