Have you ever wondered what happened to the 56 men who signed theDeclaration of Independence?

By July 5, 2020General Posts


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 



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.


So, take a few minutes – hope you enjoyed 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! We thank these early

 patriots, as well as those patriots now fighting to KEEP our freedom!

–Joe Smith