July 4th, 2008 -- The Price of Freedom

by Nathan Natas 21 Replies latest jw friends

  • Nathan Natas
    Nathan Natas

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

    Five were imprisoned 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.

    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 reflect for a moment on these American patriots. That's not much to ask for the price they paid.

    Remember: freedom is never free!

  • Makena1

    Nathan - thanks for sharing this piece of history. My guess is that it is not widely known. Something to ponder in this age of instant gratification and whining when inconvenienced by really trivial things. Aloha and Happy 4th.

  • Gopher

    We should credit the source of this information. It was a part of an essay submitted and printed yesterday in the Camp Verde Bugle http://campverdebugleonline.com/main.asp?SectionID=36&SubSectionID=73&ArticleID=20458 (in the "Opinion" section).

    On holidays like this (and Memorial Day and Veterans Day), we Americans need to remember how our freedoms were established and how they've been defended by courageous warriors through the decades of this republic. If we don't appreciate how difficult freedom is to obtain, if we don't cherish it & stand up for it, we're in danger of losing it.

  • MeneMene
  • Warlock

    Myths and lies to make these men into martyrs.


  • outofthebox

    Wow. Nice.

  • crazyblondeb

    Myths and lies to make these men into martyrs.


    Prove the myths and lies.

    You enjoy these freedoms today.

    These freedoms didn't just appear.

  • frankiespeakin

    But really what is the meaning of this word "freedom",, certainly not a changing of masters. If you limit the word freedom to mean a changing of masters (the crown or the republic). Then I guess you can say it was the pri ce of freedom,, but my idea of freedom means so much more than a changing of master.

  • Warlock

    Prove to me that these men even existed.

    All I have for proof are words supposedly written about them and some words possibly written by them.

    I have never met them, nor even seen them.


  • frankiespeakin


    If we don't appreciate how difficult freedom is to obtain, if we don't cherish it & stand up for it, we're in danger of losing it

    We already lost it. Ex.1) Partriot Act, 2) Homeland Secrutity, wire tapping, governmental enforcement of laws that take away personal freedoms run into the hundred, heavy taxation, Just ask any Indian about freedom and trusting the US government.

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