Poster-STONE-1
Stone-Synopsis

The courageous men and women who left their homes and families to sail across the volatile and dangerous Atlantic ocean from England to North America in the early 17th century, knowing they were risking their lives, did so willing because they believed this new land, albeit rough, wild, and untamed, held the promise of a place where they could create a new and better life for themselves, their children, and for future generations to come. They are the original patriots and heroes of this country. It’s men like Roger Ludlow, John Haynes, Edward Hopkins, John Steel, Thomas Hooker, and Samuel Stone who are the true Founding Fathers of our great nation. It was their intelligence, compassion, humanity, and revolutionary ideas for creating a new form of Government that would be based on the rights of an individual, not a ruling Monarch, as described in the first official written document by those men, “The Fundamental Orders of Connecticut,” (the foundation of the “United States Constitution” later written in 1787). Connecticut is officially called the “Constitution State” for that very reason. The settling and formation of the original thirteen colonies fundamentally and profoundly changed the world forever because it is this remarkable period in man’s journey to seek happiness, security and freedom, and the personal sacrifices, hard work, faith, and unwavering determination of great men like Samuel Stone, that history will record as the Birth of the American Dream.

American_Flag
American-Independence-Timeline

This 1846 oil painting by renowned American artist, Frederic Edwin Church depicts Thomas Hooker and Samuel Stone on their 1636 journey through the wilderness as they lead more than one hundred of their followers from Massachusetts to the Connecticut Valley.

Frederic_Edwin_Church_Painting_1
STONE-Synopsis-Title
American-Flag-Eagle

A personal note from the Writer/Director: I grew up with absolutely no knowledge of my ancestral heritage, at all. It was only a couple of years ago when I learned that the founder of one of our great American cities, Hartford, Connecticut, was founded by my 9th Great-grandfather, Samuel Stone. I was shocked when I discovered this information and I thought it was really cool, but that’s about all the thought I gave to it at the time. Recently I decided I should do a little more research on my old 17th century Grandad to see if there was more to his story. What I learned about the facts of his life and many of my other ancient ancestors stunned me beyond belief. This wasn’t just the story of one my relatives who lived four hundred years ago, this was the story of a paradigm shift in the civilization of man that changed the course of history. This is the story of the original Kings and Queens of England and the disparity in the quality of life between those who were born into privilege, aristocracy and Royalty, and those who were not. This is the story of unimaginable cruelty and abuse born of unlimited power and a callus disregard for human life and dignity. This is the story of the life and death struggles and sacrifices made by the original pilgrims and founding fathers and mothers of our country to create a nation built on the principals of Freedom, Equality, Liberty, and Justice for all. This is truly the story of the Birth of the American Dream.

As I dug deeper into the ancestral connections on the various branches of my family tree I continued to be shocked and amazed at what I discovered. For instance, I am directly related to King William I who, as it turns out, is my 27th Great-grandfather. King William, (also known as “William the Conqueror” and sometimes “William the Bastard”), was the first Norman King of England, reigning from 1066 until his death in 1087. Because of lineage and bloodlines, the Royal Family’s reign spans 37 generations and 1209 years. All of the Monarchs are descendants of King Alfred the Great, who began his reign in 871. Because of the Royal bloodlines and marriage, I am somehow related in one way or another to all the most historic figures in English history. Examples of that include; Henry VII, Anne Boleyn, Queen Mary I, (“Bloody Mary”), King James I, (responsible for the English translation of the Bible known as the “King James Bible”), all the way up through the current Queen of England, Elizabeth II, (my 25th Cousin 2x removed) and of course her Grandsons, Prince William and Prince Harry, (my 27th Cousins).

After discovering all this incredible historical information, as a screenwriter and filmmaker, I knew I had to make a movie about it. While I am humbled, and incredibly proud of the historical significance and momentous contributions made by my ancestors to help create the “Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave,” my motivation to make this film is not ego driven, or even that my 9th Great-grandfather is Samuel Stone, or that my 12th Great-grandfather is John “The Martyr” Rogers, or that I’m related to two of the original passengers on board the Mayflower, Thomas Rogers and his son Joseph, no, my motivation comes directly from my sense of American pride and to some degree, my duty to bring this story to the screen at a time when I believe the country really needs it. It seems to me that with all the negative news out there these days, all the fighting, the violence, and all the vile hate speech that is being blasted out on a daily basis here in the UNITED States currently, that this may be the perfect time for everyone who calls America their home to be reminded of the origins of how we became a free nation, the land of opportunity and prosperity, and of how and why the USA became the greatest country on earth. Maybe by looking back again to the very beginning of the birth of our nation, created by the heroic acts of bravery on the part of ordinary people who risked and sacrificed their lives because they were deeply committed to the idea that freedom was a God given right that should be enjoyed by all and not just the privileged few, maybe by looking back we can find the best way to move forward to resolve our differences peacefully and become a unified community of neighbors helping neighbors again where we are all proud to call ourselves Americans. We should always be the kind of patriotic Americans that will always and forever stand together against our foes instead of fighting amongst ourselves. Somehow America has become a fractured nation comprised of a million different groups that all hate each other because they all put their selfish agendas first instead of doing what’s right for the country as a whole. It’s my opinion that a lot of Americans have forgotten how important it is to sometimes make personal sacrifices in the interest of the greater good. That is the only way to keep our country a strong, proud, and a unified nation. American pride is waning and our citizens seem to be increasingly more and more willing to go to war against each other instead of finding a way to work together on our challenges.

