The Forgotten Declaration of Independence Signers Who Lost Everything for Signing
It never ceases to amaze how these U.S. Founding Fathers, among the foremost collaborators in the American Revolution, paid for their treason against the British Crown. It is also astonishing in equal measure how, despite their immense personal sacrifice, they have been all but lost to American history.
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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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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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