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July 4th gives us an opportunity to hit the PAUSE Button on life and reflect

Once again on the Freedoms, Choices and Options we have.

Thank you for being a part of our lives even though many of you may be far away, we pray for your well-being and Success.

56 Men Who Signed

Have you ever wondered what happened to the 56 men who signed the

Declaration of Independence ?

They gave us a free and independent America . The history books never

told you a lot of what happened in the Revolutionary War. We didn't just

fight the British. We were British subjects at that time and we fought

our own government! Some of us take these liberties so much for

granted...We shouldn't!!!

So, take a couple of minutes while enjoying your 4th of July holiday and

silently thank these patriots. It's not much to ask for the price they paid....

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 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, Ruttledge, 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. A few weeks later

he died from exhaustion and a broken heart. Norris 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 firm reliance on the protection of the divine

providence, we mutually pledge to each other, our lives, our fortunes,

and our sacred honor."



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