Saturday, July 4, 2009

July 4th

On a completely different note, I'm pretty sure this is a viral messages so it may not bear repeating here but it struck me as speaking to the true principles for which we should think of our celebrations on this day...

I don't know it's original source - if someone does, please offer likely citation in comments...

Note: Scott W. (thanx Scott!) offered in a comment that some of the following is true, some false - it comes from a viral letter that started 10 years ago (I didn't know that for sure when I posted it) - enough seems true to not be worth leaving here but you can see a fairer assessment of the history cited (e.g. the "real" story, proper spellings of names, etc.) at the snopes article.

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, ninewere 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.
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!


Carol said...

I have never read that before and I think that more people would feel thankful if they heard those stories. I imagined that they went on to live their lives in peaceful elegance which points to my lack of historical knowledge and my belief that everyone else has a great life!

Steve E. said...

Ed, I cannot say any more, than "Thank you" for the reminder of whence we came to be a nation.

Prayer Girl said...

I am and always have been grateful beyond words to have been born and live in America.

I honor all those who have put their country above themselves. They gave me the freedom I enjoy today.

Thanks for the reminder,

Scott W said...

This is a mixture of true and false information.

Syd said...

Great post. I am from near Yorktown, VA so have grown up with the Revolutionary War history. I also think that it is incredible that John Adams and Thomas Jefferson died on July 4 within hours of each other.