Thank You Men of Honor!

Thank You Men of Honor!

A thank you note…

To you, the 56 men who signed the Declaration of Independence, you have long since gone but the legacy that you created still stands today, even if a little battered and bused, even if a little altered by the well-meaning but not so bright.  I write to acknowledge your sacrifice, your leadership and your honor in delivering to us the opportunity to live free and in liberty.  I write to say thank you!
 

I know that five of you signers were captured by the British as traitors, and tortured before you died.  Twelve of you had your homes ransacked and burned.  Two of you lost your sons serving in the Revolutionary Army; another had two sons captured.  Nine of you fought and died from wounds or hardships of the Revolutionary War.
You signed and you pledged your lives, your fortunes, and your sacred honor.  Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
What kind of men were these original patriots?
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.
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