WRAM - We dedicate our hearts,minds and bodies to protecting our great Republic!
Five signers were captured by the British as traiters,and tortured before they died. Twelve had thier homes ransacked and burned. Two lost thier sons serving in the Revolutionary Army:another had two sons captured. Nine of the 56 fought and died from wounds or hardships of thr Revolutionary War. They signed and they pledged thier lives,thier fortunes,and thier sacred honor. What Kind of men were they? Twenty-four were lawyers and jurists. Eleven were merchants. Nine were farmers and large plantationowners: men of means,well educated,but they signed the Declaration of Independance 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 debtsd 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 wifes bedside as she was dying. Thier 13 children fled for thier 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. So take a few minutes while enjoying your 4th of July holiday and silently thank these patriots. Its not much to ask for the price they paid. Remember: FREEDOM IS NEVER FREE!