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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
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Arthur Middleton 

Declaration of IndependencePublic Domain

Middleton was Cambridge educated and had travelled widely in Europe before entering any revolutionary functions. He was voted to succeed his father in the Continental Congress and thus became a signer of the Declaration.  


Following the start of the war, Middleton served in the defense of Charleston. There he was subsequently captured by the British in 1780 at the Siege of Charleston. He was sent as a prisoner to St. Augustine, Florida (where he joined the aforementioned Edward Rutledge and Thomas Hayward, Jr). Middleton was released by prisoner exchange the next year.

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Lyman Hall 

Declaration of IndependencePublic Domain

Originally from Connecticut, Hall migrated first to South Carolina and then to Georgia after exchanging the pulpit for a doctor’s bag. The town in which he settled, Sunbury, sent him as their delegate to the Second Continental Congress, as Georgia had not been represented in the first. As such, he signed the Declaration, one of three doctors to do so.

For his and his town’s trouble to get Georgia included in that Declaration, Sunbury – located in St. John’s Parish – was burned to the ground by British troops, forcing Hall and his family to flee North until the close of the war.


The Declaration of Independence and Remembering Those Who Paid the Ultimate Price 

In this week where each American takes to the best of summer, we also reflect upon the deeds of those figures that gambled everything to achieve a better form of governance. We hear a great deal about Washington, Jefferson, Hamilton and Franklin. However it must never be forgotten that fate and history were far better to these men than many of their compatriots. While the price was high for many of these revolutionaries, they managed to remarkably hang together throughout this struggle. For if they had not, they most definitely would have hung separately. To them and all who have followed in the American experiment, may we never find our gratitude lost to posterity. 

Kristen E. Strubberg contributed to this article

Write to Paul K. DiCostanzo at

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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 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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