Ad Spot

Many made sacrifices on our path to freedom

By By Michelle Blaylock, Mom’s Corner
Next week is the Fourth of July, one of my favorite holidays. I love the fun, the fireworks, the food and the general excitement as with any holiday. However, last year I was appalled to learn that 34 percent of adults ages 18-29 were not sure what the Fourth of July celebration means!
Just for the record. The Fourth of July celebrates the day the Continental Congress approved the Declaration of Independence, basically telling King George of England that they no longer wanted to be controlled by England and declaring their independence. After watching the movie National Treasure, I wondered what actually did happen to the 56 men who signed the Declaration. In all probability, if the Revolutionary War had been lost, the men who had signed the Declaration would probably have been tried, convicted of treason and hanged. The signers of the Declaration of Independence were men of means. At least 24 were lawyers, 11 were merchantsand nine were plantation owners. They put everything, their families, their homes, their fortunes, their lives and their honor on the line. So what happened to them?
Well, I went to my favorite research spot — the internet. I discovered that five of the signers were captured by the British. Twelve of the men had their homes ransacked by British troops and burned. Two of the signers lost sons during the Revolutionary War and two had sons that were captured.
Carter Braxton of Virginia had to sell his home and properties to pay his debts after losing his shipping fleet to the British Navy. Thomas McKean served congress without pay (I wonder how many politicians would do that today?) and had to keep his family in hiding to keep them from being harassed by British troops.
The properties of Ellery, Hall, Clymer, Walton, Gwinnett, Heyward, Rutledge and Middleton were looted. Thomas Nelson, Jr. told General Washington to open fire on the Nelson home because General Cornwallis was using it for his headquarters. The Nelson home was totally destroyed.
I also found several sources that disputed the fact that any of this happened to these men just because they signed the Declaration.
Those who refute that the founding fathers suffered due to their support of the Declaration feel that their sufferings were just the normal course of war. This may be true. However, consider this: What they did by supporting the Declaration and going to war was a treasonous act against England and King George.
The British were fighting a war far away from “home.” They needed the support of “loyalists” if they had any hope of winning the war. If the British had immediately taken 56 highly respected men out and hung them, their support even among the loyalists would have been jeopardized. This was not something the British would have wanted to risk.
However, if the American Colonies had lost their fight for independence the situation would have been much different. At that time, the signers of the Declaration would have been tried, probably convicted of treasonous acts against England, and then hung. Not to mention what their families would have suffered. All their properties would have been confiscated and their wives and children would have probably ended up in servitude.
The important point that must be remembered is if the worst had happened, they were still going to stand together. These were not “starry eyed” youth with dreams of glory. These were men that full well knew the consequences of their actions. At the signing of the Declaration, Benjamin Franklin said, “We must all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately.” Knowing this to be true the signers still signed their name and made this unwavering pledge, “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.”
As we celebrate the Fourth of July, I urge you to take just a few minutes to remember the men and women that fought to give us this country and those who continue to fight today to preserve it.
If you have a question or comment for Mom’s Corner, please e-mail it to: moms-corner@juno.com

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

Old Hartselle post office to become event center, new home for chamber  

At a Glance

‘Have a Hart’ information session to be held Dec. 2

Morgan County

Future leader

News

Alabama DHR accepting applications for next round of child care bonuses 

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

Spirit of Thanksgiving: Volunteers deliver 266 food bags on holiday for Meals on Wheels  

At a Glance

Morgan County Sheriff’s Office to let citizens behind the scenes with academy  

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

Winter window wonderland  

At a Glance

Council to interview candidates for Parks and Rec director job  

Hartselle

Live nativity scene returns to First Christian Dec. 7-10

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

Local church prepares 400 Thanksgiving meals

News

HIS students help clean up effort at Mt. Tabor Cemetery 

News

Lovely landscape

News

Morgan buys SUVs to transport seniors, deliver meals

News

Morgan County Sheriff’s Office to let citizens behind the scenes with academy  

News

Morgan teen exhibits grand champion at Alabama National Fair

News

Murder-for-hire defendant seeks bond

MULTIMEDIA-FRONT PAGE

Stadthagen supports

News

SALUTE

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

Second grade students in Hartselle honor heroes

News

Alabama DHR accepting applications for next round of child care bonuses 

At a Glance

Vinemont man killed in single-vehicle crash

At a Glance

Littlest Christmas Tree Farm opens Friday

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

Marching on: Pride of Priceville has ‘stellar’ season  

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

Hartselle scores A on state report card, down two points from 2018

x