Remembering the Founders’ Sacrifice

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“Thomas Jefferson lives,” John Adams whispered in his final hours. But five hundred miles south, Thomas Jefferson had expired earlier that day. “This is the Fourth of July,” the third president muttered on his last day. The rival he defeated for that high office likewise observed, “It is a great day. It is a good day.” It was the end of his days. On the fiftieth anniversary of the Fourth of July, the man who introduced the motion to declare independence and the man who drafted the document doing so both died.

Not every signer of the Declaration of Independence enjoyed a storybook ending.

Seventy-two years after Independence Day, B.J. Lossing portrayed the fifty-six colonists who affixed their names to the parchment dissolving the political ties with the mother country and boldly outlining principles of human freedom. In pre-paperback publishing, Lossing sought to inform the “humbler ones” who “are equal inheritors of the throne of the people’s sovereignty” about their forebears, so he condensed their stories “into the space of a volume so small, that the price of it would make it accessible to our whole population.” It has since been a tradition of sorts, with efforts sometimes boasting an excess of enthusiasm but a deficit of accuracy, to condense Lossing’s thumbnail sketches even further to celebrate the Fourth of July.

The holiday truly is a holy day to lovers of America.

No signer signed his life away on July 4, 1776. Many effectively signed away where they lived. The British expropriated Lewis Morris’s New York home to use as a military barracks. They torched William Ellery’s Newport, Rhode Island abode. They sacked the property of Pennsylvania’s George Clymer after he absconded to safety with his family. Thomas Nelson, Jr., confronted with the enemy dwelling where he once did, ordered his own mansion shelled.

New Jersey’s beleaguered John Hart didn’t survive to see the Revolution won. “His farm was ravaged, his timber destroyed, his cattle and stock butchered for the use of the British army,” Lossing wrote, “and he himself was hunted like a noxious beast, not daring to remain two nights under the same roof.”

Other signers of the Declaration of Independence lost their independence. The British captured South Carolina’s Thomas Heyward, Edward Rutledge, and Arthur Middleton in battle at Charleston and imprisoned them outside of the United States in St. Augustine. Georgian George Walton, shot in the thigh and off his horse, fell into enemy hands while defending Savannah.

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  • Guest

    Too bad our supreme court justices didn't take these sacrifices more seriously.

  • Nakba1948

    As we reflect on this Independence Day, let us remember that we can't be truly independent when a parasitic Israel lobby maintains a stranglehold on US foreign policy. Makes you wonder what the Founding Fathers would have to say about our "special [one-way] relationship" with the Zionist Terror State. It might go something like this:

    "So likewise, a passionate attachment of one Nation for another produces a variety of evils. Sympathy for the favorite Nation, facilitating the illusion of an imaginary common interest, in cases where no real common interest exists, and infusing into one the enmities of the other, betrays the former into a participation in the quarrels and wars of the latter, without adequate inducement or justification. It leads also to concessions to the favorite Nation of privileges denied to others, which is apt doubly to injure the Nation making the concessions; by unnecessarily parting with what ought to have been retained; and by exciting jealousy, ill-will, and a disposition to retaliate, in the parties from whom equal privileges are withheld. And it gives to ambitious, corrupted, or deluded citizens, (who devote themselves to the favorite nation,) facility to betray or sacrifice the interests of their own country, without odium, sometimes even with popularity; gilding, with the appearances of a virtuous sense of obligation, a commendable deference for public opinion, or a laudable zeal for public good, the base or foolish compliances of ambition, corruption, or infatuation.

    "As avenues to foreign influence in innumerable ways, such attachments are particularly alarming to the truly enlightened domestic factions, to practice the arts of seduction, to mislead public opinion, to influence or awe the Public Councils! Such an attachment of a small or weak, towards a great and powerful nation, dooms the former to be the satellite of the latter.

