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Independence

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  • marywinn@aol.com
    Thought this might have enough to do with genealogy to get by with sending it to the list. Author Unknown: Have you ever wondered what happened to the 56 men
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 17, 2000
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      Thought this might have enough to do with genealogy to get by with sending it
      to the list.

      Author Unknown:

      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,
      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. We
      didn't
      fight just 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, 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.
      Remember: freedom is never free!
      I hope you will show your support by please sending this to as many
      people
      as you can. It's time we get the word out that patriotism is NOT a sin,
      and
      the Fourth of July has more to it than beer, picnics, and baseball
      games.
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