What happened to the men who signed the Declaration of Indep

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by KirbysLawn, Jul 4, 2000.

  1. KirbysLawn

    KirbysLawn Millenium Member
    Posts: 3,486

    Came across this at work and thought that others might find it as interesting as I did.<p>Have you ever wondered what happened to the 56 men who signed the<br>Declaration of Independence?<p>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.<p>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. <p>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.<p>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 talk straight, and unwavering, they pledged: &quot;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.&quot;<p>They gave you and me a free and independent America. The history books never told you a lot about what happened in the Revolutionary War. We didn't fight just 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, 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!<p><font size="1">Edited by: KirbysLawn
     
  2. fdew

    fdew LawnSite Member
    Posts: 147

    And who were these men.<br>Well 1/4 of them were Christian ministers and 2 of them wrote translations of the bible.<p>Frank
     
  3. Barkleymut

    Barkleymut LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,117

    And part of what they were fighting for was freedom of religion so that we didn't have people forcing their beliefs on us.
     
  4. fdew

    fdew LawnSite Member
    Posts: 147

    I couldn't agree more. And a big thank you to them.<p>Frank
     
  5. TGCummings

    TGCummings LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 773

    Hey Kirby, thanks for putting a little perspective back into my day. I'll fry a burger and lift a cold one in honor of the patriots whose blood did make us free...<p><br>&quot;The flames kindled on the Fourth of July, 1776, have spread over too much of the globe to be extinguished by the feeble engines of despotism; on the contrary, they will consume these engines and all who work them.&quot; --Thomas Jefferson to John Adams, 1821. ME 15:334 <p><br>-TGC<p>
     
  6. Richard Martin

    Richard Martin LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 14,700

    Hello Kirbyslawn,<p>Are you the same person who did a temp. lawn mowing in Saunders Point, Anne Arundel County MD about a month ago? <br>
     
  7. KirbysLawn

    KirbysLawn Millenium Member
    Posts: 3,486

    Nope, I live in North Carolina.
     