    "Against the insidious wiles of foreign influence (I conjure you to believe me, fellow-citizens,) the jealousy of a free people ought to be constantly awake; since history and experience prove, that foreign influence is one of the most baneful foes of Republican Government. But that jealousy, to be useful, must be impartial; else it becomes the instrument of the very influence to be avoided, instead of a defense against it. Excessive partiality for one foreign nation, and excessive dislike of another, cause those whom they actuate to see danger only on one side, and serve to veil and even second the arts of influence on the other. Real patriots, who may resist the intrigues of the favorite, are liable to become suspected and odious; while its tools and dupes usurp the applause and confidence of the people, to surrender their interests." -George Washington, Farewell Address

    i'd wish you Zionuts a Happy 4th, but i reckon you recently celebrated your "independence day" on the 26th of April.

    • Looking4Sanity

      Stick a sock in it, you Jew hater.

      • http://www.facebook.com/dana.harbaugh.94 Dana Harbaugh

        Weren't the B-17's over Dresden and Berlin enough for you Nazi's?

    • bubbaland1

      Did you forget to take your meds today?

      I bet you have Hitler on speed dial.

    • Nakba1948

      Predictable Zionist tactics: when intellectually outmaneuvered, cry "NazI" or "anti-Semite" to stifle conversation. Sorry, I'm not biting. Is George Washington a "Nazi" and "Jew-hater" as well? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jUGVPBO9_cA

      • Lan Astaslem

        where islam goes, evil grows – we're onto you islamonazi filth. We will not submit to the garbage that is islam

      • SCREW SOCIALISM

        Happy Eternal Nakba 1948!

        May ALL your JIhads turn into NAKBAS!

      • UCSPanther

        Take your Iranian representativepress tripe and shove it you-know-where.

    • BS77

      .Israel is NOT the problem in the Middle East….it's the garbage like you. You don't say much about the slaughter going on in Syria or the horrible lives for women and children in Libya, Afghanistan or Somalia…..Why do readers bother arguing with you? It's useless arguing with a brainwashed robot.

    • Western Spirit

      George Washington welcomed Jews into the new nation, he called them Abraham's stock. I think, a true Christian, like Washington, would gladly help Abraham's stock because that's the way a true Christian thinks.

    • Tzila

      You poor misguided fool. You have no idea what it means to live in freedom, especially if you celebrate your precious Catastrophe (Nakba) day. And exactly what do you celebrate on that stupidest of holidays? The freedoms that were bestowed on by the Ottoman empire perhaps? What or who would that be exactly?
      Your quote is completely misplaced – typical of your completely worthless and expensive Western liberal education you received on someone else's dime (Daddy dearest?, MB?, PA?). The same sentiment can be applied to Obama's support for Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, sworn enemies of Israel. The U.S.A. were founded on Judeo-Christian values (apologies, not Islamic, and I pray never will be). As long as Americans believe in freedom, the U.S.A. will have Israel as its ally. God bless the U.S,A,

    • Banastre tarleton

      beat it creep

    • Asher

      God Bless Israel our best friend and Ally. "For Zion's sake I will not keep silent, for Jerusalem's sake I will not remain quiet, till her righteousness shines out like the dawn, her salvation like a blazing torch. Isaiah 62:1 All spawns of Satan take note you may impose your dictatorships but…your time on the earth will be short.

      "It is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits and humbly implore his proctection and favor." George Washington: Commander and Chief of the American Revolution.

    • jacob miller

      When we talk of 'special relationships' for some reason we fail to mention the primary one that evolves around the exploration, development and gifting of energy resources in the Middle East that has set the price for the world's oil over the last 50 years and sends about a billioin dollars a day to sheikdoms, tribes and other forms of last century civilizations to the detriment of the West. In exchange for which, aside from the occasional terrorist or two, we get millions of dollars funneled into our academic establishments to preach the kind of stuff that Mr Nakba offers up. Nakba and friends would like for us to be part of them. Subservient of course, for Allah wills that, but part of them nonetheless. Our women in veils. Our minds unquestioning as are theirs. And our societies devoid of the freedoms that free peoples in the rest of the world share. And an exemplar of those freedoms, extended to all of its citizens including its Arab minorities, Israel can't be allowed to exist.

    • stevefraser

      Allahu Akbar!!!

      • SCREW SOCIALISM

        Allahu Nakba!

    • ziontruth

      Here's to the release of more than a billion and a half from their servitude to Islam. Including you, Nackscum.

