amSTUDYING the Truth

Emily Kim and Sheridan Aguilar

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The Declaration of Independence by John Trumbull, 1818

The Story Truth: Emily Kim

Painted by John Trumbull in 1818, The Declaration of Independence depicts an iconic scene regarding one of the most important events of the American Revolution - declaring independence from Great Britain. In the painting, the viewer is first struck by a sense of unity. The room at Independence Hall is filled with the faces of important figures and delegates from every state. They all have the same look on their face - a regal, calm, confident composure. This creates a mood of certainty and unity, and implies that everyone was for independence, for in the name of American patriotism, how could they not be? The painting also evokes a sense of awe from the viewer with its fancy furniture, rugs, curtains, and extravagant flags hanging on the walls. These decorations heighten the greatness of the setting and emit power from the scene. This painting truly captures the idea of American exceptionalism, convincing any viewer that from this point onward America would be destined for greatness.

The Happening Truth: Sheridan Aguilar

There are many differences regarding the painting The Declaration of Independence by John Trumbull and the actual signing of the Declaration of Independence. One important fact that differs from the painting is that the Declaration of Independence wasn't actually signed on July 4th, 1776 because the second continental congress spent several days signing it. The location of the event is correct. When The Declaration of Independence was drafted they met in Philadelphia. The painting is correct because it shows the committee of five standing around the Declaration of Independence. The Committee of five was appointed by the Second continental congress to draft the Declaration of Independence. The committee of five included Thomas Jefferson,John Adams,Benjamin Franklin,Robert Livingston, and Roger Sherman. The painting left out nine people who actually signed the document , and included four people who didn't sign the Declaration of Independence.Delegates from all 13 colonies were in Philadelphia to help vote and draft the Declaration of Independence as seen in the painting.Historians question the time that the document was drafted. The painting shows light coming out of windows which the viewer can then infer that it was drafted in the daytime. Although, the painting shows that the document was drafted in the daytime there is a possibly that it could've been drafted at night.

War Story in Jefferson's Perspective

The beginning of America was chaos. As we were being pushed closer and closer to the brink of war with the British, the more disorder erupted. Shouting constantly filled the Independence Hall, and tensions were skyrocketing as the decision to break away came to vote. We all knew what faced us if we decided to rebel against British rule, but also what would happen if we chose to surrender. Our liberties, our humanity, and our lives were on the line - it was now or never.


July 2nd came about, and the time for decision had arrived. Delegates with different opinions all gathered to make the decision, and before every vote the silence was deafening. But at last, it was yes to independence and no to British abuse.


As a part of the committee of five, I was designated the task of drafting the Declaration of Independence. We had to make it known to the world that America was finally free. With the help of John Adams, Benjamin Franklin and other members of the committee of five, the Declaration was written. Over the months, signatures were collected. Some were willing to join the cause but some were not, regardless they still signed. Our fates were set in stone and now we were forced to face the reality of our decision. Will our future await life and liberty or shameful death? Only God knows.