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: Well, in all my years I ain't never heard, seen nor smelled an issue that was so dangerous it couldn't be talked about. Hell yeah! I'm for debating anything. Rhode Island says yea!
[John Adams volunteers to visit New Brunswick after a report is given of Washington's soldiers being afflicted with venereal disease and alcoholism
] John Adams
: Wake up, Franklin, you're going to New Brunswick! Dr. Benjamin Franklin
: [Half asleep
] Like hell I am. What for? Hopkins
: The whoring and the drinking!
[Franklin gets up and marches off right behind Adams
: Mr. Hopkins, you'll be pleased to meet Dr. Lyman Hall. Hopkins
: I don't need a doctor, damn it. McNair
] New delegate from Georgia! Hopkins
] Well why didn't you say so?
: [Running out to watch a fire down the street
] What's afire? Can anybody tell? Robert Livingston
: Looks like the Pemberton house! George Read
: It couldn't be, it's brand new! Roger Sherman
: Might be the city tavern. Hopkins
: [grabs Sherman
] You bite your tongue, man.
: Mr. Adams, perhaps you could clear up something for me. After we have achieved independence, who do you propose would govern in South Carolina? John Adams
: The people, of course. Edward Rutledge
: Which people, sir? The people of South Carolina, or the people of Massachusetts? Hopkins
: Ah, why don't you admit it, Neddy? You're against independence now and you always will be. Col. Thomas McKean
: [heavy sigh
] Aye. Edward Rutledge
: Now, gentlemen, you refuse to understand us. We desire independence, yes. For South Carolina. That is our country. And as such, we don't wish to belong to anyone. Not to England, and not to you. John Adams
: We intend to have one nation, Rutledge. Edward Rutledge
: A nation of sovereign states, Mr. Adams. United for our mutual protection, but... separate for our individual pursuits. Now, that is what we have understood it to be. And that is what we will support.
[Adams starts to speak
] Edward Rutledge
: As soon as everyone supports it. James Wilson
: [standing up
] Well, there you are, Mr. Adams. You must see that we need time. Time to make certain who we are and where we stand in regard to one another. For if we do not determine the nature of the beast before we set it free, it will end by consuming us all. John Adams
: For once in your life, Wilson... take a chance. I say the time is now. It may never come again.
: McNair! McNair
: [behind him
] Your rum! Hopkins
: Where'd you go for it, man - Jamaica?
: Tonight, I'm leaving for home. Hancock
: On business? Thomas Jefferson
: Family business. Hopkins
: Give her a flourish for me, young feller!
: Dear Sir, You are without any doubt a rogue, a rascal, a villain, a thief, a scoundrel and a mean, dirty, stinking, sniveling, sneaking, pimping, pocket-picking, thrice double damn no good son of a bitch.
: Ah, Ben! I want you to see some cards I'd gone and had printed up. Oughta save everybody here a lot of time and effort, considering the epidemic of bad disposition that's been going on around here lately. "Dear Sir, you are without any doubt, a rogue, a rascal, a villain, a thief, a scoundrel, and a mean, dirty, stinking, sniveling, sneaking, pimping, pocket-picking, thrice double-damned no-good son of a bitch." and you sign your name - what do you think? Dr. Benjamin Franklin
: I'll take a dozen, right now.
: That's quite a large signature, Johnny. Hancock
: So fat George can read it in London without his reading glasses!
[on the anti-slavery clause
] John Adams
: That little paper there deals with freedom for Americans! Edward Rutledge
: Oh, really. Mr. Adams is now calling our black slaves "Americans!" Are they, now? John Adams
: Yes, they are. They are people, and they are here. If there's any other requirement, I haven't heard it. Edward Rutledge
: They are here, yes, but they are not people sir, they are property. Thomas Jefferson
: No, sir they are people who are being treated as property! I tell you, the rights of human nature are deeply wounded by this infamous practice! Edward Rutledge
: Then see to your own wounds Mr. Jefferson, for you are a practitioner are you not? Thomas Jefferson
: I have already resolved to release my slaves. Edward Rutledge
: Oh. Then I'm sorry, for you've also resolved the ruination of your own personal economy. John Adams
: Economy. Always economy. There's more to this than a filthy purse-string, Rutledge! It is an offense against man and God! Hopkins
: It's a stinking business, Eddie, a stinking business! Edward Rutledge
: Is it really now, Mr. Hopkins? Then what's that I smell floating down from the North? Could it be the aroma of hy-pocrisy? For who holds the other end of that filthy purse-string, Mr. Adams? Our northern brethren are feeling a bit tender toward our black slaves. They don't keep slaves! Oh, no. But they are willing to be considerable carriers of slaves to others. They're willin'! For the shillin'.
[Congress is suggesting alterations to the Declaration
: Mr. Hopkins? Hopkins
: I've no objections, Johnny. I'm just trying to get a drink. Hancock
: [throwing his gavel onto the table
] I should have known. McNair, get him a rum.
: [meeting Dr. Hall
] Tell me, doctor, where does Georgia stand on the question of independence? Edward Rutledge
: [off screen
] With South Carolina, of course. Stephen Hopkins
: Ha, ha, ha! Neddy, good morning. Neddy, come over here and shake the hand of Dr. Lyman Hall of Georgia. Dr. Hall, this here is Edward Rutledge from... whichever Carolina he says he's from. God knows I can't keep 'em straight.
Col. Thomas McKean
: [to Read
] Sit down ya scurvy dog or I'll knock ya down! Hancock
: [to the Delaware delagates
] Sit down all three of you!
[dog starts barking
: McNair! Do something about that damn dog! Hopkins
: McNair, fetch me a rum! Hancock
: Get the dog first! Hopkins
: No! A rum!
[both start shouting at once
: I only got two hands! Hancock
] Christ, it's hot!
: Do go on, gentlemen, you're making the only breeze in Philadelphia.
: [Franklin's gout is acting up
] Been living too high again, eh, pappy? Dr. Benjamin Franklin
: Oh, Stephen, I only wish King George felt like my big toe, all over.
: Rhode Island. Second call Rhode Island. McNair
: Rhode Island! Hopkins
: I'm coming, I'm coming, hold your damn horses. Charles Thomson
: We're waiting on you, Mr. Hopkins. Hopkins
: Well, it won't kill you. You'd think the Congress would have its own privy. All right, where's she stand? Charles Thomson
: Five for debate, five for postponement, one abstention and one absence. Hopkins
: So it's up to me, huh? Well, I'll tell you, in all my years, I never seen, heard, nor smelled an issue that was so dangerous it couldn't be talked about. Hell yes, I'm for debating anything! Rhode Island says yea.
[Indistinguishable cheers and shouts
] John Hancock
: McNair, get Mr. Hopkins a rum. McNair
: But you said... John Hancock
: Get him a whole damned barrel if he wants.