Saturday, July 04, 2009

Happy 4th. Was This The Greatest Generation?

A regular reader Chip forwarded us the following, it is worth noting.


Have you ever wondered what happened to the 56 men who signedthe Declaration of Independence?

Five signers were captured by the British as traitors, and torturedbefore 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 fromwounds or hardships of the Revolutionary War.

They signed and they pledged their lives, their fortunes, and theirsacred 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, welleducated, but they signed the Declaration of Independence knowingfull well that the penalty would be death if they were captured.

Carter Braxton of Virginia, a wealthy planter and trader, saw hisShips 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 tomove his family almost constantly. He served in the Congress withoutpay, and his family was kept in hiding. His possessions were takenfrom 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 BritishGeneral 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 enemyjailed 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.

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 andsilently thank these patriots.

It's not much to ask for the price they paid.

Remember: freedom is never free!

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