Posted by: Bay Presbyterian Church | June 28, 2012

Happy 4th of July

Remembering Independence Day

Have you ever wondered what happened to the (56) men who signed the Declaration of Independence?

 *  (5) signers were captured by the British as traitors and tortured before they died

*  (12) had their homes ransacked and burned

*  (2) lost their sons serving in the Revolutionary Army; another had (2) sons captured

*  (9) of the (56) fought and died from wounds or hardships of the Revolutionary War


These men signed the Declaration and pledged their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor.  What kind of men were they?

 *  (24) were lawyers and jurists

*  (11) were merchants

*  (9) were farmers and large plantation owners; men of means & well educated

 All these men 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.

*  Mr Dillery, Hall, Clymer, Walton, Gwinnett, Heyward, Ruttledge and Middleton had vandals and/or soldiers loot their properties.

*  Thomas Nelson Jr. had his home taken over by British General Cornwallis during the time of the Battle of Yorktown for Cornwallis’s headquarters.  Mr Nelson Jr quietly urged George Washington to open fire.  Mr. Nelson Jr’s home was destroyed and he 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.

 *  Mr Norris and Mr 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, however, 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”.

 Remember, our freedom wasn’t free!




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