Entrenched in the philosophy of the radical left, particularly that of the 1619 Project, is the idea that America was founded on slavery. The inaccuracy of this claim not only misleads students through learning a fabricated history of the United States, but will cause the foundation of America to crumble in the hands of our future generations who have been subjected to this anti-American propaganda from such a young age. The assertion that the American Revolution was fought in part to preserve slavery is severely unfounded as there is no evidence that proves this claim. Although minor corrections have been made to the 1619 Project, its promotion of the idea that America was founded as a “slavocracy” is still its main objective, bringing into question the virtues of our Founding Fathers, the legacy of our founding documents, and our enduring commitment to making America “a more perfect nation.”

This lesson allows students to determine the motives of going to war with Britain by learning about the men who signed the Declaration of Independence as they were the ones to pen their names, certainly risking their lives, to establish this great country. As the mini-biographies reveal, these men were not perfect. This lesson faces the hard truth that many of the signers owned slaves, but it also recognizes the few who also introduced anti-slavery legislation; a fact that has been conveniently ignored by many educators. After this lesson, students will be able to identify that the motivation to declare independence was not to preserve slavery, but to form a nation that holds itself accountable to the philosophy of freedom and the will of the people.

*With 56 signers of the Declaration of Independence, this text is long, but each biography is brief. We included all signers because each one should be honored and remembered for their brave risk; no one should be left out no matter how little we may know about them. In our modifications, we have identified the top fifteen signers who must be covered if you choose to narrow down the list for teaching.

Download Lesson Plan: Signers of the Declaration of Independence Lesson Plan

Download Parent and Guardian Resource: Parent and Guardian Resource Signers of the Declaration of Independence