Corrected entry: The real Caesar Rodney was nowhere near as decrepit as portrayed in the film. Additionally, he was not gnomelike, but was tall and thin as reported by John Adams in a letter to Abigail. Also, even though he did have skin cancer on his cheek which he covered with a scarf, he was not dying of it, and in fact, lived for eight years after the signing, and indeed until after the Treaty of Paris (1783) recognized American Independence. Rodney was actually suffering that summer, but it was from asthma exacerbated by the heat "in foul, fetid, fuming, foggy, filthy Philadelphia." Nonetheless, the reason for his absence from Congress was not his ill-health. As head of the Delaware Militia, he had been called away to deal with a Tory riot against Independence.Onesimos
Corrected entry: When Secretary Thomson says that all members are present with the following exceptions: Paine, Gerry, Samuel Adams, Morton, Wythe, Richard H. Lee, New Jersey. More were missing: Carter Braxton (VA), William Ellery (RI), William Floyd and Philip Livingston (all NY), Francis Lee (VA), most of the Pennsylvania delegates, Matthew Thornton (NH), William Williams (CT), New Jersey came later, and 2 were missing: Abraham Clark and John Hart.
Corrected entry: During the alterations frenzy, Reverend Witherspoon states, "Nowhere do you mention the Supreme Being." and proposes the addition of the phrase "With a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence." While this clause actually is an addition to Jefferson's final draft, the reasoning, as shown in the film, is wrong.Onesimos
Corrected entry: When Thomas McKean states that "In my case, hanging won't be so bad," this is incorrect. The signer Benjamin Harrison said that.
Corrected entry: Just before the signing, Stephen Hopkins states that he wants to "remember each man's face as he signs." The filmmakers screwed up. William Ellery, a delegate from Rhode Island, where Hopkins was from, said this. Ellery was not shown in the movie.
Corrected entry: When the Declaration Committee is deciding who should actually write it, Robert Livingston declines because he will be leaving Philadelphia shortly. In fact Livingston was in New York at the time of the vote on Independence and did not sign the Declaration (although he was for it).Onesimos
Corrected entry: After Jefferson's wife arrives, he appears briefly in the doorway then goes back inside and slams the door shut behind him. The 'brick' wall surrounding the door shakes violently, showing that it is not real brick, but just a flimsy set piece.
Corrected entry: When Adams wakes up on the staircase his hair is disheveled. But by the time the next song begins, it's perfectly neat again, even though he showed no evidence of fixing it.
Corrected entry: In the film, the Continental Congress discusses changes in the Declaration of Independence before voting on whether or not to declare independence. In reality, they passed the Declaration and then discussed changes.