The Founding Fathers-The Price They Paid

Freedom is Never Free!


Have you ever wondered what happened to those 56 amazingly courageous men who signed their names to the Declaration of Independence? So often we get caught up in the present that we forget to reflect on the foundation of freedom that we here in the United States of America are privileged to possess.

The accounts of their fate should inspire each of us to take the necessary actions to maintain the freedom they and so many others fought to secure for us.

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 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. 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.”

They gave you and me a free and independent America. The history books never told you a lot about what happened in the Revolutionary War. We didn’t fight just the British.

We were British subjects at that time and we fought our own government!

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 silently thank these patriots. It’s not much to ask for the price they paid. Remember: freedom is never free!

I hope you will show your support by please sending this to as many people as you can. It’s time we get the word out that patriotism is NOT a sin, and the Fourth of July has more to it than beer, picnics, and baseball games.

Also if you enjoy the wisdom you receive in my blog, I encourage you to tell your friends to join our community! It’s FREE unlike our FREEDOM. Also we would love to hear any comments you may have on any of the topics we cover.

Have a safe Fourth of July!

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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5 thoughts on “The Founding Fathers-The Price They Paid

  1. Thanks for sharing this, Greg.

    We took time to read the Declaration of Independence at the Rosa home yesterday. I had my children go through and count how many complaints our founders had against King George: 27. Most of us only know about ‘taxation without representation’ nowadays.

    Here’s my favorite: “He [King George] has erected a multitude of new offices and sent forth swarms of officers to harass our people and eat out their substance.”

    That sounds familiar…

    Those 56 men didn’t take the pledge of their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor lightly. Neither should we.

    David Barton’s book Original Intent has a ton of info on the lives of the founders of America.

    • Cliff, what a great way to lead your family into the future! Teaching your kids the importance of our history and the Founding Fathers give them a wonderful foundation to grow from. Congratulations on being a great father.

  2. The price paid and the responsibility handed down to us. A wonderful message for July 4th and every day of our lives as we live in this amazing country where we are free to be, debate or not, work and pursue our dreams!
    A great daily reminder to make everyday count.