Posted by Schoolmafter Chris on July 25, 2000 at 22:35:52:
56 men signed the Declaration of Independence, we all know Ben Franklin and Thomas Jefferson went on to bright futures, but what about the rest?
Five were arrested and tortured to death by the British.
Twelve had their homes looted and burned
One had both of his sons captured (fates unknown)
Nine of them fought in the Revolution and died as a result of combat or hardships directly related to wartime military service.
Shipping magnate Carter Braxton (VA) had his ships destroyed by the British Navy and sold his home to pay his debts. He died a pauper.
Thomas McKean served in the continental congress without pay and had to keep his family in hiding. His property and home were taken. He died alone and in rags.
Eight others had their homes looted and burned and lived out their days as homeless beggars.
Thomas Nelson's house was taken over as Genl. Cornwalis' headquarters at Yorktown. Nelson himself gave the order for American artillery to open fire. The home was destroyed and Nelson went bankrupt.
Francis Lewis' house was burned and his wife arrested. She died weeks later in British captivity.
John Hart was driven from his home. He spent a year in hiding and when he returned he found his home burned, his wife dead his and thirteen children missing. Some of his sons had been impressed into service with the Royal Navy, the others were never found.
All of these men were persons of wealth and property. They could have easily stood by the sidelines and retained their secure positions in society. But they pledged their lives, fortunes, and sacred honor to the cause of liberty which they valued more than anything else. They gave all they had that they and others would be free.
Just thought you all should know . . .
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