One of the country’s most important founding fathers during Revolutionary times (before, during, and after the war) was a man named, John Dickinson. Mr. Dickinson was a solicitor and politician from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and Wilmington, Delaware known as the, “Penman of the Revolution” for his twelve “Letters from a Farmer in Pennsylvania,” published individually in 1767 and 1768. As a member of the First Continental Congress, where he was a signee to the Continental Association, Dickinson drafted most of the 1774 Petition to the King, and then, as a member of the Second Continental Congress, wrote the 1775 Olive Branch Petition. When those two attempts to negotiate with King George III failed, Dickinson reworked Thomas Jefferson’s language and wrote the final draft of the 1775 Declaration of the Causes and Necessity of Taking Up Arms against Great Britain and the King, thus resulting in the start of the Revolutionary war. John Dickinson is responsible for the writing of many historical early American documents that helped shaped our nation and defined what being an American meant and what American stood for. In 1768, (seven years before the start of the war) when it was becoming clear that a war between the American Colonialists seeking Independence from the rule of the King was an inevitability, Dickinson wrote a song called “The Liberty Song,” which was meant to serve as a rallying cry for all citizens living in America that were willing to stand up and fight for their freedom and fight against the tyranny of the King and his control over them, forever. One of the verses in the song goes as follows, “Then join hand in hand, brave Americans all, By uniting we stand, by dividing we fall.” No truer words were ever written when it comes to predicting the outcome of an impending conflict. If we continue down this path of breaking off into separate little groups that all fight and hate each other instead of being a unified nation of proud patriots that stand together along side our fellow Americans in good times and bad, banded together underneath the Stars and Stripes blanket of our glorious flag, then we are surely doomed to fall. Everyone thinks our personal differences, problems, and issues are so complex and far too difficult to tackle and solve. The news peddlers, pundits, bloggers, and many politicians actively create, exaggerate, and exacerbate the difficult issues of the day to keep us fighting with each other. Why? Because it keeps them employed. The answer to solving our problems is so incredibly simple and yet, for some reason, seems to be so difficult for most people to make a part of their daily lives. The answer is this; just follow the Golden rule, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” That’s it. Just treat people with the love, kindness, caring, and level of respect that you would like to receive from them. If we would all just practice the Golden Rule then all this terrible, crazy, bull—t, that’s tearing our country apart, would go away.

Wouldn’t it be beautiful if from this day forward we all started treating each other with genuine love and respect again and unabashedly, proudly, expressed how grateful and privileged we all feel to be citizens of the United States of America? Wouldn’t that be awesome? What if there never were those original brave pilgrims, founders, and revolutionaries who risked their lives and sacrificed everything for their belief in the radical idea that freedom for all was not just possible, but should be the core principal on which to build a new nation. Can you imagine a world in which America never existed? A world in which there had never been the right to Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness. A world that did not include self-evident inalienable rights and laws written to ensure Justice for All? Can you imagine if there had never been a nation where Freedom Rang from Sea to Shinning Sea? Can you imagine a world without the Hope and Promise that is so passionately embodied in the perception of the “America Dream?” As for me, I cannot. America is the glorious beacon that lights up the imagination of the entire world and illuminates the true will of man, proclaiming; If you can dream it, it can be done. I am eternally grateful to all those courageous patriots who came before me like my ancestor, Samuel Stone and the countless other American Dreamers who fought tireless to ensure that I, and all citizens of the United States of America, would have the opportunity and privilege to live and thrive in the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave.

When putting all this together it struck me that it had been quite a number of years since I had read or recited the Pledge of Allegiance. In fact, I wasn’t even sure I could remember the exact phrasing of the pledge, which angered me because I thought; How can I call myself a proud American and not even remember the exact wording of the Pledge of Allegiance? So I looked it up online to make sure I was getting it right, and I have to tell you, when I read those simple, beautiful, powerful words again, I got the chills. It was if I was reading and saying them again for the first time. I became deeply emotional and moved by such eloquent words that are so imbued with American history and pride. If the founding fathers and mothers of this country were alive to witness the state of the nation as it stands today, and so were all the brave men and women who gave their lives defending our rights and freedoms over the last four centuries, I have no doubt in my mind that they would all be deeply saddened and heartbroken. If, like me, it’s been a while since you’ve read or recited the pledge maybe it’s time you did so again and hopefully that profound sense of American pride will wash over you like it did me when I read them again and thought about the true meaning of the Pledge of Allegiance to America.

Pledge-of-Allegiance-flag-1

One of the other cool and interesting things I discovered while doing the research into my ancestral history was the Stone Family Crest, but what really blew me away about it was, when I translated the Latin phrase in the top scroll, “Vive ut vivas” which means: “Live so that you may live” suggesting that one should live life to the fullest and without fear of the possible consequences. The reason why that particular phrase being attached to my family’s Coat of Arms all those centuries ago was so mind-blowing for me was, because that has been the exact mantra that I’ve lived my entire life by. Anyone whose ever known me for any length of time would tell you that phrase describes my personal approach to life perfectly. When I found out what the phrase meant it made me smile from ear to ear but it was also a bit eerie because it felt very personal, like it was written just me. I instantly felt a deep connection to the ancestors that I had never known about up until this time. It felt like destiny. It felt like I had I devoted my entire life to learning my craft as a filmmaker so that one day I would discover my family’s history and be in a position to bring this amazing “Birth of the American Dream” story to the screen.

