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4th of July - Unk Bit of History

#1 User is offline   Jim B 

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Posted 05 July 2011 - 07:25 AM

Normally I don't read long winded emails that have jokes, politics, etc. For some reason I read this one that a friend sent me and I actually learned a few things I did not know about our great country and what measures were taken so that we can all enjoy. Not losing the meaning of the Independence Day is what I got out of it.

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 who served 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 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 plantation owners. All were men of means and well-educated, but they signed the Declaration of Independence, knowing 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 McKean was so hounded by the British that he was forced to move his family constantly. He served in the Congress without pay, and his family was kept in hiding. His possessions were taken, and poverty was his reward. Vandals or soldiers looted the properties of Ellery, Hall, Clymer, Walton, Gwinnet, Heyward, Rutledge and MIddleton.

At the Battle of Yorktown, Thomas Nelson Jr. noted that the British Gen. Cornwallis had taken over the Nelson home for his headquarters. He quietly urged Gen. Washington to open fire. The home was destroyed, and Nelson died bankrupt. The home of Francis Lewis was destroyed. The enemy jailed his wife, and she died within a few months.

John Hart was driven from the bedside of his dying wife. Their 13 children fled for their lives. His fields and 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 gone. He died shortly thereafter, heartbroken.

Morris 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 a 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 us a free and independent America. The history books never tell us much of what happened in the Revolutionary War. We were British subjects at that time, and we fought against our own government. Too often, we now take these liberties for granted.

So--while you are enjoying the festivities of the July 4th holiday, take a few minutes and silently thank these patriots for their herioic contributions. It is not too much to ask for the price they paid. Freedom is never free.
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#2 User is offline   deevee 

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Posted 05 July 2011 - 07:49 AM

While this is an amazing story, it is mixed with true and misleading statements. It has been circulating for quite a few years and you can read about it here: Snopes

Like the last paragraph of the page states: What should we take from all of this? The signers of the Declaration of Independence did take a huge risk in daring to put their names on a document that repudiated their government, and they had every reason to believe at the time that they might well be hanged for having done so. That was a courageous act we should indeed remember and honor on the Fourth of July amidst our "beer, picnics, and baseball games." But we should also not lose sight of the fact that many men (and women) other than the fifty-six signers of the Declaration of Independence — some famous and most not — risked and sacrificed much (including their lives) to support the revolutionary cause. The hardships and losses endured by many Americans during the struggle for independence were not visited upon the signers alone, nor were they any less ruinous for having befallen people whose names are not immortalized on a piece of parchment.

#3 User is offline   Jim B 

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Posted 05 July 2011 - 07:55 AM

Even better yet. :good2:
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El Niņo
Experience is defined as something you get, after you need it.
Give the world the best you have. The best will come back to you...

There are no rules for good photographs, there are only good photographs.
"Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour." 9th Commandment.
"Speak not Evil of the absent for it is unjust." George Washington, Rule 89 of Civility and Decent Behavior.
Wheeling Gallery ----- E-Mail
Life Member: South Florida Jeep Club

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