Thursday, July 03, 2008

Independence Day

232 years ago today John Adams wrote to his wife:
Yesterday the greatest question was decided, which ever was debated in America, and a greater, perhaps never was nor will be decided among men. A resolution was passed without one dissenting colony, 'that these United Colonies are, and of right out to be, free and independent States... Britain has been filled with folly, and America with wisdom.'"
On this day before Independence Day, I thought it would be fitting to look at the sacrifice that was paid by some of the 56 brave men who signed the Declaration of Independence. The following summaries are taken from Lives of the Signers of the Declaration of Independence written in 1832 by the Reverend Charles A. Goodrich.

Abraham Clark
Two of his sons were officers in the army and were captured. They were confined on the prison ship Jersey in the harbor of New York. Mr. Clark never complained about his family's condition except for one instance. His son had been put into a dungeon and received only the food squished through a keyhole by the other prisoners. Once the Congress knew of this fact they immediately rectified the situation.

Francis Lewis
In the fall of 1776, his house was plundered by the British. His large library filed with valuable papers was destroyed. His wife was put into captivity for several months and denied a bed or a change of clothes. She was so shaken up by the situation that she died a couple years later.

William Floyd
While attending the Continental Congress, Long Island was taken over by the British and his family was forced to flee across the water to Connecticut. For almost 7 years they had to live as refugees.

Lewis Morris
He owned an estate of over 1000 acres near the city of New York that was totally destroyed. His house was greatly damaged, his fences ruined, and his livestock driven away. His family had to flee and live in exile for the remainder of the war.

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