Stone-Family-Crest-Framed

My company’s name is RJS Entertainment. The RJS stands for my initials, Ronald James Stone. As mentioned above, I am extremely proud to be a Stone and to have had so many of my ancestors contribute so mightily to the founding of our nation, but my greatest sense of pride comes from just simply being an American. For me, it’s truly an honor and a privilege to be a citizen of the United States of America and I do not take my rights and freedoms for granted, nor do I abuse them. When I hear the playing of the National Anthem I’m happy to put my hand over my heart and stand proudly to pay my respects to the country that provides me the opportunity to live the American Dream.
We are a nation of immigrants but we are a family of Americans. Just love each other, we’re all in this together.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                ~Ron Stone

There are two identical statues that have been erected to honor and commemorate the accomplishments of Reverend Samuel Stone.
The first is in Hertford, England on Fore Street where he was born.
The second is located in the Ancient Burying Grounds on Main Street in Hartford, Connecticut.

STONE-Statues
STONE-Poster-Coming-Soon
Stars
RJS-Logo
Poster-STONE-1
Stone-Synopsis-iPad

The courageous men and women who left their homes and families to sail across the volatile and dangerous Atlantic ocean from England to North America in the early 17th century, knowing they were risking their lives, did so willing because they believed this new land, albeit rough, wild, and untamed, held the promise of a place where they could create a new and better life for themselves, their children, and for future generations to come. They are the original patriots and heroes of this country. It’s men like Roger Ludlow, John Haynes, Edward Hopkins, John Steel, Thomas Hooker, and Samuel Stone who are the true Founding Fathers of our great nation. It was their intelligence, compassion, humanity, and revolutionary ideas for creating a new form of Government that would be based on the rights of an individual, not a ruling Monarch, as described in the first official written document by those men, “The Fundamental Orders of Connecticut,” (the foundation of the “United States Constitution” later written in 1787). Connecticut is officially called the “Constitution State” for that very reason. The settling and formation of the original thirteen colonies fundamentally and profoundly changed the world forever because it is this remarkable period in man’s journey to seek happiness, security and freedom, and the personal sacrifices, hard work, faith, and unwavering determination of great men like Samuel Stone, that history will record as the Birth of the American Dream.

American_Flag
American-Independence-Timeline
CT-Map-iPad

This 1846 oil painting by renowned American artist, Frederic Edwin Church depicts Thomas Hooker and Samuel Stone on their 1636 journey through the wilderness as they lead more than one hundred of their followers from Massachusetts to the Connecticut Valley.

Frederic_Edwin_Church_Painting_1

A personal note from the Writer/Director: I grew up with absolutely no knowledge of my ancestral heritage, at all. It was only a couple of years ago when I learned that the founder of one of our great American cities, Hartford, Connecticut, was founded by my 9th Great-grandfather, Samuel Stone. I was shocked when I discovered this information and I thought it was really cool, but that’s about all the thought I gave to it at the time. Recently I decided I should do a little more research on my old 17th century Grandad to see if there was more to his story. What I learned about the facts of his life and many of my other ancient ancestors stunned me beyond belief. This wasn’t just the story of one my relatives who lived four hundred years ago, this was the story of a paradigm shift in the civilization of man that changed the course of history. This is the story of the original Kings and Queens of England and the disparity in the quality of life between those who were born into privilege, aristocracy and Royalty, and those who were not. This is the story of unimaginable cruelty and abuse born of unlimited power and a callus disregard for human life and dignity. This is the story of the life and death struggles and sacrifices made by the original pilgrims and founding fathers and mothers of our country to create a nation built on the principals of Freedom, Equality, Liberty, and Justice for all. This is truly the story of the Birth of the American Dream.

As I dug deeper into the ancestral connections on the various branches of my family tree I continued to be shocked and amazed at what I discovered. For instance, I am directly related to King William I who, as it turns out, is my 27th Great-grandfather. King William, (also known as “William the Conqueror” and sometimes “William the Bastard”), was the first Norman King of England, reigning from 1066 until his death in 1087. Because of lineage and bloodlines, the Royal Family’s reign spans 37 generations and 1209 years. All of the Monarchs are descendants of King Alfred the Great, who began his reign in 871. Because of the Royal bloodlines and marriage, I am somehow related in one way or another to all the most historic figures in English history. Examples of that include; Henry VII, Anne Boleyn, Queen Mary I, (“Bloody Mary”), King James I, (responsible for the English translation of the Bible known as the “King James Bible”), all the way up through the current Queen of England, Elizabeth II, (my 25th Cousin 2x removed) and of course her Grandsons, Prince William and Prince Harry, (my 27th Cousins).

After discovering all this incredible historical information, as a screenwriter and filmmaker, I knew I had to make a movie about it. While I am humbled, and incredibly proud of the historical significance and momentous contributions made by my ancestors to help create the “Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave,” my motivation to make this film is not ego driven, or even that my 9th Great-grandfather is Samuel Stone, or that my 12th Great-grandfather is John “The Martyr” Rogers, or that I’m related to two of the original passengers on board the Mayflower, Thomas Rogers and his son Joseph, no, my motivation comes directly from my sense of American pride and to some degree, my duty to bring this story to the screen at a time when I believe the country really needs it. It seems to me that with all the negative news out there these days, all the fighting, the violence, and all the vile hate speech that is being blasted out on a daily basis here in the UNITED States currently, that this may be the perfect time for everyone who calls America their home to be reminded of the origins of how we became a free nation, the land of opportunity and prosperity, and of how and why the USA became the greatest country on earth. Maybe by looking back again to the very beginning of the birth of our nation, created by the heroic acts of bravery on the part of ordinary people who risked and sacrificed their lives because they were deeply committed to the idea that freedom was a God given right that should be enjoyed by all and not just the privileged few, maybe by looking back we can find the best way to move forward to resolve our differences peacefully and become a unified community of neighbors helping neighbors again where we are all proud to call ourselves Americans. We should always be the kind of patriotic Americans that will always and forever stand together against our foes instead of fighting amongst ourselves. Somehow America has become a fractured nation comprised of a million different groups that all hate each other because they all put their selfish agendas first instead of doing what’s right for the country as a whole. It’s my opinion that a lot of Americans have forgotten how important it is to sometimes make personal sacrifices in the interest of the greater good. That is the only way to keep our country a strong, proud, and a unified nation. American pride is waning and our citizens seem to be increasingly more and more willing to go to war against each other instead of finding a way to work together on our challenges.

