Please take the time to think about this on the 4th of July.

Have you ever wondered what happened to the 56 men who

signed the Declaration of Independence?

56 Men

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.

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.

''We hold these truths to be self evident, that all men are

created equal, and are endowed by their creator with certain

inalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and

the pursuit of happiness."

- Anon via 8kun

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