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Guest Quinte

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Guest Quinte

Where are they now?


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 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, standing 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 about what happened in the Revolutionary War. America didn't fight just the British. She was a

British subject at that time and she fought her own government!


Some of us take these liberties so much for granted, but we shouldn't. So, take a few

minutes while enjoying your 4th of July holiday and silently thank these patriots. It's not much to ask for the price they paid.


Brethren and friends

I received this in my email and I thought it is worth reading to remind us of how far we have come, and keep us on the right track to where we are going.



Quinte DuSoleil

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Guest Tampa Yankee



Thanks for posting. I enjoyed reading very much and learned some that I was unaware of. Very appropriate on this day -- a nice way to prompt some reflection on the travails of our forefathers and remind us of the down payment they made for the benefits we enjoy today.

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Q - More about your point that the colonists who believed in liberty and seperation had to fight their own government: I just heard on National Public Radio that fully a third of the battles fought by South Carolinian revolutionaries were fought against fellow South Carolinians.


(Off the subject rather completely, almost: I also remember that some of my relatives, Scots-Americans who had had, in the wake of the Bonnie Prince Charlie wars, to sign the bloody oath to never fight against the British monarchy moved down to the islands rather than having to either go back on their own oaths signed in blood or perhaps be forced to fight in support of the king.)

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Guest NYCMuscBoy

A total urban myth.


Sorry, but the above post is a famous urban myth. It bears no resemblance to the actual fates of the signers of the Declaration.


Please check out Slate.com -- two days ago they had a lengthy article debunking this story. It may have been started by Paul Harvey, and Rush Limbaugh has claimed that his dad wrote the original one. Of course, Rush bought the story hook, line, and sinker.


Sorry to be a wet blanket.

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