Monday, July 6, 2015

~ The 56 Men Who Signed the Declaration of Independence ~

Just thought I'd share a bit more of our history ~ 

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 property 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, Rutledge 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, always take a few minutes while enjoying your 4th of July celebrations and silently thank these patriots. It's not much to ask for the price they paid.

Remember, freedom is never free!  It's time we get the word out that patriotism is NOT a sin, and the Fourth of July has more to it than beer, picnics and baseball games.

I never really discuss politics here but just have to ask...Do you think ANY of the current politicians would do what our forefathers did?  Of course, they wouldn't!!  No power, wealth or glory doing things for the people instead of themselves!

> * <

Here are the names, by state, of all 56 signers of the Declaration. The first, largest, and most famous signature is that of John Hancock, President of the Continental Congress. The youngest signer was Edward Rutledge (age 26). Benjamin Franklin (age 70) was the oldest. Two future presidents signed: John Adams (second President) and Thomas Jefferson (third President).
Delaware   • George Read• Caesar Rodney
• Thomas McKean
Pennsylvania   • George Clymer• Benjamin Franklin
• Robert Morris• John Morton
• Benjamin Rush• George Ross
• James Smith• James Wilson
• George Taylor
Massachusetts   • John Adams• Samuel Adams
• John Hancock• Robert Treat Paine
• Elbridge Gerry
New Hampshire   • Josiah Bartlett• William Whipple
• Matthew Thornton
Rhode Island   • Stephen Hopkins• William Ellery
New York   • Lewis Morris• Philip Livingston
• Francis Lewis• William Floyd
Georgia   • Button Gwinnett• Lyman Hall
• George Walton
Virginia   • Richard Henry Lee• Francis Lightfoot Lee
• Carter Braxton• Benjamin Harrison
• Thomas Jefferson• George Wythe
• Thomas Nelson, Jr.
North Carolina   • William Hooper• John Penn
• Joseph Hewes
South Carolina   • Edward Rutledge• Arthur Middleton
• Thomas Lynch, Jr.• Thomas Heyward, Jr.
New Jersey   • Abraham Clark• John Hart
• Francis Hopkinson• Richard Stockton
• John Witherspoon
Connecticut   • Samuel Huntington• Roger Sherman
• William Williams• Oliver Wolcott
Maryland   • Charles Carroll• Samuel Chase
• Thomas Stone• William Paca


  1. Thanks for the very informative post Pat. I had no idea some of the trails these Patriots went through. Hugs, LJ

  2. So interesting Pat. It is amazing what these men had to sacrifice for all of us to have freedom. So sad but uplifting to know they felt so strongly in freedom that they would give everything for it. Thanks for all this interesting info on these brave hero's.

  3. Fascinating and humbling to realize that quite a few of them gave all that they had. I saw a book about this recently. Did you get this information from a book or an article. I would like to read more about these amazing men! Thanks for the sad, but at the same time, uplifting post. Joni

  4. Thanks for sharing this, Pat. I homeschooled my children for several years and we spent two full years on US history because I wanted to be sure they learned every bit of what made our country great. I'm a member of the DAR, so we took the time to research what my Patriot ancestors were doing at that same time, too, and it really brought history to life for them!


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