Friday, September 22, 2023
HomeAlmanacWhat happened to the signers of the Declaration of Independence?

What happened to the signers of the Declaration of Independence?


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

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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 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 or both, looted the properties of Ellery, Clymer, Hall, 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. The owner 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. A few weeks later he died from exhaustion and a broken heart. Norris and Livingston suffered similar fates.

Such were the stories and sacrifices of the American Revolution. These were not wild eyed, rabble-rousing ruffians. They were soft-spoken men of means and education. They had security, but they valued liberty more. Standing tall, straight, and unwavering, they pledged: ‘For the support of this declaration, with firm reliance on the protection of the divine providence, we mutually pledge to each other, our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor.’”



  1. Happy Independence Day everyone. Wishing you all the best, and thanks to all the public servants, along with those that serve and have served in the military.

  2. “Gentlemen may cry, ‘Peace, Peace,’ but there is no peace. The war is actually begun! The next gale that sweeps from the north will bring to our ears the clash of resounding arms! Our brethren are already in the field! Why stand we here idle? … Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty, or give me death!”

    Patrick Henry knew.

  3. Nicely done !

    The true meaning of Independence Day is the sacrifice these men all made – Those of us that believe our country was founded with the best ideals and intentions know the importance of this day

    Of course I could go on how we’ve lost our way – but that’s in the news 24/7

    Today is about honoring all that was sacrificed for our freedoms

    • We all pay a high price for our beliefs.
      Having served, I am ready to continue paying for our freedom.
      G-d bless the USA.

  4. What a brave collection of extremely hard working men who knew the consequences of their actions and still sacrificed their large families and everything they had built from the ground up to oppose the tyrannic overgrown wealthy Brittish Government who had lowered themselves to rape pillage and plunder those who opposed the forceful use of taxation repossession and foreclosure.

    Its a view into the past to realize the fact that history inevitably does often repeat itself.

    It clearly presents the need for Joe Bidens 87,000 new armed IRS agents as well as the weaponization of the FBI and DOJ to control angry parents who are concerned about what content the government controlled schools are forcing upon their children.

    It is also helpful to have full control of the FBI and DOJ as well as full cooperation of mainstream media and the largest social communication platforms Twitter and Facebook to “filter” out any negative information to the public about the use of public office for financial gain.

    The picture of the past conditions that led up to the revolutionary war against tyranny are becoming more clear on a daily basis.

    It is a lesson that should be taught at many levels in school instead of gender confusion.

  5. Wow. Thank for sharing this.
    God bless America, have mercy on Her, and preserve Her in His peace.

  6. One of my favorite lines from the preamble speaks to what these men and their families understood they were getting into when they created and sign the Declaration of Independence.

    “Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed.”

    Happy Independence Day!

  7. May the consent of the governed always stand. May the US Constitution never be overturned by elected officials who conspire to overturn the US Constitution by acquiescence to quietly turn over sovereignty of the good people of the American continent to the body of men of the World Health Organization as is now planned and the republic of Great Britain is silent and not offered amendments, the US is silent and the democrats fully acquiesce as does the Canadian body. The time frame for this is as close as 2024. Say goodbye to human liberty as a concept.

  8. Brave, honorable men, all. Sad to see the massive diminishment of freedom as the decades pass in the USA. Tax Freedom Day is now mid April, but if we didn’t have trillion dollar budget deficits it would be June of July. The burden of paying property taxes to the corrupt, fiscally inept local governments gets worse by the year.

    With open borders, rampant drug use, and the collapse of civility in virtually every major US city, the question is how long before we fail?

  9. Thomas Jefferson owned about 500 slaves and had children by women enslaved by him. Let’s thank him for his high toned rhetoric, which he learned because he could afford a classical education. But we still do not have equal rights for women, who became eligible to vote only 123 years ago. And the Supreme Court, stacked by MAGA throwbacks, is actively undermining civil rights. It is time to repeat that what we need is a Declaration of Interdependence. None of us is independent. None of is free when others are not free.

    • If you were a person of means back then, it was highly unlikely that you WOULDN’T own slaves. Beware of using “presentism” when trying to judge people who lived hundreds of years ago by todays standards. Yes, Jefferson owned slaves. Guess what, he’s also the author of the Virginia Statute on Religious Freedom, a monumental and at that time, unheard of statement of support for religious freedom and the separation of Church and State. It was the forerunner of the 1st Amendment.

      Now, to your other points. In what way do women not have the same rights as men in this country? They can run for President, serve in the military, and do pretty much anything else a man can do, so please, explain to me how women have it so bad in this country?

      Also, while I do not agree with the conservative majority on the Supreme Court on most things, it certainly isn’t “stacked”. Those people were nominated by the President (a man who I personally and morally find repugnant, but he WAS President) at the time and confirmed by the Senate. Just because you don’t like their decisions doesn’t make the court illegitimate, which is what you seem to be implying.

  10. They were men of means-wealthy guys. Rich.

    They were educated-rather ironic this is celebrated in this blog today.

    Have a great day everyone. Freedom from tyranny is something to honor.

  11. Actually there are at least 3 Constitutions – the Constitution for the united States of America (1787), the Constitution of the United States of America (1789), and the Constitution of the United States (1790). The first one is the original equity contract and the other two are the corporate charters for the Territorial United States of America Inc and the MUNICIPAL UNITED STATES INC. – both bankrupt. These foreign corporations were under contract to provide governmental services because the true government of, by and for the people was not reconstructed after the Civil War. Lincoln could not be an American President because he held a foreign title of nobility forbidden by the 1787 Constitution. He was the President of a company. It’s been politics for profit ever since – business as usual. The Clearfield doctrine clearly states that corporations cannot be sovereign governments, and 22 U.S.C.A. 286e reaffirms that.

    • Which foreign title of nobility did Abraham Lincoln hold, and which section of the Constitution disallowed him from serving as President?

      • It isn’t in the Constitution. That’s where the posters argument dies. It was merely a proposed amendment.

          • Agreed. I’m always amazed that these sovereign citizens still exist. Never underestimate the power of denial.

    • I certainly hope you’re not claiming that, as a lawyer, the fact that Lincoln may have used the term “esquire” to describe his profession, means that he held a title of nobility from a foreign power just because its a phrase that comes from English law. If that’s what you’re claiming then you probably think that sovereign citizens are good people as well.

  12. 1776, RATIFIED 6/3/1776 IS “this” Constitution. Agreed there were draft versions and substituted versions of 1781 for the corps you mentioned.

  13. The nation building was about a two hundred year process. There were several drafts of Constitutions. That-‘s why I recommend consulting the Annals of America. I believe they are shelved in the reference section of U of A. Anchorage.

  14. Also, the founders’ children received as their direct inheritance the confederate republic and the rights expressed in the US Constitution instead of the large family wealth formerly owned by these highly educated men who wrote and signed the founding documents for their children. Their natural progeny arrived rights intact in Alaska by 1865. Rights which they could claim, ennunciate and exercise and still do. Why is that a surprise to anyone?

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