There were 56 “Founding Fathers.” You wouldn’t think that them signing their name to a document would cost them their lives, families, everything they owned. But it did.
Freedom isn’t Free
5 of them were captured by the British as traitors to the crown. They were tortured to death.
12 had their homes ransacked and burned.
2 lost their sons as they fought for the Revolutionary Army; Another’s 2 sons were captured.
9 of the 56 fought in the Revolutionary War themselves and died from wounds or suffered hardships as a result.
They signed the Declaration of Independence, they pledged their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor the country. So, what type of men were they?
- 24 were lawyers and jurists
- 11 were merchants
- 9 were farmers and large plantation owners
All were wealthy and educated and they signed the Declaration of Independence knowing full well that the penalty would be death if they were captured.
Carter Braxton, a wealthy planter and trader from Virginia saw his ships sunk by the British Navy. He sold his home and properties to pay his debts and died a pauper.
Thomas McKeam was so harassed by the British , that he was forced to relocate with his family. He served in the Congress without pay while his family was in hiding. His lost everything–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., saw that the British General Cornwallis had taken over his home as his headquarters. He quietly asked General George Washington to open fire, destroying the home. Nelson died bankrupt.
Francis Lewis’ home and properties were destroyed. The enemy imprisoned his wife and she died within a few months.
John Hart was driven from his wife’s deathbed. Their 13 children fled for their lives. His fields and his gristmill Were abandoned. For more than a year he lived in forests and caves, returning home to find his wife dead and his children gone.
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.
Are you a Veteran or Peal Harbor Survivor? A current or past member of the National Guard? How about The Legion of Valor? Were you a Purple Heart Recipient? Check out the special plates for you to acknowledge your service. It’s $25 initial fee and $25/year renewal. $17 of the initial and renewal fee goes to help the organization. So show your patriotism and support the organization that you proudly served.
Happy 4th of July!
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