Have you ever wondered who they were and what happened to the 56 men who signed the Declaration of Independence? Five signers were caputred by the British as traitors, and tortured before they died.  Twelve had their homes ransacked and burned.  Two lost heir 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 planatation 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. Suchwere 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." 

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 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, considering the price they paid.


It's time we get the word out that patriotism is NOT a sin, and the Fourth of July has more to it than beer, picnics, and baseball games. It has taken almost 200 years to destroy what these great men laid down as a protection of our freedoms.  These men knew what honor, responsibility, and freedom were all about. 

It is a sad fact but we have reached a cross roads in this great nation where our true freedom is hanging by a thread.  So maybe if we stop and take a moment and think for ourselves instead of allowing others to think for us we might begin to take this nation back.  These 56 man knew how to think for themselves and knew that they were putting their life's and their family's lives on the line by signing their names to the Declaration of Independence. Take time to read the Declaration of Independence, you might begin to see how history is repeating itself.  If we forget the past we will not be prepared for the future!! 

Find out what your children are being taught in school, this is the most dangerous aspect of socialism.  Why did Texas send all of their history books back to the publisher?? Words and ignorance are the chains that bind us!!  The most important revolutions in human history are revolutions of understanding.