Skip to comments.The Americans Who Risked Everything (by Rush Limbaugh's father)
Posted on 07/04/2008 6:45:54 AM PDT by angkor
The Americans Who Risked Everything
My father, Rush H. Limbaugh, Jr., delivered this oft-requested address locally a number of times, but it had never before appeared in print until it appeared in The Limbaugh Letter. My dad was renowned for his oratory skills and for his original mind; this speech is, I think, a superb demonstration of both. I will always be grateful to him for instilling in me a passion for the ideas and lives of America's Founders, as well as a deep appreciation for the inspirational power of words which you will see evidenced here:
"Our Lives, Our Fortunes, Our Sacred Honor"
It was a glorious morning. The sun was shining and the wind was from the southeast. Up especially early, a tall bony, redheaded young Virginian found time to buy a new thermometer, for which he paid three pounds, fifteen shillings. He also bought gloves for Martha, his wife, who was ill at home.
Thomas Jefferson arrived early at the statehouse. The temperature was 72.5 degrees and the horseflies weren't nearly so bad at that hour. It was a lovely room, very large, with gleaming white walls. The chairs were comfortable. Facing the single door were two brass fireplaces, but they would not be used today.
The moment the door was shut, and it was always kept locked, the room became an oven. The tall windows were shut, so that loud quarreling voices could not be heard by passersby. Small openings atop the windows allowed a slight stir of air, and also a large number of horseflies. Jefferson records that "the horseflies were dexterous in finding necks, and the silk of stockings was nothing to them." All discussing was punctuated by the slap of hands on necks.
On the wall at the back, facing the president's desk, was a panoply -- consisting of a drum, swords, and banners seized from Fort Ticonderoga the previous year. Ethan Allen and Benedict Arnold had captured the place, shouting that they were taking it "in the name of the Great Jehovah and the Continental Congress!"
Now Congress got to work, promptly taking up an emergency measure about which there was discussion but no dissension. "Resolved: That an application be made to the Committee of Safety of Pennsylvania for a supply of flints for the troops at New York."
Then Congress transformed itself into a committee of the whole. The Declaration of Independence was read aloud once more, and debate resumed. Though Jefferson was the best writer of all of them, he had been somewhat verbose. Congress hacked the excess away. They did a good job, as a side-by-side comparison of the rough draft and the final text shows. They cut the phrase "by a self-assumed power." "Climb" was replaced by "must read," then "must" was eliminated, then the whole sentence, and soon the whole paragraph was cut. Jefferson groaned as they continued what he later called "their depredations." "Inherent and inalienable rights" came out "certain unalienable rights," and to this day no one knows who suggested the elegant change.
A total of 86 alterations were made. Almost 500 words were eliminated, leaving 1,337. At last, after three days of wrangling, the document was put to a vote.
Here in this hall Patrick Henry had once thundered: "I am no longer a Virginian, sir, but an American." But today the loud, sometimes bitter argument stilled, and without fanfare the vote was taken from north to south by colonies, as was the custom. On July 4, 1776, the Declaration of Independence was adopted.
There were no trumpets blown. No one stood on his chair and cheered. The afternoon was waning and Congress had no thought of delaying the full calendar of routine business on its hands. For several hours they worked on many other problems before adjourning for the day.
Much To Lose
What kind of men were the 56 signers who adopted the Declaration of Independence and who, by their signing, committed an act of treason against the crown? To each of you, the names Franklin, Adams, Hancock and Jefferson are almost as familiar as household words. Most of us, however, know nothing of the other signers. Who were they? What happened to them?
I imagine that many of you are somewhat surprised at the names not there: George Washington, Alexander Hamilton, Patrick Henry. All were elsewhere.
Ben Franklin was the only really old man. Eighteen were under 40; three were in their 20s. Of the 56 almost half - 24 - were judges and lawyers. Eleven were merchants, nine were landowners and farmers, and the remaining 12 were doctors, ministers, and politicians.
