The 56 Men Who Signed

My Great Good Friends,

We all know the center can’t hold and entropy ultimately rules, but the speed with which we are abandoning the respect, esteem and even memory of our foundational national character is heartbreaking.

From the founding of Rome in 753 BC to the fall of its last capital Constantinople in 1453 Roman values, their self-image, their national character, permeated the then known world.

We, as the first and only global empire in history to selflessly commit itself to the betterment of all humanity, are abandoning the precepts which made us great, cohesive, and the envy of the world in a mere two hundred years. A fleeting moment in the sweep of history.

A colleague sent me the essay below as a reminder on this 4th of July of who we were and what we once considered American Character.

Thought you too might enjoy 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 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.

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.

-ATN

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