      • SCREW SOCIALISM

        Independence from Islamofascism.
        Independence from OPEC and $100 per barrel oil.
        Independence from Jihad.
        Independence from passenger plane hijacking.
        Independence from beheading journalists.
        Independence from death fatwas against writers.

    • Ghostwriter

      The only nut here is you,Nakba1948. You have said some repellent things on this website but invoking George Washington to legitimize your anti-semitism is one of the worst yet. George Washington liked Jews. He and the other Founding Fathers welcomed them into this country. He even sent a letter to a synagogue that said that Jews would be treated like everyone else in the new nation. He would have hated people like you,Nakba. And,unless they've changed the history of the United States since I was in school,the Founding Fathers DIDN'T send people to Britain to bomb coffeehouses,theaters,and the like to achieve independence. They knew that those sorts of actions would discredit any moral case for American independence.
      Your beloved Palestinians have done those sorts of actions for years. They've sacrificed any legitimate claim to morality when they perform suicide bombing. You're a vile piece of garbage,Nakba1948. Your invoking of George Washington to attack Jews is disgusting,but that's the sort of thing we've come to expect from you,slimeball.

    • http://vnnforum.com DeShawn

      Thank you for pointing out the truth, naka but I gotta correct you on something. You’re always taking about the zionists when it’s really just the gd jews. Jews think of us as mear goys and cattle for their use as slaves, just like their talMUD says. That’s why they don’t care about ruining the us to fight all their supremacist wars. Actually if you research it, the satanic beasts have been behind almost every war in us history, as well ads the african slave one day thoughsoon, all us goys as well as palestine will be able to celebrate their independencefrom the hook nosed, money grubbing yids.

      • Drakken

        Since your an african"t kaffir, why don't you join your muslim friends in jihad and then we won't have to have this pc conversation.

      • UCSPanther

        Your attacks are nothing but a pathetic repetition of inflammatory and slur-ridden tripe and false accusations that have been revealed to be as such.

        You antisemites' attacks only reveal one thing: Your desperation.

      • SCREW SOCIALISM

        DeSHlTler,

        WW2 Victory in Europe Day: Beaten Nazis Sign Historic Surrender (1945) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OFFEKPIB0J8

        That's UNCONDITIONAL SURRENDER.

        Happy Nakba DeSHlTler!

    • UCSPanther

      Go buy a one-way ticket to Palestine if you like it so much, and thanks for wasting your time to type up a speech that the disgraced Yasser Arafat would be proud of.

      The German American BUND used pseudo-patriotism to hide their traitorous agenda, and fat lot of good it did them.

    • banastre tarleton

      you fool

  • Looking4Sanity

    If Obama gets re-elected this November the writing will be on the wall, "There isn't enough left of this country to bother saving".

    • trickyblain

      Speak for yourself (and apparently nine other imbecilic psychos at the time of this posting).

      My country ain't called "Republican" or "Democrat."

      • Looking4Sanity

        It ain't called Independent, that's for sure! I've got news for you, dopey. America is a Constitutional Republic. That makes it Republican in nature. If you don't like it…move to China. One more idiot over there won't even be noticed.

  • KKKK

    happy Fourth of July to all my fellow Americans (and also to any non-American reading this!) we rememebr our Founding fathers suffered and sacrificed much for our liberities we enjoy today. some died, others went years seperated from home and family. there are countless other ways they sacrifice, both large and small. let us be as viligent as some of them about the dangers of Islam as well.

    • Malfleur

      Yes, Happy Fourth of July! as we remember the British subjects who courageously affixed their signatures to the Declaration of Independence. We in England hope that you will soon recover that independence and rediscover the principles of 1776 and 1787; so that you will be able to lead the lovers of liberty throughout the world, leadership never more needed than now.

  • James Ogilvy

    I see that US celebrated it’s Independence Day with a grovelling apology to their friend and ally Pakistan. How many apologies does that make? By my counting that’s one a day, isn’t it? United States of Apologies.

  • James Ogilvy

    I'm looking forward to Obama's second term. Do you guys in Obama's United States of Apologies get a public holiday on Eid? I think you should, speak to your Democrat congressman and it'll be done, oh, but be sure to donate a few quid to their election fund first though.

    • Asher

      Yeh, like I'm going to forego getting my wedding gift, so my friends and family can contribute to Obama 2012 instead….What pathetic people you all are!

