The vote for independence by the Continental Congress was to take place on July 1st in Philadelphia, in the midst of a heat wave. But the Congress continued to debate the break from Britain throughout the day and a preliminary vote late in the evening showed independance in jeopardy, so it was decided that they would wait one more day for the arrival of the missing delegate from Delaware who could cast a deciding vote.
The following day, July 2nd, Congress again convened, with still no sign of the Delaware delegate. The day was drawing to a close. The congress had to vote. Suddenly, close to nine o’clock in the evening, Caesar Rodney burst through the door, “mud-splattered, booted and spurred,” his face half obscured by a green silk scarf (hiding a serious case of skin cancer.) He had ridden eighty miles, changing horses several times, just to cast his vote. The vote was taken, and on July 2, 1776, in Philadelphia the American colonies declared independence. However, the document itself, the Declaration of Independence, needed some work. Wednesday July 3rd was spent on rewrites. On July 4th, the document was signed by the President of the Continental congress, John Hancock, and the secretary of the Congress, Charles Thompson.
So, once again, everything is held up by paperwork!