With only a few exceptions, such as Samuel Adams of Massachusetts, these were men of substantial property. All but two had families. The vast majority were men of education and standing in their communities. They had economic security as few men had in the 18th Century.
Each had more to lose from revolution than he had to gain by it. John Hancock, one of the richest men in America, already had a price of 500 pounds on his head. He signed in enormous letters so that his Majesty could now read his name without glasses and could now double the reward. Ben Franklin wryly noted: "Indeed we must all hang together, otherwise we shall most assuredly hang separately."
Fat Benjamin Harrison of Virginia told tiny Elbridge Gerry of Massachusetts: "With me it will all be over in a minute, but you, you will be dancing on air an hour after I am gone."
These men knew what they risked. The penalty for treason was death by hanging. And remember, a great British fleet was already at anchor in New York Harbor.
They were sober men. There were no dreamy-eyed intellectuals or draft card burners here. They were far from hot-eyed fanatics yammering for an explosion. They simply asked for the status quo. It was change they resisted. It was equality with the mother country they desired. It was taxation with representation they sought. They were all conservatives, yet they rebelled.
It was principle, not property, that had brought these men to Philadelphia. Two of them became presidents of the United States. Seven of them became state governors. One died in office as vice president of the United States. Several would go on to be U.S. Senators. One, the richest man in America, in 1828 founded the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad. One, a delegate from Philadelphia, was the only real poet, musician and philosopher of the signers. (It was he, Francis Hopkinson not Betsy Ross who designed the United States flag.)
Richard Henry Lee, a delegate from Virginia, had introduced the resolution to adopt the Declaration of Independence in June of 1776. He was prophetic in his concluding remarks: "Why then sir, why do we longer delay? Why still deliberate? Let this happy day give birth to an American Republic. Let her arise not to devastate and to conquer but to reestablish the reign of peace and law.
"The eyes of Europe are fixed upon us. She demands of us a living example of freedom that may exhibit a contrast in the felicity of the citizen to the ever-increasing tyranny which desolates her polluted shores. She invites us to prepare an asylum where the unhappy may find solace, and the persecuted repost.
"If we are not this day wanting in our duty, the names of the American Legislatures of 1776 will be placed by posterity at the side of all of those whose memory has been and ever will be dear to virtuous men and good citizens."
Though the resolution was formally adopted July 4, it was not until July 8 that two of the states authorized their delegates to sign, and it was not until August 2 that the signers met at Philadelphia to actually put their names to the Declaration.
William Ellery, delegate from Rhode Island, was curious to see the signers' faces as they committed this supreme act of personal courage. He saw some men sign quickly, "but in no face was he able to discern real fear." Stephan Hopkins, Ellery's colleague from Rhode Island, was a man past 60. As he signed with a shaking pen, he declared: "My hand trembles, but my heart does not."
"Most Glorious Service"
Even before the list was published, the British marked down every member of Congress suspected of having put his name to treason. All of them became the objects of vicious manhunts. Some were taken. Some, like Jefferson, had narrow escapes. All who had property or families near British strongholds suffered.
· Francis Lewis, New York delegate saw his home plundered -- and his estates in what is now Harlem -- completely destroyed by British Soldiers. Mrs. Lewis was captured and treated with great brutality. Though she was later exchanged for two British prisoners through the efforts of Congress, she died from the effects of her abuse.
· William Floyd, another New York delegate, was able to escape with his wife and children across Long Island Sound to Connecticut, where they lived as refugees without income for seven years. When they came home they found a devastated ruin.
· Philips Livingstone had all his great holdings in New York confiscated and his family driven out of their home. Livingstone died in 1778 still working in Congress for the cause.
· Louis Morris, the fourth New York delegate, saw all his timber, crops, and livestock taken. For seven years he was barred from his home and family.
