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The Forgotten Declaration of Independence Signers Who Lost Everything for Signing

July 4th celebrates the signing of the Declaration of Independence. Yet these men lost most everything for signing and defying Crown.



Declaration of Independence
Image Credit: Wikicommons
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James Wilson

Declaration of IndependencePublic Domain

James Wilson is one of the most outstanding American Founding Fathers that few are familiar with. He not only signed the Declaration, but was also highly  influential in the creation of the United States Constitution. Moreover, President George Washington appointed Wilson as a justice on the first bench of the US Supreme Court.


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Wilson after signing the Declaration of Independence, successfully defended 23 residents of Philadelphia from forced exile and property seizure following British withdrawal from the city.

Not long after however, a drunken riot of Philadelphia radicals besieged Wilson’s home, where he and 35 compatriots barricaded themselves, dubbing their stronghold, “Fort Wilson.” Local Continental Army units broke up the riot, extricating Wilson and company.


Abraham Clark

Declaration of IndependenceWikicommons

Trained as a surveyor, Abraham Clark switched to law, teaching himself while still working as a surveyor.  Once he went into practice, Clark was well known for defending cases of the poor who otherwise could not afford council.

Of the ten children Abraham Clark had with his wife, two sons serving in the Continental Army were captured by the British, tortured and beaten.

One son, a captain in the Continental Army, was placed onboard the notorious British prison ship HMS Jersey. Jersey was known for keeping between 1,000 and 1,200 prisoners captive at any given time; quickly developing a reputation as hell on earth. 

Captain Clark was thrown in a dungeon, was rarely fed, and only so much as fit through his cell’s keyhole. The British offered Abraham Clark his son’s life and freedom, if Clark would recant his support for colonial Independence.

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Paul K. DiCostanzo is the Managing Editor for TGNR. He is a noted public speaker, an emerging historian of the Second World War, a vocal advocate for Crohn’s Disease/Ulcerative Colitis, and is a highly regarded interviewer. Paul K. DiCostanzo is Co-Host for the A.D. History Podcast. The show explores the history of the last 2000 years in an unprecedented fashion; with each episode covering a 10 year period beginning in 1AD, until reaching the present day. Ultimately finding the forgotten as well as overlooked threads of history, and weaving a tapestry of true world history. Paul is author of the reader submitted Q&A column: WW2 Brain Bucket. The Brain Bucket answers readers questions on all things regarding the Second World War. Paul has served as Managing Editor for TGNR since March 2015. Prior to TGNR, Paul has a background in American National Security and American Foreign Policy.


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