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  • Thomas McKeam [M'Kean] was so hounded by the British that he was forced to move his family almost constantly. He served in the Congress without pay, and his family was kept in hiding. [His family was forced to move several times.] His possessions were taken from him, and poverty was his reward. [He continued to serve in a number of high ranking political offices and left a substantial estate consisting of stocks, bonds, and huge tracts of land in Pennsylvania when he died in 1817.]      Vandals or soldiers looted the properties of Dillery [probably Ellery], Hall, Clymer, Walton , Gwinnett , Heyward, Ruttledge [spelled "Rutledge"], and Middleton. [I can't confirm vandalism or property destruction for Walton or Rutledge. The British stole some of Gwinnett's livestock, but he lost most of his holdings to creditors before the war]

  • At the battle of Yorktown, Thomas Nelson, Jr. noted that the British General Cornwallis had taken over the Nelson home for his headquarters. He quietly urged General George Washington to open fire. The home was completely destroyed, and Nelson died bankrupt. [I read three accounts that differed in detail, but had much the same substance.]

  • Francis Lewis had his home and properties destroyed. [Yes] The enemy jailed his wife, and she died within a few months. [His wife was in prison for six months; she lived about two years after the ordeal.]

  • John Hart was driven from his wife's bedside as she was dying. [Ill at the time of the attack (winter of 1776-77), she died while he was in hiding.] Their 13 children fled for their lives. His fields and his gristmill were laid to waste. [True] For more than a year he lived in forests and caves, returning home to find his wife dead and his children vanished. [True] A few weeks later he died from exhaustion and a broken heart. [He died in 1979, from ill health he contracted during his exile].

  • Norris [probably "Morris"] and Livingston suffered similar fates. [Both from New York, their properties were destroyed by advancing British troops.]

Such were the stories and sacrifices of the American Revolution. These were not wild-eyed, rabble-rousing ruffians. They were soft-spoken men of means and education. They had security, but they valued liberty more. Standing tall, straight, and unwavering, they pledged: "For the support of this declaration, with firm reliance on the protection of the divine providence, we mutually pledge to each other, our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor."
They gave you and me a free and independent America. The history books never told you a lot of what happened in the Revolutionary War. Some of us take our liberties so much for granted . . . we shouldn't!
Please take a few moments while enjoying your 4th of July holiday and silently thank God for these patriots. It's not too much to ask for the price of freedom.