Happy Independence Day
Have you ever wondered what happened to the 56 men who signed the Declaration of Independence? Due to a combination of the failure of our public school system and a proliferation of political correctness, the history of the American Revolution has been glossed over and all but forgotten. Well, Five of the signers were captured by the British as traitors. They were tortured for days before they died. Twelve had their homes ransacked and burned. Four lost their sons serving in the Revolutionary Army. Nine of the 56 fought and died from wounds or hardships of the Revolutionary War. Once they signed that paper, they pledged their lives, their fortunes, and their honor.
What kind of men were they? Twenty-four were lawyers. Eleven were merchants, nine were farmers. They were all men of means, well educated and with a lot to lose. 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 trader, saw his shipping company destroyed by the British Navy. He sold his home and properties to pay his debts, and still he died in poverty. 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 by the British, and severe poverty was his reward. British soldiers looted and burned 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 weeks later at the hands of the British inquisitor.
John Hart was driven from his wife’s bedside as she lay dying. Their 13 children fled for their lives. His fields and his mill were laid to waste. For a year he lived in the forests and caves, returning home only to find his wife dead and his children gone. He died only a few weeks later from exhaustion and a broken heart. Norris and Livingston suffered similar fates. Such were the stories and sacrifices of the American Revolution. These were not wild-eyed anarchists as most liberals would have you to believe. They were soft-spoken men of means and education. They had security, safety and wealth, but they valued freedom 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. It’s high time that Americans realize that patriotism is NOT a sin, and Independence Day has more to it than beer, picnics, and fireworks. The history books of today never say much about what actually happened in the Revolutionary War. We didn’t fight just the British. We were British subjects at that time and we were fighting our own government! Some of us take these liberties so much for granted, but we shouldn’t. So, take a few minutes while enjoying your holiday and silently thank these patriots. It’s not much to ask for the price they paid.