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RE: 4th of July - What Does It Mean To You?

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One quick question: How come Stan's posting doesn't indicate it came via
seaint?  (It defeates the filtering done by Outlook's Rules Wizard)

-----Original Message-----
From: Caldwell, Stan [mailto:scaldwell(--nospam--at)halff.com]
Sent: Monday, July 03, 2000 3:17 PM
Subject: 4th of July - What Does It Mean To You?


Have you ever wondered what happened to the 56 men who signed the
Declaration of Independence?

Read on.

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 (ugh!).  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 depts, 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 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, ourlives, our fortunes, and our sacred
honor."

They gave you and me a free and independent America.  Some of us take these
liberties so much for granted, but we shouldn't.  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.  Remember, Freedom is never
free!

"From time to time, the tree of liberty must be watered by the blood of
tyrants"
(Thomas Jefferson)


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