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Signers Of The Declaration Of Independence: Think About It

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 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 Dilery, 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 fates.

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.”

THINK ABOUT IT!!

I’ve often wondered how many Americans would do the same today.

As always, you are welcome to leave your Comments below.

Bob

PS: The tidbits above are from information in my family’s archives. I’m a descendant of Mary Ball – George Washington’s mother. George had no children so there are no direct descendants of George.

2 comments to Signers Of The Declaration Of Independence: Think About It

  • stevie westmoreland

    I believe my Father, General WC Westmoreland , would have…. and in some ways did… give his life for our country….I have no doubt that he could have had the courage to sign the D of I. I have great respect. Stevie

  • Duane

    That’s great to be in such close proximity to a relative of General Westmoreland.

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