On July 1, 1776, (Caesar Agustus) Rodney was not in attendance at the Second Continental Congress due to the fact he was in Delaware investigating and subduing a Tory uprising. On July 1, 1776, Thomas McKean, also a delegate to the Second Continental Congress, sent an urgent message to Rodney requesting his immediate return to Philadelphia. The Congress had taken a vote on independence. Nine colonies voted for independence, with South Carolina and Pennsylvania dissenting, and New York abstaining. Delaware was deadlocked with McKean voting for independence and George Reed against. A unanimous vote was desperately needed for political and psychological reasons if independence were to succeed.
Upon returning home from the Tory uprising, Rodney received the message from McKean stating that the vote was scheduled for July 2, 1776. Physically weak from his cancer and asthma, and exhausted from the riots, Brigadier General Caesar Augustus Rodney embarked on an epic ride, as great as, or greater than the "famous" ride of Paul Revere. During a tremendous thunderstorm, complete with heavy rain and spectacular lightning, Rodney immediately left his home and headed for Philadelphia to cast the most important vote of his life. He rode the entire night and into the next day, which was oppressively hot. He had ridden eighty miles, stopping only to change horses. Rodney arrived at the meeting covered in baked-on mud and dust, just in time to cast his vote. He has been credited with saying, "As I believe the voice of my constituents and of all sensible and honest men is in favor of independence, my own judgement concurs with them. I vote for independence".
This one man embodied the original and the real definition of The American Spirit.