· John Hart of Trenton, New Jersey, risked his life to return home to see his dying wife. Hessian soldiers rode after him, and he escaped in the woods. While his wife lay on her deathbed, the soldiers ruined his farm and wrecked his homestead. Hart, 65, slept in caves and woods as he was hunted across the countryside. When at long last, emaciated by hardship, he was able to sneak home, he found his wife had already been buried, and his 13 children taken away. He never saw them again. He died a broken man in 1779, without ever finding his family.
· Dr. John Witherspoon, signer, was president of the College of New Jersey, later called Princeton. The British occupied the town of Princeton, and billeted troops in the college. They trampled and burned the finest college library in the country.
· Judge Richard Stockton, another New Jersey delegate signer, had rushed back to his estate in an effort to evacuate his wife and children. The family found refuge with friends, but a Tory sympathizer betrayed them. Judge Stockton was pulled from bed in the night and brutally beaten by the arresting soldiers. Thrown into a common jail, he was deliberately starved. Congress finally arranged for Stockton's parole, but his health was ruined. The judge was released as an invalid, when he could no longer harm the British cause. He returned home to find his estate looted and did not live to see the triumph of the Revolution. His family was forced to live off charity.
· Robert Morris, merchant prince of Philadelphia, delegate and signer, met Washington's appeals and pleas for money year after year. He made and raised arms and provisions which made it possible for Washington to cross the Delaware at Trenton. In the process he lost 150 ships at sea, bleeding his own fortune and credit almost dry.
· George Clymer, Pennsylvania signer, escaped with his family from their home, but their property was completely destroyed by the British in the Germantown and Brandywine campaigns.
· Dr. Benjamin Rush, also from Pennsylvania, was forced to flee to Maryland. As a heroic surgeon with the army, Rush had several narrow escapes.
· John Martin, a Tory in his views previous to the debate, lived in a strongly loyalist area of Pennsylvania. When he came out for independence, most of his neighbors and even some of his relatives ostracized him. He was a sensitive and troubled man, and many believed this action killed him. When he died in 1777, his last words to his tormentors were: "Tell them that they will live to see the hour when they shall acknowledge it [the signing] to have been the most glorious service that I have ever rendered to my country."
· William Ellery, Rhode Island delegate, saw his property and home burned to the ground.
· Thomas Lynch, Jr., South Carolina delegate, had his health broken from privation and exposures while serving as a company commander in the military. His doctors ordered him to seek a cure in the West Indies and on the voyage, he and his young bride were drowned at sea.
· Edward Rutledge, Arthur Middleton, and Thomas Heyward, Jr., the other three South Carolina signers, were taken by the British in the siege of Charleston. They were carried as prisoners of war to St. Augustine, Florida, where they were singled out for indignities. They were exchanged at the end of the war, the British in the meantime having completely devastated their large landholdings and estates.
· Thomas Nelson, signer of Virginia, was at the front in command of the Virginia military forces. With British General Charles Cornwallis in Yorktown, fire from 70 heavy American guns began to destroy Yorktown piece by piece. Lord Cornwallis and his staff moved their headquarters into Nelson's palatial home. While American cannonballs were making a shambles of the town, the house of Governor Nelson remained untouched. Nelson turned in rage to the American gunners and asked, "Why do you spare my home?" They replied, "Sir, out of respect to you." Nelson cried, "Give me the cannon!" and fired on his magnificent home himself, smashing it to bits. But Nelson's sacrifice was not quite over. He had raised $2 million for the Revolutionary cause by pledging his own estates. When the loans came due, a newer peacetime Congress refused to honor them, and Nelson's property was forfeited. He was never reimbursed. He died, impoverished, a few years later at the age of 50.
Lives, Fortunes, Honor
Of those 56 who signed the Declaration of Independence, nine died of wounds or hardships during the war. Five were captured and imprisoned, in each case with brutal treatment. Several lost wives, sons or entire families. One lost his 13 children. Two wives were brutally treated. All were at one time or another the victims of manhunts and driven from their homes. Twelve signers had their homes completely burned. Seventeen lost everything they owned. Yet not one defected or went back on his pledged word. Their honor, and the nation they sacrificed so much to create is still intact.