One of the country’s most important founding fathers during Revolutionary times (before, during, and after the war) was a man named, John Dickinson. Mr. Dickinson was a solicitor and politician from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and Wilmington, Delaware known as the, “Penman of the Revolution” for his twelve “Letters from a Farmer in Pennsylvania,” published individually in 1767 and 1768. As a member of the First Continental Congress, where he was a signee to the Continental Association, Dickinson drafted most of the 1774 Petition to the King, and then, as a member of the Second Continental Congress, wrote the 1775 Olive Branch Petition. When those two attempts to negotiate with King George III failed, Dickinson reworked Thomas Jefferson’s language and wrote the final draft of the 1775 Declaration of the Causes and Necessity of Taking Up Arms against Great Britain and the King, thus resulting in the start of the Revolutionary war. John Dickinson is responsible for the writing of many historical early American documents that helped shaped our nation and defined what being an American meant and what American stood for. In 1768, (seven years before the start of the war) when it was becoming clear that a war between the American Colonialists seeking Independence from the rule of the King was an inevitability, Dickinson wrote a song called “The Liberty Song,” which was meant to serve as a rallying cry for all citizens living in America that were willing to stand up and fight for their freedom and fight against the tyranny of the King and his control over them, forever. One of the verses in the song goes as follows, “Then join hand in hand, brave Americans all, By uniting we stand, by dividing we fall.” No truer words were ever written when it comes to predicting the outcome of an impending conflict. If we continue down this path of breaking off into separate little groups that all fight and hate each other instead of being a unified nation of proud patriots that stand together along side our fellow Americans in good times and bad, banded together underneath the Stars and Stripes blanket of our glorious flag, then we are surely doomed to fall. Everyone thinks our personal differences, problems, and issues are so complex and far too difficult to tackle and solve. The news peddlers, pundits, bloggers, and many politicians actively create, exaggerate, and exacerbate the difficult issues of the day to keep us fighting with each other. Why? Because it keeps them employed. The answer to solving our problems is so incredibly simple and yet, for some reason, seems to be so difficult for most people to make a part of their daily lives. The answer is this; just follow the Golden rule, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” That’s it. Just treat people with the love, kindness, caring, and level of respect that you would like to receive from them. If we would all just practice the Golden Rule then all this terrible, crazy, bull—t, that’s tearing our country apart, would go away.

Wouldn’t it be beautiful if from this day forward we all started treating each other with genuine love and respect again and unabashedly, proudly, expressed how grateful and privileged we all feel to be citizens of the United States of America? Wouldn’t that be awesome? What if there never were those original brave pilgrims, founders, and revolutionaries who risked their lives and sacrificed everything for their belief in the radical idea that freedom for all was not just possible, but should be the core principal on which to build a new nation. Can you imagine a world in which America never existed? A world in which there had never been the right to Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness. A world that did not include self-evident inalienable rights and laws written to ensure Justice for All? Can you imagine if there had never been a nation where Freedom Rang from Sea to Shinning Sea? Can you imagine a world without the Hope and Promise that is so passionately embodied in the perception of the “America Dream?” As for me, I cannot. America is the glorious beacon that lights up the imagination of the entire world and illuminates the true will of man, proclaiming; If you can dream it, it can be done. I am eternally grateful to all those courageous patriots who came before me like my ancestor, Samuel Stone and the countless other American Dreamers who fought tireless to ensure that I, and all citizens of the United States of America, would have the opportunity and privilege to live and thrive in the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave.

When putting all this together it struck me that it had been quite a number of years since I had read or recited the Pledge of Allegiance. In fact, I wasn’t even sure I could remember the exact phrasing of the pledge, which angered me because I thought; How can I call myself a proud American and not even remember the exact wording of the Pledge of Allegiance? So I looked it up online to make sure I was getting it right, and I have to tell you, when I read those simple, beautiful, powerful words again, I got the chills. It was if I was reading and saying them again for the first time. I became deeply emotional and moved by such eloquent words that are so imbued with American history and pride. If the founding fathers and mothers of this country were alive to witness the state of the nation as it stands today, and so were all the brave men and women who gave their lives defending our rights and freedoms over the last four centuries, I have no doubt in my mind that they would all be deeply saddened and heartbroken. If, like me, it’s been a while since you’ve read or recited the pledge maybe it’s time you did so again and hopefully that profound sense of American pride will wash over you like it did me when I read them again and thought about the true meaning of the Pledge of Allegiance to America.

Pledge-of-Allegiance-flag-1

One of the other cool and interesting things I discovered while doing the research into my ancestral history was the Stone Family Crest, but what really blew me away about it was, when I translated the Latin phrase in the top scroll, “Vive ut vivas” which means: “Live so that you may live” suggesting that one should live life to the fullest and without fear of the possible consequences. The reason why that particular phrase being attached to my family’s Coat of Arms all those centuries ago was so mind-blowing for me was, because that has been the exact mantra that I’ve lived my entire life by. Anyone whose ever known me for any length of time would tell you that phrase describes my personal approach to life perfectly. When I found out what the phrase meant it made me smile from ear to ear but it was also a bit eerie because it felt very personal, like it was written just me. I instantly felt a deep connection to the ancestors that I had never known about up until this time. It felt like destiny. It felt like I had I devoted my entire life to learning my craft as a filmmaker so that one day I would discover my family’s history and be in a position to bring this amazing “Birth of the American Dream” story to the screen.

