QUESTION: Where was this man riding 236 years ago? Why was it important?


ANSWER: Despite ill health, Caesar Rodney rode 80 miles from Dover to Philadelphia on July 1st and 2nd, 1776. He had received an urgent summons and his vote was necessary to break the deadlock. He rode through thunder and rain and arrived at Independence Hall just in time to cast the deciding vote in the Delaware delegation for independence.
The image of Rodney on horseback riding for Philadelphia appears on the Delaware quarter, issued in 1999.
He told the delegates “As I believe the voice of my constituents and of all sensible and honest men is in favor of Independence, my own judgement concurs with them. I vote for Independence.”
Rodney’s vote was not initially popular and he was defeated for re-election to the Continental Congress. Public opinion soon shifted and they sent him back.
Rodney was a signer of the Declaration of Independence, served in the Revolutionary Army as a brigadier general, and was elected President of Delaware and served from 1778 to 1782.
This stature is in Rodney Square, Wilmington, Delaware.