What happened to the signers?


"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 fifty-six fought and died from wounds or hardships resulting from the Revolutionary War.

These men 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. All were men of means, well educated. But they signed the Declaration of Independence knowing full well that the penalty could be death if they were captured.

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."   "What really happened?"


I had a lot of ancestors in that war, some Continentals, some militia.  One man in Boston raised his own regiment of militia at his own expense.  He commanded it throughout the war.  A lot of the soldiers among the signers were old broken down grunts by the end, They made new lives for themselves.  I revere their memory.  pl 


This entry was posted in History. Bookmark the permalink.

25 Responses to What happened to the signers?

  1. casey says:

    And now, here is our great Republic, all these years later, attempting this op on an important anniversary, as though to underscore extreme moral degeneracy. I guess something went bad, bad wrong in the last 100 years:
    “This morning the U.S. spy plane willingly penetrated Iranian airspace. It squawked a fake code which showed ill intention. This happened on the 31st anniversary of Flight 655. The Iranian military would certainly still like to take revenge for that mass murder. It was a huge provocation likely intended to lure Iran into shooting it down.”

  2. Eugene Owens says:

    I think General Smallwood never got the recognition by historians that he deserved.
    Not a signer, but commander of the 1st Maryland Regiment, the ‘Old Line’ that saved the Continental Army at the Battle of Long Island. And served with distinction at many other battles. His troops at the Battle of Camden were the only unit to withdraw in good order, while the rest of Horatio Gates command broke and fled in a rout.

  3. Eugene Owens says:

    Here is a rebuttal to Moon from a blog with a different drummer:
    “I don’t doubt that the USAF is flying Rivet Joints and many other reconnaissance flights in that part of the world. And spoofing another country’s transponder code is done by many. Not only by us but done to us also.
    However, Moon’s theory that we wanted a 100 million dollar aircraft with 30 crewmembers shot down, or even shot at, in order to start a war for SecState Pom-Pom is crackpot. Even if the IRGC saw through the bogus transponder code, Rivet Joint has the capability to fry or dupe Iranian comms and probably a countermeasures suite to avoid SAMs. And why would that flight track directly over Abu Musa & Sirri islands even be needed? A Rivet Joint could have gathered the same intel by standing off just a mile or two and staying in Emirati airspace. Rivet Joint is NOT a photo reconnaissance aircraft. No need to fly directly overhead. So we should question whether that flight path he showed is legitimate.
    If we wanted to bait them into shooting at one of aircraft it would have been a fighter, perhaps even a Wild Weasel with radar-seeking missiles.
    Moon needs to either ditch the paranoia, or stop drinking bad moonshine.”

    Except for the personal attack in the last sentence, I agree.
    In times of high tension there should be no dropping your guard. Which means reconnaissance flights should continue in spite of the bad juju of the 655 anniversary. In fact on that date recon or surveillance flights are probably needed more than usual

  4. Eugene Owens says:

    PS Casey – It has been 242 years, NOT 100.

  5. Those were hard, hard men. I get chills every time I read “we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.” I call to mind one of my hometown fathers, Gideon Hotchkiss, forefather of Jedidiah Hotchkiss. Gideon served in the colonial militia and fought at Ticonderoga and Fort William Henry. Before and during the Revolution he served on the committee of safety and raised mounted troops. He was an old man when he heard British cannons at New Haven. He grabbed his young farmhand and his musket and rode to the sound of the guns. His farmhand was quickly killed by a cannonball. Gideon secured his body and sent his horses back to Prospect. He then joined the local militia to drive the British invaders out of New Haven. Hard, hard men.
    I’m reading a book about William Eaton and his exploits during the First Barbary War called the Pirate Coast” by Richard Zacks. By God, Colonel, this man Eaton is one of us. All I ever heard about this war was Marine lieutenant Presley O’Bannon. O’Bannon was only following Eaton. With precious little resources, Eaton raised a rag tag army in Egypt marched to Derna while keeping this force together through sheer force of will and raised our flag in our first overseas battlefield victory. He did this at considerable personal cost all for the honor of our new country. I plan on writing a post once I finish the book.

  6. Tidewater says:

    What I think is not being discussed at all here is the new reality that Iran has the S-400. The first hours, or days, of aerial combat between the American stealth fighters and bombers, and the Iranian/Russian operated S-400, will be a duel which will be watched with macabre fascination by the world’s press, and with fear in the capitals of many different countries, not only in the west. If the United States does not defeat the S-400 batteries in the very beginning, and the duel stretches out, and F-22s are reported going down, you could see a collapse of the stock market, and after a week or two the belief could begin to grow that things have gone badly wrong, that Trump is a madman, that the war is going to go long, that the Gulf will remain blocked, and a generalized panic that is not only financial, could set in. You literally could be looking at the collapse of the world economy. And contrary to what a lot of people think, the United States does not have energy independence. (Anthony Cordesman.)

