IJMC America Patriotism in the Seventeen Hundreds

          IJMC - America Patriotism in the Seventeen Hundreds

Ok, so for an international flair, this hardly passes. Yet it is an 
interesting read for anyone who has ever studied the American Revolution. 
Some of these men lost quite a lot for something they believed in...as 
opposed to America today...you might lose the lawsuit and have to pay 
your lawyer's fees...                                               -dave

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.  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, 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 of what happened in the
Revolutionary War.  We didn't just fight 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...We shouldn't. 

So, take a couple of minutes while enjoying your 4th of July holiday and
silently thank these patriots.  It's not much to ask for the price they

I wonder what these men would have thought of the "love it or leave it"
attitude of today?  Most likely disgust...

IJMC August 1999 Archives