And, finally, there is the New Jersey signer, Abraham Clark.
He gave two sons to the officer corps in the Revolutionary Army. They were captured and sent to that infamous British prison hulk afloat in New York Harbor known as the hell ship Jersey, where 11,000 American captives were to die. The younger Clarks were treated with a special brutality because of their father. One was put in solitary and given no food. With the end almost in sight, with the war almost won, no one could have blamed Abraham Clark for acceding to the British request when they offered him his sons' lives if he would recant and come out for the King and Parliament. The utter despair in this man's heart, the anguish in his very soul, must reach out to each one of us down through 200 years with his answer: "No."
The 56 signers of the Declaration Of Independence proved by their every deed that they made no idle boast when they composed the most magnificent curtain line in history. "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."
My friends, I know you have a copy of the Declaration of Independence somewhere around the house - in an old history book (newer ones may well omit it), an encyclopedia, or one of those artificially aged "parchments" we all got in school years ago. I suggest that each of you take the time this month to read through the text of the Declaration, one of the most noble and beautiful political documents in human history.
There is no more profound sentence than this: "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..."
These are far more than mere poetic words. The underlying ideas that infuse every sentence of this treatise have sustained this nation for more than two centuries. They were forged in the crucible of great sacrifice. They are living words that spring from and satisfy the deepest cries for liberty in the human spirit.
"Sacred honor" isn't a phrase we use much these days, but every American life is touched by the bounty of this, the Founders' legacy. It is freedom, tested by blood, and watered with tears.
- Rush Limbaugh III
"Even before the list was published, the British marked down every member of Congress suspected of having put his name to treason. All of them became the objects of vicious manhunts."
However, it is greatly embellished at best and just plain untrue at worst.
The story of the American founding is dramatic and inspiring enough that it does not need to be “supported” by half-truths and untruths.
So Snopes’ dopes are now the official history revisionist?
Those who misrepresent the facts are the revisionists.
Probably with the best of intentions, this story has been greatly embellished. Since it’s been passed around on the web, it’s likely the inaccuracies grew with each passing on, and without real intent to deceive on most people’s part.
I suspect with a little effort at least several dozen inaccuracies or exaggerations could be extracted from this text.
One jumps out. Rush specifically says “not one” of the signers ever recanted. This is untrue. One did. This does not invalidate the great resolve shown by all the others, but it does illustrate the exaggeration of the piece.
BTW, most of what happened to the Signers was representative of what happened to many others who were not Signers. The country was involved in a brutal foreign and civil war. Many suffered.
There is no great body of evidence that the Signers were particularly singled out as a group. It’s highly unlikely that British officers rode around with a deck of cards with the Signers’ names and faces on them.
In fact, it’s pretty well known that the Declaration was more or less forgotten for a number of years. It’s only in retrospect that it was considered of enormous importance.
Such embellishment is not harmless, IMO. The embellishments of the Washington and Lincoln legends were used as the opening chink in the armor of these great men by those who wanted to show them not just as great but flawed humans but as evil dead white men, oppressors, slavemasters and violators of civil rights. They then used this to discredit the entire American experiment. Our country is based on lies, they say.
I prefer to live by the truth and nothing but. The real truth is always, BTW, much more interesting than the hagiography. America has much to be ashamed of in our past, as does every nation that has ever existed. But it has a great deal more to be proud of.
Compare them to the politicians of today who are fleecing American for their own personal gain.
First, common mistakes in John Hart histories:
John Hart's father did not come from Connecticut, his grandfather came from Long Island, but may have been born across the Sound in Connecticut. The signer was born in Hopewell township.