Stone-Family-Crest-Framed

My company’s name is RJS Entertainment. The RJS stands for my initials, Ronald James Stone. As mentioned above, I am extremely proud to be a Stone and to have had so many of my ancestors contribute so mightily to the founding of our nation, but my greatest sense of pride comes from just simply being an American. For me, it’s truly an honor and a privilege to be a citizen of the United States of America and I do not take my rights and freedoms for granted, nor do I abuse them. When I hear the playing of the National Anthem I’m happy to put my hand over my heart and stand proudly to pay my respects to the country that provides me the opportunity to live the American Dream.

We are a nation of immigrants but we are a family of Americans. Just love each other, we’re all in this together.

~Ron Stone

There are two identical statues that have been erected to honor and commemorate the accomplishments of Reverend Samuel Stone. The first is in Hertford, England on Fore Street where he was born. The second is located in the Ancient Burying Grounds on Main Street in Hartford, Connecticut.

STONE-Statues
STONE-Poster-Coming-Soon
RJS-Logo
Poster-STONE-1
STONE-Synopsis-Title-2

This story is based on real events that profoundly shaped the history of the United Kingdom starting as far back as the medieval times of the 12th century, and the harrowing foundation and formation of the United States of America in the 17th century, starting with the original thirteen colonies. This is the true story of the Birth of the American Dream.

The year is 1554 in the city of Ghent located in the East Flanders province of Belgium. At that time Ghent was one of the largest and richest cities in northern Europe and under the rule of Emperor Charles V. With possessions in Europe and America, the Emperor ruled over vast territories and was enormously powerful and wealthy. On February 14th of that year two people, a man named David van der Leyen and a woman named Levina Ghyselins, were imprisoned in Ghent because they were known Anabaptists (Mennonites) who followed Christ and lived according to God’s commandments. Mr. van der Leyen, who, when examined by Catholic authorities, freely confessed his faith. Being asked what he thought of the sacrament, David said, that he considered it nothing else than idolatry. Then a priest said to him, “Friend, you err greatly, that you so readily confess your faith, for it will cost you your life.” He was then brought into the court, where he was condemned to death, and his sentence was read, namely, that he had fallen from the true faith into heresy, and was therefore, according to the imperial edict, (a decree issued by Emperor Charles V in 1521), sentenced to be strangled and then burned at the stake. Miss Ghyselins was sentenced to the same fate. The two where lead into a public square where a bag of gunpowder was tied to each of them, whereupon they were strangled, lit on fire and burned to death. David was seen to move his head by someone in the crowd who exclaimed, “He still lives.” The executioner seized a pitchfork and thrust it three times into his bowels so that the blood flowed out of his body; yet even after this he was still seen to move, hence, the executioner threw a heavy chain around his neck and pulled with all his might until David’s neck snapped.The Emperors, Kings, and Queens of the day did not believe in freedom of speech or freedom of religion for their subjects. If a person did not fully espouse the beliefs their rulers decreed, they were hunted down like animals, convicted of heresy, then condemned to a gruesome death.Henry VIII, King of England from 1509 until his death in 1547, is responsible for having tens of thousands of people convicted of being heretics and then brutally executed. In 1553, Mary Tudor, (known as the bastard child of Henry VII) ascended to the throne by having the newly crowned, Lady Jane Grey convicted of high treason in a trial presided over by a special commission that found her guilty of treacherously assuming the title and the power of the Monarchy, whereby she was sentenced to death.
Mary Tudor was immediately crowned Queen of England and the special commission gave her the option to choose the execution method by which Lady Jane would die, either burnt at the stake or beheaded. Mary chose a public beheading for Lady Grey. Within two months of her ascension to the throne, Queen Mary had reinstated the previously repealed Heresy Acts, which were extremely strict regulations “concerning the arresting and apprehension of erroneous and heretical preachers”—heretical in this case meaning “not Catholic.” Under the reinstated law, practicing Protestant leaders and churchmen were imprisoned and made martyrs. In the Marian persecutions, over 300 religious “heretics” were executed by being burned at the stake. This persecution of Protestants earned the Queen the posthumous title of “Bloody Mary.” The first execution of a Protestant martyr under the new power-drunk Queen’s rule was Rev. John Rogers. The Queen had Rogers burned at the stake on February 4th, 1555 in Smithfield England, located just northeast of central London.
At the stake, Rogers was offered a pardon if only he would recant his beliefs and return to the Catholic Church. He refused. The fire was lit and Rogers washed his hands in the flames as though he did not feel them. Antoine de Noailles, the French ambassador, said in a letter that, “Rogers’ death confirmed the alliance between the Pope and England.” He also spoke of the support given to Rogers by the greatest part of the people: “even his wife and children assisted at it, comforting him in such a manner that it seemed as if he had been led to a wedding.” Rev. John Rogers is remembered in history as “John the Martyr” the first person “Bloody Mary” had burned at the stake. One of Rogers’ eleven children that were in attendance the day of his execution was a son by the name of Richard. Richard Rogers moved to the county town of Hertford in Hertfordshire England shortly after his father’s murder. There, he married three times and fathered eighteen children. His first marriage, (to a woman named Barbra) produced two children, Daniel and Sarah. Sarah Rogers grew up and married a man in Hertford by the name of John Stone. Mr. Stone was a “Freeholder” meaning he outright owned the land his estate was built on, not the King, which was not the case for most citizens of England during that time. The Stone’s were Puritans, a sect of Christians who sought to “purify” the Church of England from its Catholic practices and reform it even further, which was at odds with the beliefs of the Monarchy. Sarah Stone knew firsthand just exactly how dangerous it was to go against the religious beliefs of the crown since it was her grandfather, John Rogers, who was the first to be gruesomely executed by Queen Mary because he was a Puritan Minister whom she convicted of heresy.King James VI of Scotland was raised as a Presbyterian. Even though his mother, Mary Queen of Scots, had been a Catholic, he was baptized by a Calvinist figure no less prominent than John Knox, sent to Scotland by John Calvin himself. You would think that when James ascended to the English throne in 1603 that he would have been sympathetic to the English Puritans for their beliefs that were also derived from Calvin and his teachings. The Bible every Puritan family had in their home at the time was the “Geneva Bible,” which was the most widely read and influential English Bible of the 16th and 17th centuries. The new King rejected virtually every idea of the Puritan faith. He suppressed them in any way possible in hopes that he would drive them out of England altogether. He felt the Geneva Bible was subversive because it undermined his power to have complete and total control over his subjects. Within a year of becoming the King of England, (King James I) he initiated a project which would attack the Puritans at the heart of their faith.
He and his bishops created a new Bible translation which he called the “Authorized Version,” (later it became known as the King James Version.) After the King James Bible was published in 1611, the Geneva Bible was banned in England; indeed King James made ownership of it a felony.

