Show Notes: M-22 & A Letter To George

the mighty humanzee
By The Mighty Humanzee

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Summer is exploration time in Michigan, July being the month where many adventures are so to take place.  In July several hundred years ago, another odyssey took place when a letter was sent to a man name George.

How I Started The Day At Sunrise

And How I Ended It With My Family

My youngest kid is 19 years old, and we have been fortunate to have had lots of skiing, hiking and camping adventures together as father and son, and as well many journeys of discovery with our entire family.  On our last outing kayaking together he asked while we paddled down the river “Dad what is your greatest and best memory out of all the things we’ve done?”


We have been so blessed with camping in Roosevelt National Forest, hiking on Mount Desert Isle, Smokey Mountains in Tennessee, and countless outings in the Hiawatha National Forest in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.  But easily the first and best memory is our very first time in the northern region of Michigan’s Lower Peninsula as a family.  


When we made our excursion we saw this sign everywhere.  Is the equivalent to Highway One down the coast of California.  M-22 to many, is a symbol of summer.  Looking at this map, we can see how M-22 traverses the coast line around what we call the Mitten.  Many of these stops indicated are a treasure, they are restorative, they are timeless.  Even during Covid we could escape to many of these places and the world was sane, not because it was remote but because the regions and the people had not lost their connection to the strength that’s found in God’s bounty of the Great Lakes, and Lake Michigan in particular.  That’s the Michigan spirit that gives me hope.

Our first trip our kids were 4 and 6, my daughter wanted to bring her bike along because she insisted she could keep pace with my wife and me.  It was the week of fourth of July, and we made the trek up I-75, across M-10 to M-55 to M-37.  Interlochen and Ellis Lake is where our family memories of camping started.  It’s a magical region.

We were not blessed by the weather, it rained nearly everyday except the last 2 of that week, but we wrapped up, jumped in the van, and still hit beaches, trails, and even made our way to Glen Arbor, a small harbor town up in Sleeping Bear Dunes.  That’s where we learned about the beauty of M-22.  It was raining, so we decided to try our luck at Glen Arbor, as my wife had heard about some place called The Cherry Republic that I had no clue what I was in for.  There was supposedly a small book store and other shops, so not being a shopping guy, I figure I’d get a coffee and make the best of waiting while the kids and my wife explored.

That week we had a book on CD that the kids listened to while we put on the miles.  I remember the chapter as though it were yesterday “Champsee Hadad RUUUULLLLLEEEED the ENTIRE WOOORRRRRRRLLLLLLD.  It was raining, the kids were captivated by the rolling hills as we wound our way to Glen Arbor.  These roads started to remind me of my childhood growing up in the Catskill mountains, some dark patches of trees and sharp turns was like my home in upstate New York.  I felt nostalgic for a place that I had yet to visit and explore, and my kids were having a blast.  Good sports for so young and the weather being so terrible.

That’s how our exploration of Northern Michigan began with our kids, and we made it our mission to work our way up and down that road.  Inner tubing on the Lower Platte, well, you ended up at the southern tip of Sleeping Bear dunes and … M-22 got you back to Glen Arbor after laying out in the sun all day.  Head north on M-22 and you reach Pyramid Point, with its 260 foot dune climb.  Most take the easy route, and a shorter climb to the summit, but not our clan.  We hit that dune climb each summer.  It’s bitch.  It tells you if you’re in good or terrible shape instantly.  The first few years the kids would lag, but as with the true nature of things and age, your surpass you physical capabilities, and it wasn’t long before they were leaving us in the dust.  That climb is one step forward and two steps back.  At the summit are a series of gullies that you can pick your way through.  One summer my son decided to forgo drinking water, rolled and climbed and rolled to the point he overheated, and I had to carry him part of the way back up the dune to get him shade and water.

Sailing On Suttons Bay

Camping, But Never Go Hungry

Frankfort Lighthouse, South

A Letter To George

In fact there had been several petitions to King George the Third pleading for assistance reigning Parliament, who was seen as the major source of tyranny in the beginning of the struggles between the Colonies and Great Britain.  Taxes were levied heavily in order for England to pay for their war with France, and the British felt that the colonies enjoyed the projection of the British Army against the French in the colonies.

