THIS will make you think...
Have you ever wondered what happened to the 56 men who 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 or hardships 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 Independence knowing full well
that the penalty would be death if they were captured. Carter Braxton of
Virginia, a wealthy planter, and trader, saw his ships swept from the seas by
the British Navy. He sold his home and properties to pay his debts, and died in
rags. Thomas McKeam was so hounded by the British that he was forced to move his
family almost constantly. He served in the Congress without pay, and his family
was 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 that the British General Cornwallis had taken over the
Nelson home for his headquarters. He quietly urged General George 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 gristmill were
laid to waste. For more than a year he lived in forests and caves, returning
home to find his wife dead and his children vanished. A few weeks later he died
from exhaustion and a broken heart. Norris and Livingston suffered similar
Such were the stories and sacrifices of the American Revolution. These were not
wild eyed, rabble-rousing ruffians. They were soft-spoken men of means and
education. They had security, but they valued liberty more. Standing tall,
straight, and unwavering, they pledged: "For the support of this
declaration, with firm reliance on the protection of the divine providence, we
mutually pledge to each other, our lives, our fortunes, and
our sacred honor."
They gave you and me a free and independent America. The history books never
told you a lot of what happened in the Revolutionary War. We didn't just fight
the British. We were British subjects at that time and we fought our own
government! Some of us take these liberties so much for granted...We shouldn't.
So, take a couple of minutes while enjoying your 4th of July holiday and
silently thank these patriots. It's not much to ask for the price they paid.
LET'S ALL REMEMBER THAT FREEDOM IS "NEVER FREE"!!!!
Happy Fourth of July