On July 18th, 1602 John and Sarah Stone welcomed their second, (of nine) children into the world, a son whom they named Samuel. Even under the treat of incurring the wrath of the King, the Stone’s raised all their children in a household with Puritan beliefs. Samuel was a particularly bright boy who voraciously studied and was always at the top of his class in school. Growing up in his Puritan home he became interested in religion at a very young age. He had heard many accounts and stories of horrific acts of religious persecution like those of David van der Leyen, Levina Ghyselins, and his own Great-grandfather, John Rogers, who were all burned at the stake and murdered by their rulers.In 1620, when Samuel Stone turned 18, he left his hometown of Hertford to study at Emmanuel College in Cambridge. That same year a band of Separatists called “The Pilgrim Fathers” crossed the Atlantic on the “Mayflower” and founded the settlement of New Plymouth, (where New England was first established). Aboard the Mayflower on that historic journey to the New World were Samuel’s Great-uncle, Thomas Rogers and his second cousin, Joseph Rogers, (Thomas’ son who was roughly the same age as Samuel).Samuel graduated from University in 1624 with Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts degrees. He was ordained a Minister on July 8th, 1626 at Peterbough and a year later became curate at Sisted, Essex. While in the Essex area he met a prominent Minister by the name of Thomas Hooker. Reverend Hooker had earned a reputation as an excellent speaker, lecturer, and preacher. After getting to know Samuel well, he recognized the characteristics in young Stone that were later described in an article by an early American history writer as being, “A theological Socrates. A subtle reasoner and intelligent debater. Ingenious, witty, didactic, and a man of principles.” Hooker was so impressed with Stone that he hired him as his assistant. In 1630, under threat of religious persecution and imprisonment, Hooker fled to Rotterdam in the Netherlands. In early 1633, Samuel Stone sent word to his friend Rev. Hooker that he and other notable clergymen and freedom seekers had made the decision to immigrate to the New World aboard a ship named, “Griffin.” The large wooden sailing ship carrying 200 people set sail from Downs, England on July 13th and landed 55 days later in Boston on September 4th. The two month long journey across the Atlantic Ocean in 1633 was difficult to say the least, in fact, four passengers died on the trip over before ever setting foot on American soil and several others died shortly thereafter from various diseases and poor health. Within a few weeks of arriving in New England, Stone became a teacher at the Cambridge Church and Hooker became the preacher. It wasn’t long before Hooker and Stone acquired the respect of the local townspeople and had built a sizable congregation. In 1636 Hooker and Stone decided they wanted to have more of a significant impact on the development of the new American colonies so they, along with roughly one hundred members of their congregation, packed up all their belongs, livestock, and provisions, then made the arduous journey into the wilderness from New Towne (Cambridge, Massachusetts) and traveled about 100 miles southwest to a small Dutch trading post called “House of Hope.” The town, (which was inhabited by a native Indian tribe called the Saukiogs) was located at the end of the Connecticut River. Being the elder, Thomas Hooker often receives much of the credit for the development of Connecticut, however, it was Stone that made a peace treaty with the leader of the Saukiogs, (Chief Sequassen) and negotiated a deal to purchase the land. The town was renamed “Hartford” in honor of Stone’s birthplace. By 1639 Hartford and other surrounding towns were beginning to thrive. Representatives from the towns came together to discuss the best way to govern themselves without adhering to the oppressive laws of the King. From these meetings a document was drafted called, “The Fundamental Orders of Connecticut.” This was the first written document in American history that presented a binding and compact frame of government that put the welfare of the community above that of individuals. It was also the first written constitution in the world to declare the modern idea that, “the foundation of authority is in the free consent of the people.” That monumental document established the original framework and language for the “United States Constitution.”
The founding of Hartford by Samuel Stone in 1636, and the writing of “The Fundamental Orders of Connecticut” three years later, can well and truly be described as the “Birth of the American Dream.”

