Edward Rutledge: Mr. Adams is now calling our black slaves "Americans." Are they, now?
John Adams: Yes, they are. They're people, and they're here. If there's any other requirement, I've never heard of 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!
[After hearing Dickinson bang on a desk.]
Benjamin Franklin: Please, Mr. Dickinson, but must you start banging? How is a man to sleep?
John Dickinson: Forgive me, Doctor Franklin, but must you start speaking? How is a man to stay awake?
John Dickinson: We'll promise to be quiet, sir. I'm sure everyone prefers that you remain asleep.
Benjamin Franklin: If I'm to hear myself called an Englishman, sir, I assure I prefer I'd remained asleep.
John Dickinson: What's so terrible about being called an Englishman? The English don't seem to mind.
Benjamin Franklin: Nor would I, were I given the full rights of an Englishman. But to call me one without those rights is like calling an ox a bull. He's thankful for the honor, but he'd much rather have restored what's rightfully his.
John Dickinson: When did you first notice they were missing, sir?
Benjamin Franklin: Revolutions come into this world like bastard children, Mr. Dickinson; half improvised and half compromised.
John Dickinson: Mr. Jefferson, I have very little interest in your paper, as there's no doubt in my mind that we've all but heard the last of it, but I am curious about one thing. Why do you refer to King George as a... Tyrant?
Thomas Jefferson: Because he *is* a tyrant.
John Dickinson: I remind you, Mr. Jefferson, that this "tyrant" is still your king.
Thomas Jefferson: When a king becomes a tyrant, he thereby breaks the contract binding his subjects to him.
John Dickinson: How so?
Thomas Jefferson: By taking away their rights.
John Dickinson: Rights that came from him in the first place?
Thomas Jefferson: All except one. The right to be free comes from nature.
John Dickinson: And are we not free, Mr. Jefferson?
Thomas Jefferson: Homes entered without warrant, citizens arrested without charge, and in many places, free assembly itself denied.
John Dickinson: No one approves of such things, but these are dangerous times.
Benjamin Franklin: Careful, Mr. Dickinson. Those who would give up their liberty in order to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.
John Adams: At a stage in life when other men prosper, I'm reduced to living in Philadelphia!
John Hancock: I'm concerned over the continued absence of one-thirteenth of this Congress. Where is New Jersey?
John Dickinson: Somewhere between New York and Pennsylvania.
John Hancock: Thank you very much.