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July 4, 1776

| Opinion | July 3, 2019

We recently celebrated the 243rd anniversary of the signing of our nation’s founding document The Declaration of Independence. Thomas Jefferson’s inspired document calling for the separation of the United States from Great Britain quite literally changed the world.

Jefferson wrote that our rights do not come from the state but rather a higher power. “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.”

Our government defined what the state may not do to the individual. Jefferson went on to list the violations of our rights by the Crown.

The document closed with:

“And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.”

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The signers were not just a bunch of old rich white slave owners. They knew what they were about to face. Benjamin Franklin famously cajoled them to sign by saying “We must, indeed, all hang together or, most assuredly, we shall all hang separately.”

Thanks to a posting by Michael Smith:

“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 in the revolutionary army, another had two sons captured. Nine of the 56 fought and died from wounds or hardships of the revolutionary war.

What kind of men were they? About 24 were lawyers and jurists. Eleven were merchants; nine were farmers and large plantation owners, men of means, well educated.

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, or both, looted the properties of Ellery, Clymer, Hall, 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. The owner 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.

These were the people that built Reagan’s “Shining City on a Hill.”

We are desecrating their memory by our passive acceptance of the Marxism/Socialism being thrust upon us. We must remember President Reagan’s words:

“Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same.”

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About Stephen Smith

Stephen Smith is a graduate of UCLA and has lived and worked in the Los Angeles area his entire life. In 2010 and 2012 he was the Republican Party endorsed candidate running against longtime incumbent Xavier Becerra, for the House of Representatives in the United States Congress. He admits to having a bias in favor of our Nation's founding principles. Stephen can be contacted at smith4liberty@outlook.com

One Response to “July 4, 1776”

  1. William Anderson on July 7, 2019 @ 9:01 am

    Excellent article, my friend!

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