John Adams: Well, Franklin, where's that idiot Lee? Is he back yet? I don't see him.
Dr. Benjamin Franklin: Softly, John, your voice is hurting my foot.
John Adams: One more day, Franklin. Then I shall propose to Congress. That strutting popinjay was so damn sure of himself. He's had time to come back with a dozen proposals by now!
Thomson: (calling for a vote) Where's Rhode Island?
McNair: Rhode Island's out visiting the necessary.
Hancock: Well, after what Rhode Island has consumed, I can't say I'm surprised. We'll come back to him, Mr. Thompson.
Thomson: Rhode Island passes.
(Roar of laughter from the Congress)
Thomson: (reading Washington's letter) The situation is most desperate at the New Jersey training ground in New Brunswick, where every able bodied whore in the co... "WHORE?"... in the colonies has assembled. There are constant reports of drunkenness, desertion, foul language, naked bathing in the Raritan river, and an epidemic of the "French disease." I have placed this town off limits to all military personnel with the exception of officers. I beseech the congress to dispatch the War Committee to this place, in the hope of restoring some of the order and discipline we need to survive. Your obedient...
Thomson: G. Washington.
Col. Thomas McKean: That man would depress a hyena.
Hancock: Well, Mr. Adams, you're chairman of the war committee. Do you feel up to whoring, drinking, deserting, and New Brunswick?
Rev. John Witherspoon: There must be some mistake, I have an aunt who lives in New Brunswick.
John Dickinson: You must tell her to keep up the good work.
John Adams: Mr. Jefferson? It so happens that the word is UN-alienable, not IN-alienable.
Thomas Jefferson: I'm sorry, Mr. Adams, but "Inalienable" is correct.
John Adams: I happen to be a Harvard graduate, Mr. Jefferson.
Thomas Jefferson: Well, I attended William & Mary.
Hancock: Mr. Jefferson, will you concede to Mr. Adams' request?
Thomas Jefferson: No, sir, I will not.
John Adams: Oh, very well, I withdraw it!
Dr. Benjamin Franklin: Oh, good for you, John!
Dr. Benjamin Franklin: Tell me, Mr. Wilson, when you were a judge, how in hell did you ever make a decision?
James Wilson: The decisions I made were based on legality and precedent. But there is no legality here, and certainly no precedent.
Dr. Benjamin Franklin: (losing his temper) Because, it's a new idea, you CLOD! We'll be making our own precedent!
Hopkins: 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.
John Adams: Disgusting. Look at him, Franklin. Virginia's most famous lover!
Thomas Jefferson: (not having seen his wife in six months) Virginia abstains.
John Adams: They won't be happy until they remove one of the F's from Jefferson's name!
John Dickinson: Don't forget that most men with nothing would rather protect the possibility of becoming rich than face the reality of being poor.
Edward Rutledge: (In the final vote for Independence, Rutledge wants the slavery clause removed from the Declaration, or else he will vote against independence) Well, Mr. Adams?
John Adams: Well, Mr. Rutledge.
Edward Rutledge: (stands) Mr. Adams, you must believe that I *will* do what I promised to do.
John Adams: (stands and approaches him) What is it you want, Rutledge?
Edward Rutledge: Remove the offending passage from your Declaration.
John Adams: If we did that, we would be guilty of what we ourselves are rebelling against.
Edward Rutledge: Nevertheless... remove it, or South Carolina will bury, now and forever, your dream of independence.
Dr. Benjamin Franklin: John? I beg you consider what you're doing.
John Adams: Mark me, Franklin... if we give in on this issue, posterity will never forgive us.
Dr. Benjamin Franklin: That's probably true, but we won't hear a thing, we'll be long gone. Besides, what would posterity think we were? Demi-gods? We're men, no more no less, trying to get a nation started against greater odds than a more generous God would have allowed. First things first, John. Independence; America. If we don't secure that, what difference will the rest make?
John Adams: (long pause) Jefferson, say something.
Thomas Jefferson: What else is there to do?
John Adams: Well, man, you're the one that wrote it.
Thomas Jefferson: I *wrote* ALL of it, Mr. Adams.
(stands and goes to the Declaration, crosses out the clause)
John Adams: (snatches the paper from Jefferson and takes it to Rutledge) There you are, Rutlege, you have your slavery; little good may it do you, now VOTE, damn you!
Edward Rutledge: (takes the paper) Mr. President, the fair colony of South Carolina...
(looks at Adams)
Edward Rutledge: ... says yea.
(Adams, Franklin, and Jefferson wait outside the Chamber, while Thomson is reading the Declaration to Congress)
John Adams: There's nothing to fear; it's a masterpiece. I'm to be congratulated.
Dr. Benjamin Franklin: (surprised) You?
John Adams: (waving at Jefferson) For making him write it.
Abigail: I never asked for more. After all, I am Mrs. John Adams and that's quite enough for one lifetime.
John Adams: Is it, Abby?
Abigail: Well, think of it, John, to be married to the man who is always the first in line to be hanged!
John Dickinson: Mr. President, Pennsylvania moves, as always, that the question of independence be postponed. Indefinitely.
James Wilson: (standing up) I second the motion.
John Hancock: Judge Wilson, in your eagerness to be loved, you seem to have forgotten that Pennsylvania cannot second its own motion!
John Adams: Franklin, where in God's name have you been?
Dr. Benjamin Franklin: Right here, John, being preserved for posterity. Do you like it?
(John walks around to look at the painting)
John Adams: It stinks.
Dr. Benjamin Franklin: As ever, the soul of tact.
John Adams: Well, the man's no Botticelli.
Dr. Benjamin Franklin: And the subject's no Venus.
John Adams: Franklin, where were you when I needed you? You should have heard what I suffered in there.
Dr. Benjamin Franklin: Oh, I heard, all right. Along with the rest of Philadelphia. Lord, your voice is piercing, John.
John Adams: Well, I just wish to Heaven my arguments were.
Edward Rutledge: Enter Delaware, tria juncta in uno.
Col. Thomas McKean: Speak plain, Rutledge. Ya Know I can't follow a word of your damn French.
Edward Rutledge: It's Latin, Colonel McKean, a tribute to the eternal peace and harmony of the Delaware delegation.
Col. Thomas McKean: What're ya sayin', man? Ya know perfectly well neither Rodney nor I can stand the sight of this louse!
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