  8. thelawnguy

    thelawnguy LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,412

    Read this in todays paper.<p>Story About Founders Factually Flounders <p> By DAVID DALEY<br> The Hartford Courant <br> July 12, 2000 <p> As the story goes, five men who signed the Declaration of Independence<br> were charged with treason, tortured by British troops and ultimately killed.<br> Nine other of the 56 signers &quot;fought and died from wounds or the hardship&quot;<br> of the Revolutionary War.<p> One signer, Thomas McKean, patriotically served in the Continental<br> Congress without pay while in hiding from the British troops relentlessly<br> trailing him and his family. The British seized his fortune, and he died<br> impoverished, with his sons begging neighbors to help pay for his funeral. <p> They're inspiring stories to tell around<br> Independence Day. They've appeared everywhere<br> - in Ann Landers' column in The Courant and<br> other papers , on Paul Harvey's newscast, Rush<br> Limbaugh's radio show and in a chain e-mail titled<br> &quot;The Price They Paid.&quot; <p> Trouble is, the specific stories just aren't true. <p> Nevertheless, amplified by the Internet's ability to<br> convert myth into fact in the time it takes to<br> forward an e-mail, &quot;The Price They Paid&quot; has not<br> only reached more people than ever this year, it<br> has fueled debates between broadcasters<br> Limbaugh and Harvey and even contributed to the<br> suspension of a prominent Boston Globe<br> columnist. <p> The real story is that five signers were captured, but none for treason, and<br> all were eventually released. Only two, it appears, were wounded in action,<br> and none died of war wounds. As for McKean, well, the Pennsylvania<br> Historical Society confirms that he became the state's second governor and<br> died a wealthy man in 1817. <p> The tale dates back at least five decades. James Elbrecht of Schenectady,<br> N.Y., whose Signer's Index Web site provides the most thorough account of<br> the myth's history, traces it back at least as far as 1956, when Harvey<br> published it in his book, &quot;The Rest of the Story.&quot; Its popularity led Harvey to<br> reprint the tale on its own in 1975 in a pamphlet called &quot;Our Lives, Our<br> Fortunes, Our Sacred Honor.&quot; <p> Rush Limbaugh Jr., the father of the conservative radio host, wrote a similar,<br> especially engaging essay that his son touts regularly on July 4, which has<br> been reprinted by the Daughters of the American Revolution, and currently<br> appears on Limbaugh's official Web site, RushLimbaugh.com. Limbaugh<br> has suggested on air that his dad inspired Harvey. (Harvey's office didn't<br> return calls asking about the essay's origins.) <p> Those two accounts, and all their errors, have been magnified and<br> plagiarized over the years, but never as they have in the past 10 days. <p> &quot;This year I've read copies of the e-mail on over 200 Rootsweb lists,&quot; said<br> Elbrecht. <p> &quot;I've personally seen at least eight variations of the story,&quot; adds Walter<br> Tucker Jr., editor of the Connecticut Society of the Sons of the American<br> Revolution's newsletter. <p> And that's before it hit the papers. &quot;Ellen in New Jersey&quot; forwarded the<br> e-mail to Ann Landers, who reprinted it without correcting the historical<br> inaccuracies as her July 4th column. Landers and her correspondent Ellen<br> at least admitted that they didn't know who wrote the column or where it<br> came from. That's one better than Jonah Goldberg of National Review<br> Online, who did not attribute Harvey, Limbaugh or the e-mail in his July 1-2<br> column partially based on it. <p> Then there's Oliver North, whose MSNBC column borrows liberally from the<br> e-mail. The most egregious example looks like this: <p> From the e-mail, as posted by the Connecticut Society for the Sons of the<br> American Revolution: &quot;Carter Braxton of Virginia, a wealthy planter and<br> trader, saw his ships swept from the seas by the British navy. He sold his<br> home and properties to pay his debts, and died in rags.&quot; <p> From North's column: &quot;Carter Braxton, a wealthy trader from Virginia, saw<br> his armada of trading vessels swept from the seas in battle. To pay his<br> debts, he sold all that he owned and died in rags in 1797.&quot; <p> One Ohio politician, Lynn Olman, didn't do any better, simply printing, under<br> his name, the entire e-mail in his weekly newspaper column, with the title<br> &quot;Signers of the Declaration Paid the Price for Freedom.&quot; <p> And, when Boston Globe columnist Jeff Jacoby attempted to correct the<br> historical record in a column last week - correcting the five-were-tortured and<br> nine-died-fighting myths - the Globe suspended him for four months because<br> Jacoby did not mention that the flawed e-mail was the impetus for the<br> column idea. <p> &quot;Since I was relating lore that has been related over and over, and since all<br> of the sources I relied on had relied in turn on even earlier recitations, I<br> assumed that all the material in my column was in the public domain,&quot;<br> wrote Jacoby, in an open letter published on the Jewish World Review Web<br> site this week. <p> Indeed, the actual authorship is as murky as could be. Elbrecht, who traced<br> the essay as far back as Harvey, has been bird-dogging journalists and<br> columnists who repeat the myths, hoping that they might lead him to the<br> original author. Instead, he's been led through circles of flawed history<br> books. <p> He first became interested in the essay in 1998, when he received the<br> e-mail on a genealogy list, and then discovered another essay debunking it<br> by Professor Brooke Harlowe on the Web site of the Connecticut Society for<br> the Sons of the American Revolution. (Both the e-mail and the Harlowe<br> response can be found at www.ctssar.org/articles.) <p> Just as fascinated by the origins of the essay as its inaccuracies, Elbrecht<br> has found remarkably similar pieces posted on the Web sites of Pat<br> Buchanan, the Libertarian Party, the John Birch Society and the city of<br> Annapolis, Md. Only Buchanan mentioned a source: a long out-of-print book<br> that Elbrecht says often treated myth as history. <p> As for the Harvey vs. Limbaugh debate, Elbrecht doubts either one was the<br> first source. <p> &quot;My gut tells me that the originator of the legends, the pre-Harvey and<br> pre-Limbaugh spinner of tales, was someone who was so respected by his<br> peers that they never questioned his lack of historical knowledge,&quot; he said. <p> &quot;I also suspect that he was listened to mostly by his peers and was not<br> paid much attention to by folks outside of `his circle.' As the stories got<br> repeated, the circle got bigger, the messenger more mainstream and finally<br> they were accepted by many folks who just never thought to check.&quot; <p> And now e-mail just makes it that much easier for stories to spread that<br> much faster. <p> &quot;It's like the telephone tree game,&quot; Tucker said. &quot;You're a kid in school, and<br> you pass a sentence down the line, and by the time it gets to the end, it's<br> vastly different.'' <p> Elbrecht, however, notes that although the Internet can be used to quickly<br> spread these myths, plenty of Web sites are available to debunk them. In<br> addition to his,<br> (http://home.nycap.rr.com/elbrecht/signers/signerindex.html#Quest), there's<br> the urban-myth clearinghouse (snopes.com.) and the reporting of Timothy<br> Noah on Slate.com <p> &quot;I'm amazed at how quickly, this year, so many more folks are trying to<br> quell the legends while still honoring the real men behind them,&quot; Elbrecht<br> said. <p> And that, says Tucker, is what's really important. <p> &quot;As history, it's not true. But as folklore, it's true,&quot; Tucker said. &quot;Whoever<br> made it up saw these sacrifices being made by people he knew.&quot; <p><p><p> <br>
     

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