WHAT HAPPENED TO THEM? Have you ever wondered what happened to the 56 men who signed the Declaration of Independence?
were captured by the British as traitors and tortured before they died.
Twelve had their homes ransacked and burned.
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
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 McKEARN 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 diedwithin 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 grist mill 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 stalk 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!
of us take these liberties so much for granted, but we shouldn't.
Remember: FREEDOM IS NEVER FREE!
"I sought for the greatness and genius of America in her commodious harbors and her ample rivers, and it was not there;
in her fertile fields and boundless prairies, and it was not there; in her rich mines and her vast world commerce, and it
was not there. Not until I went to the churches of America and heard her pulpits aflame with righteousness did I understand
the secret of her genius and power. America is great because she is good and if America ever ceases to be good, America will
cease to be great." --Alexis de Tocqueville, 1805-1859
Shortly after the
events of September 11, 2001, historian and inspirational speaker (now Georgia state representative) Barry Loudermilk wrote an article entitled "This is America," which was published in a local newspaper in his native Georgia. Within
a very short time, the essay found itself making its way around the Internet via email and garnering all manner of attention
due to its blunt "America: Like it or leave it" stance. This article—in which Loudermilk talks about America's language,
customs, and usage of the Name "God" on currency and official government documents—can be accessed by going directly
to this link. (Note: PDF document; Adobe reader required to view.) Well worth the time to read these
words of wisdom.
The Americans by Gordon Sinclair - A Canadian broadcaster speaks up for America, a country that has historically done
much for the world and received little appreciation in return. Originally broadcast in 1973 from Toronto, "The Americans"
found a new audience after the terrorist attacks of 9/11 - 28 years after first airing - and are just as relevant today as
they were back then. The above link directs to a page with both the transcript and the audio.
(Below) Gordon Sinclair reads
"The Americans" for a TV audience.
Another speech that was trotted
out after the 9/11 attacks was this eloquent one by Red Skelton on the Pledge of Allegiance. Click on the video to see