The men behind the Fourth of July

June 27th, 2022 by Ken

While it’s not popular in some circles, to tout the Founding Fathers, but with the Fourth of July close by, I think we should take a moment and reflect on the men who signed the Declaration of Independence and what they suffered as a result.

Of the 56 men who signed the document, nine fought and died in the Revolutionary War.  Five were captured, tortured and executed.

Many of them lost children during the war and suffered other hardships.  The men who pledged their lives, their fortunes and their scared honor – gave all.  So, what kind of men were they.

Twenty-four of them were lawyers, 11 were merchants, nine were farmers and plantation owners.  They were all men of means (and as some have pointed out slave-owners).  But they all signed the Declaration of Independence knowing full well that if the revolution failed, it would mean death for them.

Carter Braxton of Virginia was a wealthy planter and trader.  His ships were sunk or confiscated by the British Navy.  After the war he was forced to sell his home and property to pay his debts,  He died penniless.

Thomas McKean was hounded by the British army and was forced to stay constantly on the move.  His house, lands and other possessions were taken by the British.  He died in poverty.

At the Battle of Yorktown – Thomas Nelson Jr. noted that the British had taken over his home and used it as their headquarters.  He urged General Washington to fire on the house and it was destroyed.

Vandals, soldiers, looters and others destroyed the properties of Dillery, Hall, Clymer, Walston, Winnett, Heyward, Rutledge and Middleton – – all signers of the Declaration of Independence.

Francis Lewis lost his wife and child who died in a British prison.  John Hart lost his wife and children in the war.

When we hear these tales, we realize that pledging their lives, their fortunes and their sacred honor met more than just words on a paper.  We need to realize that the celebration we undertake this week is more than just fireworks and barbeques.   Lets take a few minutes this holiday to remember those men and their families.


Posted in History, Informational, The Real News

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