CT-Map-iPad

The courageous men and women who left their homes and families to sail across the volatile and dangerous Atlantic ocean from England to North America in the early 17th century, knowing they were risking their lives, did so willing because they believed this new land, albeit rough, wild, and untamed, held the promise of a place where they could create a new and better life for themselves, their children, and for future generations to come. They are the original patriots and heroes of this country. It’s men like Roger Ludlow, John Haynes, Edward Hopkins, John Steel, Thomas Hooker, and Samuel Stone who are the true Founding Fathers of our great nation. It was their intelligence, compassion, humanity, and revolutionary ideas for creating a new form of Government that would be based on the rights of an individual, not a ruling Monarch, as described in the first official written document by those men, “The Fundamental Orders of Connecticut,” (the foundation of the “United States Constitution” later written in 1787). Connecticut is officially called the “Constitution State” for that very reason. The settling and formation of the original thirteen colonies fundamentally and profoundly changed the world forever because it is this remarkable period in man’s journey to seek happiness, security and freedom, and the personal sacrifices, hard work, faith, and unwavering determination of great men like Samuel Stone, that history will record as the Birth of the American Dream.

American_Flag

This 1846 oil painting by renowned American artist, Frederic Edwin Church depicts Thomas Hooker and Samuel Stone on their 1636 journey through the wilderness as they lead more than one hundred of their followers from Massachusetts to the Connecticut Valley.

Frederic_Edwin_Church_Painting_1

A personal note from the Writer/Director: I grew up with absolutely no knowledge of my ancestral heritage, at all. It was only a couple of years ago when I learned that the founder of one of our great American cities, Hartford, Connecticut, was founded by my 9th Great-grandfather, Samuel Stone. I was shocked when I discovered this information and I thought it was really cool, but that’s about all the thought I gave to it at the time. Recently I decided I should do a little more research on my old 17th century Grandad to see if there was more to his story. What I learned about the facts of his life and many of my other ancient ancestors stunned me beyond belief. This wasn’t just the story of one my relatives who lived four hundred years ago, this was the story of a paradigm shift in the civilization of man that changed the course of history. This is the story of the original Kings and Queens of England and the disparity in the quality of life between those who were born into privilege, aristocracy and Royalty, and those who were not. This is the story of unimaginable cruelty and abuse born of unlimited power and a callus disregard for human life and dignity. This is the story of the life and death struggles and sacrifices made by the original pilgrims and founding fathers and mothers of our country to create a nation built on the principals of Freedom, Equality, Liberty, and Justice for all. This is truly the story of the Birth of the American Dream.

As I dug deeper into the ancestral connections on the various branches of my family tree I continued to be shocked and amazed at what I discovered. For instance, I am directly related to King William I who, as it turns out, is my 27th Great-grandfather. King William, (also known as “William the Conqueror” and sometimes “William the Bastard”), was the first Norman King of England, reigning from 1066 until his death in 1087. Because of lineage and bloodlines, the Royal Family’s reign spans 37 generations and 1209 years. All of the Monarchs are descendants of King Alfred the Great, who began his reign in 871. Because of the Royal bloodlines and marriage, I am somehow related in one way or another to all the most historic figures in English history. Examples of that include; Henry VII, Anne Boleyn, Queen Mary I, (“Bloody Mary”), King James I, (responsible for the English translation of the Bible known as the “King James Bible”), all the way up through the current Queen of England, Elizabeth II, (my 25th Cousin 2x removed) and of course her Grandsons, Prince William and Prince Harry, (my 27th Cousins).

After discovering all this incredible historical information, as a screenwriter and filmmaker, I knew I had to make a movie about it. While I am humbled, and incredibly proud of the historical significance and momentous contributions made by my ancestors to help create the “Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave,” my motivation to make this film is not ego driven, or even that my 9th Great-grandfather is Samuel Stone, or that my 12th Great-grandfather is John “The Martyr” Rogers, or that I’m related to two of the original passengers on board the Mayflower, Thomas Rogers and his son Joseph, no, my motivation comes directly from my sense of American pride and to some degree, my duty to bring this story to the screen at a time when I believe the country really needs it. It seems to me that with all the negative news out there these days, all the fighting, the violence, and all the vile hate speech that is being blasted out on a daily basis here in the UNITED States currently, that this may be the perfect time for everyone who calls America their home to be reminded of the origins of how we became a free nation, the land of opportunity and prosperity, and of how and why the USA became the greatest country on earth. Maybe by looking back again to the very beginning of the birth of our nation, created by the heroic acts of bravery on the part of ordinary people who risked and sacrificed their lives because they were deeply committed to the idea that freedom was a God given right that should be enjoyed by all and not just the privileged few, maybe by looking back we can find the best way to move forward to resolve our differences peacefully and become a unified community of neighbors helping neighbors again where we are all proud to call ourselves Americans. We should always be the kind of patriotic Americans that will always and forever stand together against our foes instead of fighting amongst ourselves. Somehow America has become a fractured nation comprised of a million different groups that all hate each other because they all put their selfish agendas first instead of doing what’s right for the country as a whole. It’s my opinion that a lot of Americans have forgotten how important it is to sometimes make personal sacrifices in the interest of the greater good. That is the only way to keep our country a strong, proud, and a unified nation. American pride is waning and our citizens seem to be increasingly more and more willing to go to war against each other instead of finding a way to work together on our challenges.