John Hart did not have to hide for months from the British. They were not in the area but from December 8th. 1776, when Washington retreated into Pennsylvania, until at most December 26th, when he captured Trenton. In reality, the actual time was a few days when troops were in the area. They damaged his house and farm, but it was not destroyed. As the outline shows, his wife died in October, so the British did not drive him from her side. Most of his children were grown, so he did not lose them. The two minors went to family nearby while he hid, then everything went back to "normal" after a few days. He did not die a "broken man" from losing his family- he did not lose them, he died of kidney stones after a long, very painful illness- surrounded by family, in his intact home, on his large, still working, farm."
Wow. And while we have been relinquishing our hard-fought freedoms bit by bit it now seems many are prepared to glibly throw it all away in the name of “Change”.
My point exactly. Today’s pols should be embarassed by the contrast with the real Founders.
Nobody can be really embarassed because they fall short of a standard set by saints.
Does anyone know if Rush is going to be back today?
The only real US Senator I could compare as being close to these guys in Dr. Tom Coburn.
The man is terrific in every sense of the word.
Nope...’Best Of’ show today.
I saw the morning update and thought he was going to be back
We’ll just have to muddle through somehow. ;o)
"And so, my fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you - ask what you can do for your country."
I’ll listen to yesterday’s show or something. :)
History does not record the names of all who inspired or supported the Revolution. History will not record the name of every soldier who now serves in Iraq or Afghanistan.
The argument is reminescent of Spike Lee’s recent attack on Clint Estwood for making a film about Iwo Jima and not featuring the African Americans who were on the island.
What is the point of the Snopes piece? Egalitarianism? As a proud decendant of a variety of Revolutionary “patriots” no one ever heard of, I am not in the least offended that we don’t hear of their individual sacrifice. Everyone knows that 56 individuals did not carry out the Revolution alone, any more than the six flag-raisers took Iwo Jima on their own.
Somehow, I suspect members of Bootlegger Joe’s Klan wouldn’t have signed the Declaration of Independence.
An alcoholic hive is an obedient hive.
Tyranny of the appetite.
Back in 1961, folks knew the difference between the country and the government.
I question snopes sources for their supposed truths. Unless they can publish prints of the actual news paper articles then those books written by today's writers prove no more truthful to me then Rush's fathers address. Which by the way, I found to be was very moving and wonderfully written.
The story is about the 56 signers. You seem to have an issue with that focus. And what you wrote above has ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to do with embellishment or untruths.
"There is no great body of evidence that the Signers were particularly singled out as a group. Its highly unlikely that British officers rode around with a deck of cards with the Signers names and faces on them."
What kind of source is that? Your not even a revisionist. You are a "could be," "might not be," "not likely" historian.
Did the British have a price on the heads of the signers? Yes/No?
It’s not just Snopes — there was quite a fuss about this back in 2000 when Jeff Jacoby of the Boston Globe was suspended for a few months for utilizing another version of this to write a column.
There are many mis-statements of fact in several versions of this story that circulate. The real history is glorious enough without needing to exaggerate it. Let the liberals have the field for inaccuracy!
The signers of the Declaration truly did risk all for our Independence, but there seems to be no evidence that the British in fact did target them specifically and a lot of what circulates on the Internet is not true. This web page has gone over the Limbaugh letter and the Jacoby column in much detail:
The most important lesson is that these 56 men TOOK A HUGH RISK AND AGAINST THE ODDS got this country started.
Happy Birthday America, God Bless America!
Please see post 8.
I picked one paragraph and did five minutes of research.
This single paragraph contains five or six significant inaccuracies that make the Signer’s life seem more dramatic than it really was.
Which do you think is more likely? That the author of the web page I link to, a gentleman apparently interested only in recounting the life of this particular d about the rumors floating around? Or that Limbaugh, Jr. repeated something he had come across that seemed to fit a point he wanted to make?
