When I was young, the fourth of July was a day where we would often have a picnic or ooh and aah over fireworks. Later on I would learn about the true reason for Independence Day--the day when the founding fathers framed the original constitution on July 4, 1776. In my small mind, I thought that this was all there was to it. We came up with our constitution and then England let us go free. How naive I was back then. I didn't realize that it took many years and even loss of life just to be able to declare our independence from them.
This week I tried to think of just which way I wanted to go with my blog. I thought of talking about how we can have freedom in Christ and freedom from the world's entanglements. All of these things would have been good, but after receiving an e-mail from one of my friends, I decided to post what happened to the original framers of our Constitution. I don't know where this originally came from, but I am thankful for my dear friend for reminding me of these important truths about our founding fathers.
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.
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
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 urgedGeneral George Washington to open fire. The home was
destroyed, and Nelson died bankrupt.
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.
One more fact that I learned while I traveled in Boston a couple years ago. When Paul Revere made his famous ride, there was more than one rider and Paul never made it to warn of the invasion.
All of these men paid a dear price so that we could be free today to be able to worship as we please and live as we please. I am so thankful that we still have many of these freedoms available.
"If my people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from Heaven and forgive their sin and will heal their land." II Chron. 7:14