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

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It sounds like the current movie "the Patriot" isn't such an exaggeration (of 
the evilness of the British army commanders) as has been said in some 
reviews.  

Ralph Hueston Kratz, S.E.
Richmond CA USA

In a message dated 7/3/00 12:21:55 PM, scaldwell(--nospam--at)halff.com writes:

<< 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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