  • Steve Chavez

    "The Freedom's in the Constitution to Overthrow the Constitution." Steve Chavez

    Obama comes to mind!

    • Asher

      He makes himself the law, changing times and laws, thus earning the name the Lawless One.

    • trickyblain

      Steve Chavez, since you are bold enough to — literally/comically — quote yourself on an obscure internet forum, can you at least point us to the part of the Constitution that delegates said power?

  • James Ogilvy

    USA = United States of Apologies

    • Looking4Sanity

      Pound sand you bloody P.O.M.E.

  • James Ogilvy

    Next time Pakistan orders you to apologise, don’t agrue, do it starighaway. If Pakistan says “jump!”, don’t just stand there sucking on your thumb, ask “how high, Sir?” Happy Eid, sorry, Independence Day.

    • Western Spirit

      You sound British James, so please don't be bitter that this colony overthrew its masters. ha,ha, ha, ha,ha.

      My own ancestors were among them and supplied soldiers and grain to the continental army. Five family members died in that war. They were French Huguenots who owned a plantation along with the other founders and supplied blood with food to gain freedom.

      Freedom that is being squandered by this present generation who voted for a president who apologies for the country because he thinks we're the problem in the world, not the solution. All because to get elected he promised hope and change. Worthless words from a worthless president.

  • Schlomotion

    I am surprised that Mr. Flynn was able to type this homily with straight-faced fingers, being from Massachusetts. There are so many contraventions to the Constitution in Massachusetts and so many bylaws against the basic freedoms of common law that he would have had to look over his shoulder while typing. Is he armed? Does he own a hibachi? Did someone slip fireworks into his grocery bag? The agents of Mayor Menino are everywhere.

  • Malfleur

    Happy Fourth of July! as we remember the British subjects who courageously affixed their signatures to the Declaration of Independence. We in England hope that you will soon recover that independence and rediscover the principles of 1776 and 1787; so that you will be able to lead the lovers of liberty throughout the world, leadership never more needed than now.

    • trickyblain

      +1

  • mrbean

    I watched O[Reilly claim that Christianity is the basis of the founding of the United States. "The Christian right is trying to rewrite the history of the United States as part of its campaign to force its religion on others. They try to depict the founding fathers as pious Christians who wanted the United States to be a Christian nation, with laws that favored Christians and Christianity. This is patently untrue. The early presidents and patriots were generally Deists or Unitarians, believing in some form of impersonal Providence but rejecting the divinity of Jesus and the absurdities of the Old and New testaments. John Locke brought to bear on the thinking of our founding fathers. Thomas Jefferson in The Declaration of Independence captured the philosophical ideas, which launched the American system of constitutional government. Greg Forster, in his book, “Starting with Locke,” pulls together, into one place, a comparison of Locke’s ideas along side those written by Jefferson’s in The Declaration of Independence which bridges our cherished views of freedom with those written by Locke in his “Two Treatises of Government” just over 87 years before The Declaration of Independence.

    • Drakken

      Your so full of it your eyes are floating. Our country was founded on Western European ideals, untill you grasp that leftist, your a lost useful idiot of the left! .

      • mrbean

        At least try to get an education you ignorant fool! You are the typical product of the American public education system – ignorant of historical facts. John Locke's treatises are the basis of America. Organized religion is that anti intellectual baggage that we have yet to get rid of.

  • SCREW SOCIALISM

    James Ogilvy,

    The US continues to use drones on terrorist encampments in the Islamic Republic or Pakistan AND the US got Osama bin Laden, so an "apology" to the childish leaders of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan is to sooth their feelings.

    The work goes on.

    Happy Independence Day James Ogilvy!

  • clarespark

    The best way to remember the Revolutionary generation is to assess how well their dream of popular sovereignty has been realized. Many of us believe it is deeply threatened, and I summarized my concerns here: http://clarespark.com/2012/01/28/popular-sovereig…. "Popular sovereignty on the ropes." Or for more on the distortions of the Declaration, see http://clarespark.com/2012/07/04/index-to-fourth-…. "Index to Fourth of July blogs."

  • stevefraser

    David…Please remove this and other ads…thanks.