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America’s Founding Fathers

Understanding America's history, who helped to create it and what they believed in is absolutely vital to understanding not only how we got here, but where we can turn to solve our problems.  These and other men generally considered to be among the most influential of our "founding fathers," created the framework of the first ever nation based on laws, not men.  It was the definitive revolt against oppression and control and taxation without representation and it began a wave to mankind yearning for liberty that remains in place even to this day.

Up With America is committed to generating, promoting and putting into place Smart Solutions for America that will solve our biggest problems - and we're leaning heavily on the advice and direction of our founders even today to guide us along the path to success.  But we cannot possibly also serve as the best teachers of history.  As a result, we've searched the entire nation and, while lthere are dozens of good history-based organizations from which to choose, we have created a formal alliance with our friends at My Interactive America and their remarkable website and learning center at http://www.RestoringAmericanHistory.com.  Explore. Learn. Enjoy. Celebrate!

Whatever Happened to the 56 Signers of our Declaration of Independence?

As we embark on our mission to revive the spirit, honor and principles of our founders, its important to understand that great achievement often requires great sacrifice.  If you ever wondered what happened to the 56 men who signed the Declaration of Independence, here’s a brief summary.

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.

One 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 McKen 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 of soldiers looted the properties of Dillery, Hall, Clymer, Walkton, Gwinnett, Heyward, Rutledge, 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 valued liberty more. Standing tall, straight, and unwavering, they pledged: “For the support of this declaration, with firm reliance on the protection of divine providence, we mutually pledge to each other, our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor.”

They gave us 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 this year while enjoying your 4th of July holiday and silently thank these patriots. It’s not much to ask for the price they paid.

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