Caesar Rodney’s Story – Delaware Quarter
Was a soldier / Judge / Speaker of Delaware’s Assembly / In fact he held more offices than any other Delaware Citizen. But the reason Rodney is on the Quarter is for his role as a delegate to the Continental Congress.
In early July of 1776 he was in Kent County mustering troops when he learned of the dispute between the other two delegates from Delaware on the vote for independence. George Read was against the declaration, however Thomas McKean was for the split with England and sent Rodney the note that led to his famous ride. Upon receiving McKean’s message Rodney immediately headed for Philadelphia an 80-mile journey to Philadelphia withstanding thundershowers and a severe summer heat wave. The next day, he arrived at Independence Hall exhausted and covered in mud to cast the deciding vote in favor of our nation’s independence.
But that isn’t the whole story: Caesar Rodney was also dieing from cancer. Cancer had eaten away half his face. He wore a scarf to cover the sight. The ride had nearly killed him. After casting his vote he collapsed.
Two other interesting points about Rodney, he was a bachelor and remained so until his death. Meaning he had no wife for which to fight for and he had no children for which to pass on the Freedom. He did it for the sake of justice and freedom. Second, Rodney’s only hope of treatment for his cancer was to return to England. His vote for Independence and Signature on the Declaration of Independence was equivalent to signing his own death certificate.