The Terrible Fate of the Men Who Signed The
Declaration of Independence
All others of the world's revolutions, before and
after the American Revolution, were initiated by men who had
nothing to lose. But our Founding Fathers had everything
to lose and nothing to gain except one thing - a country they
could call their own.
The men who signed
the 'Declaration of Independence' were well educated, 24 were
lawyers and jurists, 9 were farmers and owners of large plantations,
11 were merchants. But signing the 'Declaration of
Independence' made them rebels and traitors in the eyes of King George.
They were now wanted men. Punishment for treason
against the King was hanging.
The men who signed their name to the
'Declaration of Independence' knew they were risking everything.
And they knew if they won this fight, the best they could expect
were years of hardship in a struggling new nation, and if they
lost - they would face a hangman's rope.
Here is the documented fate of what
happened to signers of the 'Declaration of Independence':
- The British caught five of the signers and tortured them
as traitors before they died.
- Nine of the 56 signers fought and died from wounds or
hardships of the war.
- Two of the signers lost their sons serving in the
Revolutionary Army. Another had two sons captured.
- Carter Braxton a signer from Virginia, was a wealthy
planter and trader, but saw his ships swept from the seas by
the British Navy. Braxton sold his home and properties
to pay his debts, and died in rags.
- The British hounded Thomas McKeam to the point where he
was forced to move his family almost constantly and keep
them in hiding. McKeam was not paid for his services
in the Congress. With his possessions
taken, poverty was his reward for signing the 'Declaration
- Francis Lewis had his home and properties destroyed, and
his wife died within a few months of being jailed by the
- John Hart had to flee into
the forest and lived in caves for a year. When he
returned, his wife had died and his 13 children (who fled
for their lives) had vanished. Within a few weeks of
returning, John Hart died.
- Vandals or soldiers looted the properties of other
signers including Dillery, Hall, Clymer, Walton, Gwinnett,
Heyward, Ruttledge, and Middleton.
And the list goes on. Such are the
stories of the American Revolution. These were men of
means, but they gave up their
lives and fortunes so that future generations would have a
country to call their own.
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