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The Declaration of Independence: What ever happened to the signers?



Have you ever wondered

what happened to the 56
men who signed the
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
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,
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.

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 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.

So, take a few minutes
while  enjoying your 4th
of July holiday and
silently thank these

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


Freedom is never free!


4 Responses to “The Declaration of Independence: What ever happened to the signers?”

  1. Excellent and very nicely put together.
    Thanks for reminding all of us how precious our freedom is.

  2. I am ever so grateful for your taking the time to put this excellent synopsis together.
    As an aging civil rights activist who has lost a home, job, church family and finally the ability to walk due to those who continue to deny other Americans equal rights.
    I fully appreciate the personal cost one risks when speaking up against a larger, better funded and popular political body.

    Our nation has a history and people with whom we can be very proud of, a very fine heritage and then we have portions of our history and people that have wrought disgrace upon our nations heritage. For the citizens of our future, it will be critical for them to study the factual history of this great land and learn from the mistakes all of us who came before made.

    I will always be proud of being an American and to have had ancestors who go back to being engaged in our first battle/skirmish, the French Indian War.
    I am equally proud of my ancestors who were here and met those who first came on boats to “settle” in this land.

  3. I wish I could
    take the credit for
    doing the research
    and writing this story,
    Dawn and Carolyn.

    My wiser older brother
    sent me this story in an
    E-mail and the writer did
    not include his name.

    I just added the photos –
    the story stirred my heart
    and i knew i had to share
    it with you MOON readers.


  4. What a great reminder of what these men and their families endured to get us where we are today. It would be awesome to be able to talk to each of them and hear what they think of our country today! Thank you for the share!

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