One of the country’s most important founding fathers during Revolutionary times (before, during, and after the war) was a man named, John Dickinson. Mr. Dickinson was a solicitor and politician from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and Wilmington, Delaware known as the, “Penman of the Revolution” for his twelve “Letters from a Farmer in Pennsylvania,” published individually in 1767 and 1768. As a member of the First Continental Congress, where he was a signee to the Continental Association, Dickinson drafted most of the 1774 Petition to the King, and then, as a member of the Second Continental Congress, wrote the 1775 Olive Branch Petition. When those two attempts to negotiate with King George III failed, Dickinson reworked Thomas Jefferson’s language and wrote the final draft of the 1775 Declaration of the Causes and Necessity of Taking Up Arms against Great Britain and the King, thus resulting in the start of the Revolutionary war. John Dickinson is responsible for the writing of many historical early American documents that helped shaped our nation and defined what being an American meant and what American stood for. In 1768, (seven years before the start of the war) when it was becoming clear that a war between the American Colonialists seeking Independence from the rule of the King was an inevitability, Dickinson wrote a song called “The Liberty Song,” which was meant to serve as a rallying cry for all citizens living in America that were willing to stand up and fight for their freedom and fight against the tyranny of the King and his control over them, forever. One of the verses in the song goes as follows, “Then join hand in hand, brave Americans all, By uniting we stand, by dividing we fall.” No truer words were ever written when it comes to predicting the outcome of an impending conflict. If we continue down this path of breaking off into separate little groups that all fight and hate each other instead of being a unified nation of proud patriots that stand together along side our fellow Americans in good times and bad, banded together underneath the Stars and Stripes blanket of our glorious flag, then we are surely doomed to fall. Everyone thinks our personal differences, problems, and issues are so complex and far too difficult to tackle and solve. The news peddlers, pundits, bloggers, and many politicians actively create, exaggerate, and exacerbate the difficult issues of the day to keep us fighting with each other. Why? Because it keeps them employed. The answer to solving our problems is so incredibly simple and yet, for some reason, seems to be so difficult for most people to make a part of their daily lives. The answer is this; just follow the Golden rule, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” That’s it. Just treat people with the love, kindness, caring, and level of respect that you would like to receive from them. If we would all just practice the Golden Rule then all this terrible, crazy, bull—t, that’s tearing our country apart, would go away.

Wouldn’t it be beautiful if from this day forward we all started treating each other with genuine love and respect again and unabashedly, proudly, expressed how grateful and privileged we all feel to be citizens of the United States of America? Wouldn’t that be awesome? What if there never were those original brave pilgrims, founders, and revolutionaries who risked their lives and sacrificed everything for their belief in the radical idea that freedom for all was not just possible, but should be the core principal on which to build a new nation. Can you imagine a world in which America never existed? A world in which there had never been the right to Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness. A world that did not include self-evident inalienable rights and laws written to ensure Justice for All? Can you imagine if there had never been a nation where Freedom Rang from Sea to Shinning Sea? Can you imagine a world without the Hope and Promise that is so passionately embodied in the perception of the “America Dream?” As for me, I cannot. America is the glorious beacon that lights up the imagination of the entire world and illuminates the true will of man, proclaiming; If you can dream it, it can be done. I am eternally grateful to all those courageous patriots who came before me like my ancestor, Samuel Stone and the countless other American Dreamers who fought tireless to ensure that I, and all citizens of the United States of America, would have the opportunity and privilege to live and thrive in the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave.

When putting all this together it struck me that it had been quite a number of years since I had read or recited the Pledge of Allegiance. In fact, I wasn’t even sure I could remember the exact phrasing of the pledge, which angered me because I thought; How can I call myself a proud American and not even remember the exact wording of the Pledge of Allegiance? So I looked it up online to make sure I was getting it right, and I have to tell you, when I read those simple, beautiful, powerful words again, I got the chills. It was if I was reading and saying them again for the first time. I became deeply emotional and moved by such eloquent words that are so imbued with American history and pride. If the founding fathers and mothers of this country were alive to witness the state of the nation as it stands today, and so were all the brave men and women who gave their lives defending our rights and freedoms over the last four centuries, I have no doubt in my mind that they would all be deeply saddened and heartbroken. If, like me, it’s been a while since you’ve read or recited the pledge maybe it’s time you did so again and hopefully that profound sense of American pride will wash over you like it did me when I read them again and thought about the true meaning of the Pledge of Allegiance to America.

Pledge-of-Allegiance-flag-1

One of the other cool and interesting things I discovered while doing the research into my ancestral history was the Stone Family Crest, but what really blew me away about it was, when I translated the Latin phrase in the top scroll, “Vive ut vivas” which means: “Live so that you may live” suggesting that one should live life to the fullest and without fear of the possible consequences. The reason why that particular phrase being attached to my family’s Coat of Arms all those centuries ago was so mind-blowing for me was, because that has been the exact mantra that I’ve lived my entire life by. Anyone whose ever known me for any length of time would tell you that phrase describes my personal approach to life perfectly. When I found out what the phrase meant it made me smile from ear to ear but it was also a bit eerie because it felt very personal, like it was written just me. I instantly felt a deep connection to the ancestors that I had never known about up until this time. It felt like destiny. It felt like I had I devoted my entire life to learning my craft as a filmmaker so that one day I would discover my family’s history and be in a position to bring this amazing “Birth of the American Dream” story to the screen.

Stone-Family-Crest-Framed

My company’s name is RJS Entertainment. The RJS stands for my initials, Ronald James Stone. As mentioned above, I am extremely proud to be a Stone and to have had so many of my ancestors contribute so mightily to the founding of our nation, but my greatest sense of pride comes from just simply being an American. For me, it’s truly an honor and a privilege to be a citizen of the United States of America and I do not take my rights and freedoms for granted, nor do I abuse them. When I hear the playing of the National Anthem I’m happy to put my hand over my heart and stand proudly to pay my respects to the country that provides me the opportunity to live the American Dream.

We are a nation of immigrants but we are a family of Americans. Just love each other, we’re all in this together.

~Ron Stone

There are two identical statues that have been erected to honor and commemorate the accomplishments of Reverend Samuel Stone. The first is in Hertford, England on Fore Street where he was born. The second is located in the Ancient Burying Grounds on Main Street in Hartford, Connecticut.

Hertford-Statue
Hartford-Statue
Coming-Soon-Poster
RJS-Logo-1