Home
Up
Traditions
Freedom
Family
American Culture
About Us
Links
Site Index

Share Your Family Custom, Tradition or Ritual

 

 

 


What happened to the 56 Signers of the Declaration of Independence?

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.  Thomas Nelson quietly urged General George Washington to open fire.  His own 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 of what happened in the Revolutionary War.  We didn’t just fight 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…….We shouldn’t.

 

SO TAKE A COUPLE OF MINUTES TO REMEMBER THEIR SACRIFICE SO WE COULD ALL LIVE IN A FREE COUNTRY!  

-- Author Unknown

We came by this writing by e-mail passed to many on the Internet. If you know who wrote this please let us know. You may copy and pass this on.

Some dispute the authenticity of the above recount as discussed in the following 2 Web Sites:

http://slate.msn.com/code/chatterbox/chatterbox.asp?Show=7/3/2001&idMessage=7930
http://www.snopes.com/glurge/declare.htm

Additional Web Sites 

The History Channel 
USHistory.org 
Virtualology

 

Traditions:

Freedom 
1.History

2.Flag
3.Declaration
4.Constitution
5.Bill of Rights
6.American Eagle

7.Ceremonies


Family
1.Weddings
2.Anniversaries
3.Family Meal
4.Window Candle
5.Children 
6.Yellow Ribbon 
7.Values 
8.Flowers 
9.The Recipe Box

American Culture
1.Holidays
2.Craftsmanship
3.Entrepreneurship
4.Leadership
5.Know-How
6.Competition
7.Cost of Living
8.Citizenship
9.Careers

 



This Web Site is the intellectual property of American Family Traditions. Some of the information provided is general knowledge and some is the original work of American Family Traditions. Permission must be requested to use or reproduce any of its contents to ensure fairness. Footnotes have been provided where appropriate to give credit to the work of others and to ensure you get permission from those sources.
Copyright ©  2000-2009 American Family Traditions. All Rights Reserved.
Last updated January 11, 2009
Contact Us