Boston, 1776: Everyone celebrates the politely worded Declaration of Independence, but few people remember (much less honor) the Angry Barroom Declaration of Five Anonymous Drunks, who in March of 1776 dictated a bold but unsigned letter to His Majesty King George III:
“Fuck ye King! Hark: we’re sick of yer shit! Let’s get him, boys! Aarrrhhhh!”
It is said that this declaration actually caused King George more consternation than the Continental Congress’ declaration of July 4, which critics at the time panned as wordy and melodramatic.
The Five Angry Drunks’ anonymous declaration was also less hypocritical–none of those louts had any interest in stealing Indian lands in the Ohio Valley. Not that they couldn’t have been bought by an offer of Ohio lands, but they were never offered.
The King responded by issuing a decree against “rogue notaries” and “rapscallion clerks” who went around recording and publicizing the seditious statements of publicly intoxicated people. The idea is that drunken people always say stupid things in public–the real crime is taking any of it seriously enough to write it down.
When Revolution actually broke out in earnest, two of these loud-talking louts were the first to enlist, having passed out in front of the recruiter’s house the night before, while the other three had to be dragged out of hiding from tavern basements. So they have a mixed record when it comes to backing up their declarations with armed service; yet still comparable to the number of signers of the July Declaration of Independence who actually fought or commanded in the Revolution (one third, according to constitutionfacts.com).