56 Signed

I’ve been asked what happened to the signers of the Declaration of Independence, well here goes I don’t know who wrote the e-mail but this is what it contained. With this information you can snopes it if you like.

There were 56 men who signed the Declaration of Independence. 24 were lawyers and jurists at a time when this was a respected occupation, 11 were merchants, and 9 were farmers and owners of large plantations, these guys had something to lose. These were men of means, they had done something with their life.

Reflect on the world at that time. England was huge, the saying of the day was, “The sun never sets on the English empire.” These guys were taking on a superpower. It would be like Argentina taking on the Soviet Union. Think about it, this little “two bit” colony throwing down the gauntlet to England. They had a King then not a warm and fuzzy Winston Churchill or Margaret Thatcher, a full blown King from the House of Hanover that succeeded the House of Stuart. What does that mean, he was a pretty bad dude. These guys knew they were most likely signing their death warrant.

So what happened to them? Five were captured by the British as traitors, and tortured before they died. Twelve had their homes burned to the ground at a time when Allstate wasn’t going to make it all better (read that financial ruin). Nine fought and died in the Revolution. Two lost sons serving in the Revolutionary Army, and two more had sons captured.

Carter Braxton’s ships were destroyed by the British Navy. He sold his home and properties to pay his debts, and died poor.


Thomas McKeam was hounded by the British and forced to move his family constantly. His possessions were taken and he died poor.


Dillery, Hall, Clymer, Walton, Gwinnett, Heyward, Ruttledge, and Middleton had their properties looted.


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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