You are correct that it is moving and eloquent. Many people consider Obama’s speeches to be moving and eloquent. If we have learned anything over the last few thousand years, it is that eloquence has in itself very little to do with truth. Sometimes they coincide. More often the eloquent person will “touch up” the truth to make it fit his point more precisely.
The Signers make an excellent symbol for all those who fought for the Revolution.
However, that’s is not the argument Rush’s daddy made. His argument was that they were specifically singled out for torment by the British. There is very little evidence of this.
Remember at the time, what we Americans would call patriots, the British viewed them as being rebel insurgents.
I don't know. John Hancock and Sam Adams did, from clear back in the days before Lexington. I don't know about the others.
If they did have a price on their heads, the price was never collected. About a half dozen Signers were captured by the Brits at one point or another during the war. None was executed.
Besides this unsourced document, what is your reason for believing that all of the Signers had a price placed on their heads for the act of signing the Declaration, separate from their other treasonous activities? IOW, were the British that much more anxious to catch Jefferson, who signed, than Patrick Henry, who did not? Both served as governor of VA during the war.
Various and contradictory versions of this document have been floating around for about 50 years. Paul Harvey is one of those sometimes credited as the author, although it is more likely that he merely rephrased the floating meme, as Daddy Limbaugh did.
My point, although better stated.
I was only asking. You seemed to know that there wasn't.
We agree, as I’ve stated above, that it is vitally important to be accurate on this as in anything. However, too much de-bunking can also miss the significance of the overall point, that the signers did in fact accept great personal risks for a glorious cause.
I won’t accept any “fake but accurate” defense, for sure, but there is a large truth that the signers put it all on the line and risked their “lives, fortunes, and sacred honor” because all sorts of terrible things MIGHT have happened to them for committing treason in the eyes of the British govt.
In some sense any suffering or hardship that individual signers faced because of the WAR of Independence (regardless of which army caused , whether it was accidental or intentional, etc.) can be said to be a consequence of their courageous act in affirming and signing the Declaration.
No War of Independence, no new risks and hardships for them (other than those faced by everyone living in that era).
Thus, even if the signers were not specifically targeted by the British (and there seems to be no reason to believe that most of them were targeted), every misfortune that followed from being willing to pursue independence (rather than accept accommodation on British terms) does follow from their act of declaring independence. In this their fellow-citizens shared the risks and burdens, but that does not mean that the signers did NOT also bear great risks and burdens (which the signers most specifically and publicly embraced by affixing their names to the Declaration of Independence).
Although the stories circulated since Paul Harvey (1956) get much of their emotional ‘kick’ from the
mistaken belief that the signers were widely and specifically persecuted by the British for signing, I do not find that their courage or even the actual risks they ran are at all diminished by the corrections of the historical record. De-bunking can always leave us with a sense of diminishment, yet the signers surely do not deserve to be diminished.
Finally, in a bit of speculation, note that the greatest risks would have arisen if the revolution had turned out to be a losing cause (which certainly seemed possible, even probable to many, in 1776!). If the British had vanquished the colonials many of the signers could THEN have found themselves in great danger indeed (danger of being hung for treason, etc.). That “what if” outcome may not seem to bear upon these email stories, but in fact a decisive British victory (which was a strong possibility at times, at least in the short term) threatened the signers with very great personal risks - and they surely knew that in signing their names. They COULD easily have been persecuted and/or executed even if it turns out that most of them were not harmed specifically for signing the Declaration of Independence.
Are you sure?
"John Hart was a New Jersey farmer. His exact date of birth is not known. His father had moved from Connecticut to a farm near Hopewell New Jersey...."
A Biography of John Hart, Signer of the Declaration of Independance (For research and reference) by Cleon E. Hammond. Copyright ©1977, Pioneer Press, Newfane, VT. A tip of the Hat to Glen Valis, who pointed out common inaccuracies in the story of John Hart, and supplied supplimentary information.
Excellent points. I agree completely.
