Have you ever wondered what happened to the 56 menwho signed the Declaration of Independence ?
Five signers were captured by the British as traitors,and tortured before they died.
Twelve had their homes ransacked and burned.Two lost their sons serving in the Revolutionary Army;another had two sons captured.
Nine of the 56 fought and died from wounds orhardships of the Revolutionary War.
They signed and they pledged their lives, their fortunes,and their sacred honor.
What kind of men were they?
Twenty-four were lawyers and jurists.Eleven were merchants,nine were farmers and large plantation owners;men of means, well educated,but they signed the Declaration of Independenceknowing full well that the penalty would be death ifthey were captured.Carter Braxton of Virginia, a wealthy planter andtrader, saw his ships swept from the seas by theBritish Navy. He sold his home and properties topay his debts, and died in rags.
Thomas McKeam was so hounded by the Britishthat he was forced to move his family almost constantly.He served in the Congress without pay, and his familywas kept in hiding. His possessions were taken from him,and poverty was his reward.
Vandals or soldiers looted the properties of Dillery, Hall, Clymer,Walton, Gwinnett, Heyward, Ruttledge, and Middleton.
At the battle of Yorktown , Thomas Nelson, Jr., noted thatthe British General Cornwallis had taken over the Nelsonhome for his headquarters. He quietly urged GeneralGeorge Washington to open fire. The home was destroyed,and Nelson died bankrupt.
Francis Lewis had his home and properties destroyed.The enemy jailed his wife, and she died within a few months.
John Hart was driven from his wife's bedside as she was dying.Their 13 children fled for their lives. His fields and his gristmillwere laid to waste. For more than a year he lived in forestsand caves, returning home to find his wife dead and hischildren vanished.So, take a few minutes while enjoying your 4th of July holiday andsilently thank these patriots. It's not much to ask for the price they paid.
Remember: freedom is never free!
I hope you will show your support by sending this to as manypeople as you can, please. It's time we get the word out that patriotismis NOT a sin, and the Fourth of July has more to it than beer,picnics, and baseball games.
A humble history lesson for all of us!