  7. Bill H says:

    I share your reverence for that deeply meaningful phrase. One of the most moving moments I ever experienced was a visit to Valley Forge. I had read a great deal about it, but when I went there and saw that ground… It was like standing in a great cathedral, and I could feel the presence of those great men.

  8. rho says:

    “However, Moon’s theory that we wanted a 100 million dollar aircraft with 30 crewmembers shot down, or even shot at, in order to start a war for SecState Pom-Pom is crackpot.”
    I wish that was crackpot, but I think 100 million $ are chump change for the factions who desire war with Iran, and 30 US crewmembers are certainly expendable. Do you think people like Pompeo or Bolton are not possibly ruthless enough to make such a sacrifice?

  9. turcopolier says:

    Sergeant Amos Hall,7th Connecticut Line, Continental Army, served 1775 to 1783, present at Valley Forge and at the surrender of Cornwallis. He was my 3rd great grandfather. A great man.

  10. akaPatience says:

    Thank you for the poignant reminder of why we celebrate the Fourth of July. We should never forget or fail to appreciate the risks and sacrifices made by those who’ve fought for the cause of freedom.
    Many of my ancestors came from England and settled in Virginia. I’m a proud descendant of a militia colonel who was with Gen. Washington when Lord Cornwallis surrendered at Yorktown. My ancestor was fortunate, and went back to farming in Henry Co., VA after the war, where he was involved in local politics.

  11. Eugene Owens says:

    rho –
    I think Secretary Pom-Pom and the Mousetache of Idiocy are hardline neocons capable of anything. Neither one is a veteran and neither would care about 30 dead Airmen if it got us into a war.
    However, they are not in the chain of command. I think that any and all USAF commanders know that and would not be a party to such a scheme no matter how headshaped they are by AIPAC.
    BTW, interesting nickname you post with.

  12. Eugene Owens says:

    Tidewater –
    Do they actually have the S-400 yet? I’ve seen conflicting reports, some say the deal has been made but not yet delivered, others say no deal yet. Iran is broke and it is an expensive system. India is reportedly paying $5.4 billion. Would Putin give it away?
    A senior Iranian Air Defense commander did say publicly two days ago that ‘Iran owns a “unique secret weapon” which it would use against US forces if they make any “wrong moves”. ‘ But I have no clue as to whether that is hot air or a previously unreported weapon system.

  13. Jim Ticehurst says:

    colonel ….Thank you for this timely Post and Your Comments and Heritage..I Loved Hearing the Voice of Paul Harvey as I Read this..The Valor of the Founders.Continental Army…Is Profound..The Events of The Revolutionary War…Valley Forge..Strategic Decisions..Made..To Create a Society and Culture FREE. from Absolute Tyrrany .. Military Occupation..and NO Protection Under The Law..to Estabish a New Government..A New and Remarkable and Profound National Constitution..and Bill of Rights.FOR the PEOPLE..A Foundation..NOT Built on Sand..
    Like you..I am 9 Generation American That 1680 Line.. ..From Hanover County Virginia…and went to Church there with Patrick Henrys Family..The Line that got their Pensions..went to the New State of Kentucky..and Out West by Covered Wagon in 1850..So…thank You Colonel For sharing your story..waking Memorys..We do know that No One is Perfect..But People Can be Enlighted..and Gain Knowledge…Through The Very Real and Divine GRACE of GOD..

  14. Bill H says:

    I have been trying to figure out how to respond to that. I am my family’s fourth generation to serve this nation in the military. I can’t say I’m proud of that, because it’s not something I did, but having that history is somehow part of who I am. To have that go all the way back to Valley Forge must be quite something.

  15. Turcopolier says:

    Actually it goes back to Major John Mason, the colonial commander in the Pequot War in the 1630s. He was a 9th great grandfather. The re-manufactured Eastern Band of Pequots doesn’t like him very much. They own a huge casino complex and persuaded the Connecticut legislature to banish his statue from the town square in Mystic, Connecticut to a village that he founded in the NW part of the state.

