We often forget the extreme bravery it took for those 56 colonists to sign the Declaration Of Independence and tell the most powerful man in the world;
“Take your British Empire and stuff it! – Oh, and by the way,
King George, here’s my name, you know where I live.”
British Troops hunted many of the signers down and tortured them to force them to renounce their pledge. Not one of them renounced their conviction to liberty, or the commitment of their lives, their fortunes and their sacred honor to the cause of freedom, even though for some it was a horrible death.
Before the Declaration, everyone who was living on Earth or had ever lived, did so at the pleasure and under the tyrannical yoke of a King, Potentate, Dictator, Emperor, Pope or other “Men” who granted rights to their subjects and solely decided how the masses lived, and how they died.
America, as declared on July 4th 1776, broke with that worldwide, centuries-old practice of oppression by declaring the radical notion that people had the right to be free. In today’s terms, the Declaration installed a “firewall” into the human program, namely the idea that rights come from above, be it God, the Supreme Judge of the world, the creator, the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God or what ever you hold it to be, but not, repeat NOT, another man or men. And no man or group of men can take those natural born rights away from any human.
Of course, in ’76 they put it better, “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.”
Here follows a list of the First Americans. They who mutually pledged to each other their Lives, their Fortunes and their sacred Honor.
FYI the youngest was Edward Rutledge, 26 the eldest Benjamin Franklin, 80.
Georgia: Button Gwinnett, Lyman Hall, George Walton North Carolina: William Hooper, Joseph Hewes, John Penn South Carolina: Edward Rutledge, Thomas Heyward, Jr., Thomas Lynch, Jr. Arthur Middleton Massachusetts: John Hancock Maryland: Samuel Chase, William Paca, Thomas Stone, Charles Carroll of Carrollton Virginia: George Wythe, Richard Henry Lee, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Harrison, Thomas Nelson, Jr., Francis Lightfoot Lee, Carter Braxton Pennsylvania: Robert Morris, Benjamin Rush, Benjamin Franklin, John Morton, George Clymer, James Smith, George Taylor, James Wilson, George Ross Delaware: Caesar Rodney, George Read, Thomas McKean NewYork: William Floyd, Philip Livingston, Francis Lewis, Lewis Morris New Jersey: Richard Stockton, John Witherspoon, Francis Hopkinson, John Hart, Abraham Clark New Hampshire: Josiah Bartlett, William Whipple Massachusetts: Samuel Adams, John Adams, Robert Treat Paine, Elbridge Gerry Rhode Island: Stephen Hopkins, William Ellery Connecticut: Roger Sherman, Samuel Huntington, William Williams, Oliver Wolcott New Hampshire: Matthew Thornton.