4th of July and Patriotism

Well, it's nice to see that you all got along so well without me for a week x:P

Happy Fourth of July to you all!


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 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!

I hope you will show your support by please sending this to as many people as you can.
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.



  • 16 Comments sorted by Votes Date Added
  • Wow! What an historical litany!!

    Thanks for sharing, and thereby refocusing my thoughts this July 4th holiday.

  • Our jobs are pretty tame in comparison.
  • Thanks so much for reminding us that "Freedom isn't free!" We need to all hang our flags on the Memorial Day, the Fourth of July and Veterans Day lest we ever forget what it took to make our country and keep it together.

    My favorite signer was Stephen Hopkins. He knew he was dying and rode three days in a carriage in order to sign. If you look for his signature, it is abbreviated and very shakey because he died shortly after signing.

    Margaret Morford
  • Wow! Didn't know that fact.

    Thanks for adding that one, Forum Princess Margaret xclap
  • What a great post and thanks for the additional facts Margaret.

  • Special thanks to HS and Margaret for sharing. Happy Fourth of July to all!


  • One of my favorite movies of all time is the musical "1776" - as I was reading the posts from HS and Margaret, I was thinking of the humor and poignancy with which the signing of Declaration of Independenct was depicted in the movie. From Benjamin Franklin's gout to Stephen Hopkins' cancer; from the discussions of who'd actually write the Declaration, to the debate over including the abolition of slavery within it; the haunting songs about the young men dying on the field of battle and the triangle trade; and the wonderful, touching letters between John and Abigail Adams.

    Watching my videotape of "1776" is always second on my list of things to do on Independence Day, as soon as I hang my flag on my balcony. (In recent years, I've also added "The Patriot" with Mel Gibson to my agenda for the day.)

    Anyway, if you haven't seen it, give "1776" a try!
  • Fascinating post. A lot of the little things none of us ever think about, or were never taught. Makes the founding fathers more human and less iconic.

    As an aside, I saw a fascinating documentary last night on "Unsolved History" about the Boston Massacre in 1770. Highly recommend it. It's another illustration of how history is written by the winners. Happy 4th everyone!
  • Most of the time I am cutting emails and pasting into the forum. This is one I will cut from the forum and paste into an e-mail!

    Happy 4th everyone!
  • Thanks for sharing that. I have tears in my eyes as both my sons are in Kuwait/Iraq at this time. I am so proud of them I could bust!!! May we never forget the price that was paid and the price our soldiers are willing to pay.
    Thank you!
  • Thank you for this post.

    Happy Independence Day, ya'all!

  • For all who have responded with thank-you's...You're so welcome. This brought a tear to my eye when I read it...history teachers don't give you the 'heart and soul' of our nation's history...the founding fathers and the people who sacrificed so much just so we could be free.

    I wish each and every one of you and your families a safe, healthy and happy Independence Day/Weekend!

  • blw, Independence Day has come and gone, but tell those sons thanks, for me.

  • Thanks, I will. And this weekend brought great news! One of them flew back to Germany and will be back in the states around the first week of August! The other one was on R&R in Kuwait and waiting on orders to either go back into Iraq or come home. He's coming home in July or August!

    My husband was celebrating at our large neighborhood get together Friday. One of the neighbors brought out a bottle of Jose Cuervo and asked if he wanted to toast them. He said yes, but he would have to toast each of them! He toasted several times to each of them and then slept very, very, very late on Saturday!!! :)
  • [font size="1" color="#FF0000"]LAST EDITED ON 07-07-03 AT 05:29PM (CST)[/font][p]And what a reason to celebrate! What a great time of year to get the news.
    Congrats on having them on their way home.

    P.S. Tell hubby to try Patron or Corazon the next time. They're more expensive (especially Corazon) but a lot smoother, and leave less of a mark the next day.
  • Thanks Leslie! I'll pass that on because I am sure we have one or two very large celebrations coming up later this summer. We are crossing our fingers that they can be home at the same time before reporting back to their posts.
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