July 1775 – The Causes and Necessity of Taking Up Arms

One of the first was The Causes and Necessity of Taking Up Arms written by John Dickinson of Pennsylvania and Thomas Jefferson in 1775.  This was to provide the justification as to why the colonist felt compelled to take up arms against the British and defend themselves at Concord and Lexington earlier that year.  The document begins by asserting that the colonists were forced into armed conflict due to the unjust actions of the British Parliament. It argues that the government should promote the welfare of its people, but Britain had instead attempted to enslave the colonies through violence.

“But a reverence for our great Creator, principles of humanity, and the dictates of common sense, must convince all those who reflect upon the subject, that government was instituted to promote the welfare of mankind, and ought to be administered for the attainment of that end. “

“Parliament was influenced to adopt the pernicious project, and assuming a new power over them, have, in the course of eleven years, given such decisive specimens of the spirit and consequences attending this power, as to leave no doubt concerning the effects of acquiescence under it. They have undertaken to give and grant our money without our consent, though we have ever exercised an exclusive right to dispose of our own property; statutes have been passed for extending the jurisdiction of courts of Admiralty and Vice-Admiralty beyond their ancient limits; for depriving us of the accustomed and inestimable privilege of trial by jury, in cases affecting both life and property”

“But why should we enumerate our injuries in detail? By one statute it is declared, that parliament can “of right make laws to bind us IN ALL CASES WHATSOEVER.” What is to defend us against so enormous, so unlimited a power? “

Dickinson and Jefferson outlined the colonists’ grievances against British rule, emphasizing their right to liberty and self-governance. They rejected the notion that Parliament had the authority to make laws binding the colonies “in all cases whatsoever”.

It’s interesting to note that at this stage, Dickinson and many of the Continental Congress felt the need for reconciliation.  Independence was not favored by a majority of the colonies, as the future without England was very uncertain.  Despite taking up arms, the declaration stressed that the colonists did not seek independence. It stated, “We have not raised armies with ambitious designs of separating from Great-Britain, and establishing independent states”

Many of Britain’s other overseas colonies were located closer to the rebellious American colonies than Britain itself was. The Continental Congress had attempted to reach out to other British colonies in North America in the hopes of gaining allies to create a more powerful resistance. Colonies in the Caribbean were hesitant to support the American colonies. They feared that joining in rebellion would bring economic consequences and possibly encourage a revolt among the enslaved population. Jamaica’s colonial assembly made their official position on American independence known by issuing a statement of loyalty to Great Britain.

An Acceleration

And in May 1776 the Congress learned that the King had negotiated treaties with German states to hire mercenaries to fight in America. The weight of these actions combined to convince many Americans that the mother country was treating the colonies as a foreign entity.

Jefferson’s Declaration of Independence was originally addressed to King George, but Franklin and Adams understood that the scope of the document needed to appeal to 13 colonies, all who had never considered joining together in union.

Timeline Of Declaration Of Independence

  • June 7, 1776: Richard Henry Lee of Virginia presents the resolution for independence to the Continental Congress.  This is know as the Lee Resolution
  • June 10, 1776: Consideration of the resolution is postponed until July 1 to allow moderates to build a coalition
  • June 11, 1776:
    • – Congress appoints a committee (the “Committee of Five”) to draft a declaration of independence.
    • – The committee consists of John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, Roger Sherman, and Robert R. Livingston
  • June 12-27, 1776: Jefferson drafts the declaration, which is then reviewed by the committee
  • June 28, 1776: A fair copy of the committee draft is read in Congress
  • July 1, 1776: Congress votes on the resolution for independence. Nine colonies vote in favor, two against (Pennsylvania and South Carolina), one abstains (New York), and one is deadlocked (Delaware)
  • July 2, 1776:
    • – 12 of the 13 colonies vote for the resolution, with New York abstaining
    • – Congress officially declares the resolution to be in effect
  • July 2-4, 1776: Congress debates and revises the Declaration of Independence
  • July 4, 1776: Congress approves the final text of the Declaration of Independence
  • July 19, 1776: Congress orders the Declaration to be engrossed (officially inscribed) for signatures
  • August 2, 1776: The majority of delegates (likely 50 of the 56) sign the engrossed copy of the Declration of Independence.
  • After August 2, 1776: The remaining signers add their signatures at later dates, with Thomas McKean being the last to sign sometime after January 1777.

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