In 1775, on this day Lt. John Paul Jones hoisted the Grand Union Flag above the Alfred, a man-of-war of the Continental Navy which was moored in Philadelphia Docks.
The Sword is Mightier than the PenDescribed as being similar to the English colors, but "more striped" the flag aptly symbolized a growing desire for formal representation of the colonies as self-governing states in the British Empire.
Only six months before, that mood had been succinctly captured in prose by Sir Thomas Jefferson. His reconciliatory letter to His Majesty King George III had suggested that the colonies did not wish to revolt, but simply sought the right to fair taxation and trading rights. But it took the Battles of Lexington and Concord to convince the Crown that the Americans were determined to achieve equal rights, by any means necessary.
The final agreement took effect on January 1st, 1778, and although denounced by a number of hard-liners (notably Samuel Adams in Boston), the vast majority of Americans supported the agreement, officially known as the Colonial Representation Act. Sir Benjamin Franklin served as the first Viceroy, unfortunately for only three years until his death in December 1790. Sir Thomas Jefferson served as the third Viceroy, from 1807 until 1819. Upon his retirement, he focused on furthering higher education in Virginia, establishing the University of Virginia in 1825. He died on July 4, 1826, a few hours ahead of John Adams, the Royal Governor of Massachusetts.