I would like to point out that the very document in question here shows the unique importance of Truth to the American cause.
It begins, “We hold these truths...”
The Signers were proclaiming their faith in the overriding importance of Truth, not opinion, not point of view.
They were willing to fight and die for what they saw as Truth. We dishonor their example when we show less reverence for that ideal.
I have just never seen any evidence that such a price was placed for the specific act of signing the Declaration. It could have been. As I said earlier, if there was a price, it was never collected. None of the Signers was executed by the British.
I did five minutes of research on the guy. There seems to be some debate whether Pop was from Long Island or CT. Possibly he was born in CT and later moved to LI, then to NJ.
Interestingly, eastern LI was part of CT up to 1674. Long before the period in question, of course.
I’m willing to give Kennedy to benefit of the doubt on this one, although the whole notion is quite fascistic.
Most of those who quote it approvingly, I refuse to give so much credit.
Should have said the second paragraph begins...
This would have paid for 50 to 75 meals in a tavern. Hope it was a nice one.
"Which do you think is more likely? That the author of the web page I link to, a gentleman apparently interested only in recounting the life of this particular d about the rumors floating around? Or that Limbaugh, Jr. repeated something he had come across that seemed to fit a point he wanted to make?"
Honestly? I've learned not to believe anything from today's writers. That is unless it is accompanied with actual pictures of the original article on record.
Libs have been feverishly working to change our history and destroy what once was America. Book after book, documentary after documentary of lies, all lies to tear down this great big beautiful country. Destroy our pride in the country we love in order to push their goals forward. And as far as I can tell it's been going on since the 60's.
So the answer is no. I don't believe in the author of the web page. Guess we will just have to agree to disagree you and I. But anyway, have a great 4th of July!
The last part of your statement is correct -- the first part is untrue. Rush DID NOT "...not one of the signers ever recanted." His father did in his speech, which Rush posted.
Rush is Rush Limbaugh III. His dad was Rush Limbaugh, Jr.
You need to reread your Snopes piece which - yes, does some debunking - but is also loaded with caveats such as "possibly", "more likely", "unlikely", etc.
And it's one thing to debunk with a categorical truth, quite another to debunk with a trashy speculation.
The truth is that we may never in many cases know the absolute unvarnished truth. But your Snopes article is laughable as an authoritative source for that endeavor.
Now go to about the middle of the speedh to the section calledLives, Fortunes, Honor and you will find tht the first paragraph there says:
Yet not one defected or went back on his pledged word. Their honor, and the nation they sacrificed so much to create is still intact.
Is this what you see as the offending statement that the Signers were singled out?’ “Even before the list was published, the British marked down every member of Congress suspected of having put his name to treason. All of them became the objects of vicious manhunts. ... . “ Otherwise, I’ve missed the passage where he said they were particularly singled out.
In any case, the psychology of warfare would seem to have been (then as now) to capture high visibility targets. Like Jefferson, some of my anacestors were farmers in VA ... now, if you are the Crown, to make your point are you going to go after TJ or after a small no-name farmer who supports him and his mission ? Both could have been hanged for treason. One’s imprisonment or hanging would have had far more value to opponents of the Revolution.
Whether or not they were specifically singled out for torment by the British, they deserve to be singled out for the highest praise for their role in our country’s founding... and 99.9% of Americans would be hard pressed to name even 5 of the Signers. Regretably.
Thanks for posting this stirring and patriotic speech, angkor. Our country is the greatest in the history of the world, and anyone who doesn’t fully appreciate it should live somewhere else.
You mean like 50 to 75 McDonalds meals? 60 large Italian subs?
That would be about $250 to $450 in current dollars, which is by no means excessive for a nifty new scientific gadget of the type Jefferson coveted throughout his life.
Hey, did you know that new Canon digital camera with 28mm lens is on sale at Staples for about $275!!
By gosh, that's only 50 to 75 meals at my local Tender & Juicy chicken joint!