First let me wish everyone an enjoyable and Happy Independence Day. At this time of anxious concern for our Nation, as concerned as we are, consider the anxiety of these 56 men and what they were willing to do for us.
Together “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.”
They were mostly men of means who had much to lose if the war was lost. One-third served as militia officers during the war. Four of the signers were taken captive during the war and nearly all of them were poorer at the end of the war than at the beginning.
The ages of the signers ranged from 26 (Edward Rutledge) to 70 (Benjamin Franklin), but the majority of the signers were in their thirties or forties. More than half of the signers were lawyers and the others were planters, merchants and shippers.
Many of them probably expected to die.
They signed anyway.
Consider the day these men signed this document and then went home to eat their Dinner with their wives and children. As we enjoy our day, consider the table talk these families had at the time. The worry and strain. It pales in comparison. I offer as well, a clip from the 2003 Television docudrama: George Orwell – A Life in Pictures.
A reminder from George Orwell. George Orwell warns us, “It depends on you.” Can we do less?
George Orwell – A Final Warning