  16. Tidewater says:

    The magister ludi Anthony Cordesman, writing for the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), in a June 20, 2019, article titled ‘Iran: More War(s)in the Middle East? There Still May Be Options” says: “Iran is just beginning to deploy the S400 surface-to-air missile system –its first serious improvement in any key aspect of its air defense in decades.” That is the first time I have ever heard anyone acknowledge that Iran has the S-400. But the reality is that Iran has had the S-400 in a variant for several years. It is all a matter of discreet diplomatic language. What Russia gave Iran was something like the S-300 PMU-2 Favorit, an S-300 that could be sort of like bespoke, that is, a tailored, a specialized design, something with a much improved capability over an off-the-rack S-300. Such as the ability to launch the new 40N6 long range ballistic SAM missile. We know they have that. What I guess Cordesman is doing here is just acknowledging the reality. What puzzles me, though, is why he would say that this is the first serious improvement in decades, when in fact Iranian technicians have been working with Russian technicians on the S-300 since 2016. Three years seems to me to be enough time to learn the system.
    One interesting question. Why might the 40N6 be so dangerous to a stealth fighter or bomber? Besides range, and height, and long-range radar directing it, and all that, the thing is it is a big missile carrying a very large war-head that will shred anything it catches in an explosive radius of THREE football fields plus out to the twenty yard line of the fourth field. (Or three hundred meters.) And the 40N6 is ballistic. It goes high above an F-22, which its command guidance radar (Big Bird) may have imperfectly seen as far as getting a lockon, (optimistic American scenario) but can still get the 40N6 into the general vicinity. The missile is now in an attack position looking down, and its onboard radar from above has a far better detection capability (return?) on a stealth aircraft than from dead ahead or from below. It is also gaining speed. It comes in at eleven thousand miles an hour?! There is not much time to shake it off. Its onboard radar will detonate the warhead if it misses its target. A direct hit is not necessary. What are the odds the 40N6 can get within three hundred yards of a stealth aircraft. Apparently they are pretty good.
    Didn’t Smoothiex12 say that there are a lot of murmurings in certain circles that Iran has gotten aholt of the Onyx or Sunburn? Maybe some still good 90’s type surface to surface/ anti-ship missiles?
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pXOVf-hF0_o How The New 40N6 Missile Will Make S-400 Even Deadlier–YouTube–in case my links don’t work, is easily accessible.

  17. Peter Williams says:

    They have S-3xx, what version only Russia and Iran know.

  18. John Minehan says:

    Bolton served in the National Guard as an Infantryman. Pompeo is a USMA-grad Tanker who is West Point’s version of a Jackson-Hope Medalist (Class of 1986).
    Both are veterans, although neither served in combat, what the Brits call “Active Service.”

  19. John Minehan says:

    Which is exactly why Trump, who is neither a fool nor a man driven by any guiding principle, will back down if put to the test.
    Naked self-interest may be useful in this case.

  20. John Minehan says:

    A great whaling port . . . .

  21. turcopolier says:

    BS! Bolton hid out in the NG during VN to avoid going to war and Pompeo got a free education at USMA in peacetime and served as little time as possible. Two sad jokes. Remember I was a professor at USMA.

  22. Tidewater says:

    Hope so. Thanks for your comment. But I’m not sure who or what Trump is. I used to read the New York media, so I was aware of Trump’s career years ago. True, he has shown the skill and judgment to get himself out of complex bankruptcy situations. His takeover of the Patricia Kluge wine operation here in Charlottesville was very deftly executed…A tremendous deal. He stuck it to the bank.
    But consider…He has had Pompeo tell the world that the meltdown of the arctic is a great business opportunity! There seems to be some sort of general paralysis of the media on that one. The broken will. The deep silence of despair? He has brought forward and embraced MBS when MBS was already famously known in Saudi Arabia as an accident waiting to happen. In fact, he has not been able to face up to the problem of MBS at all. The war goes on. Seven million Yemenis are at risk of starvation by December. Trump is starting to look as if he is complicit with one of the greatest crimes in mankind’s history. We could be looking at the near term collapse of Saudi Arabia. Trump is the first Zionist president. He has said that a war on Iran will be quick…That’s loony tunes, even if an air war turned out to be an atrocious success. What comes after that is ultimately Military Operations in Urban Terrain (MOUT). The RAND corporation Arroyo Center and Quantico should have already told him. He didn’t even visit Al Udeid first trip to the Arabian peninsula when he was right next door. Why? Did he actually understand what the base and the place are all about, and what the problems are? Does he know that there are 690,000 Indian workers on Qatar? Does he know where Qatar gets it food from? Does he understand that the destruction of Iranian society could lead to an enormous upsurge of violent religious nihilism of hundreds of thousands of well-armed new al Salafia Jihadia?
    How does the Iranian leadership see Trump’s willingness to slowly crush Iran and its people? It would be understandable enough, if something like this: a late capitalist, Anglo-Zionist triage of Persian and Islamic culture and religion and its dangerous buildout of population. (See Mike Davis, ‘Planet of Slums’.)

  23. Eugene Owens says:

    John M. –
    Infantryman? Which unit of the Maryland Natl Guard did Yosemite Sam serve in? I understood during that timeframe they were all manning Nike missile batteries protecting DC. Which is why it was a guaranteed way to stay out of Nam. IMO he is no more of a vet than Bill Clinton.
    Much of Pom-Pom’s regiment deployed to the Gulf War while he opted to stay in Germany and then DEROS for a law degree at Harvard.
    Now that I think of it Yosemite Sam was an Ivy Leager also,

  24. Eugene Owens says:

    Tidewater –
    Thanks for that Anthony Cordesman article. First time I’ve read his work. He makes a lot of sense.

  25. Barbara Ann says:

    “an atrocious success” it would be alright, well put.

Comments are closed.