Those Who Stood Up and Signed: Part 7
I still remember how our Social Studies in high school drilled into our minds how the signers of the Declaration of Independence were risking their lives signing that document. That they were, yet they were not going to allow themselves to be bullied to by any music celebrity, actor, anyone who considered themselves “royalty”, or anyone regardless of their religious beliefs, sexual preferences, country of origin or gender.
Much like their world, in today’s world, standing up for a certain political view can get you seriously injured or killed. Neither side has a monopoly on peace or love. If you dare defy an anti-Trump protester one can get seriously hurt, injured, tortured on Facebook, or killed. The events in Charlotte, NC have shown us that that evil organization, the KKK is still active too.
I want us to better understand these 56 men who were willing to risk everything for their country. So, in the following weeks, I am going to tell you about them, in alphabetical order mostly. I am not sure how many weeks it is going to take. I guess it will be based on how much I can actually find out about them as individuals.
Most of the biographical information will be taken from The Society of the Descendants of the Signers of the Declaration of Independence which gives extensive bios of each of the signers. Here, I shall highlight some of the parts of their lives that showed their character and spirit.
Samuel Huntington (07/31/1731-01/05/1796) was a self-made man. He loved learning despite not having any formal education. He studied books from the local library and from people interested in supporting his learning and passed the bar at the age of 23. He got involved in local and state politics and eventually became Chief Justice of the Connecticut Supreme Court in 1778. But before that, he was appointed to attend the Second Continental Congress. Samuel Huntington was the fifth President of the Continental Congress and was allowed to continue in the new office with a new title, “first President of the United States in Congress Assembled” under the Articles of Confederation. Despite this he voted wholeheartedly for the new constitution.
Francis Lightfoot Lee (10/14/1734-01/11/1797) and Richard Henry Lee -(01/201732-06/19/1794), were brothers. They came from a large family with several older brothers. Their parents passed away when they were 16, they left their children with much wealth. Francis developed a desire for independence after many fiery debates with his brothers. Both Francis and Richard signed the Declaration on August 2nd. Francis also signed the Articles of Confederation. Francis was known as, “a man as a well-read man ‘of gentle reasoning and quiet persuasion.'”He and his wife never had any children. Richard’s speeches, however were known as “powerful, academic and sometimes spontaneous”. John Adams thought he was a great orator. He was also one of the authors of the Westmoreland Resolutions of 1766, which served as the basis for the Declaration of Independence.
Francis Lewis (03/21/1713-12/30/1802) was one of the oldest and richest of the signers. He did not enter political life until the age of 52, after serving with the British in the French and Indian Wars. The Stamp Act and similar injustices made him a strong opponent of the British, however and fierce advocate for independence. He helped raise money for the Continental soldiers after signing on August 2nd. However, Britain wanted to make an example of him and attacked his home with a warship, looted it, and threw his wife in prison under the harshest conditions. She eventually died due to her injuries. “In the Rotunda of the Capitol in Washington is the famous painting by John Trumbull, The Declaration of Independence. Francis Lewis is shown in a group of four background figures seated together near the right corner of the room, Francis is the second from the left.”
Romans 12:2 Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.