The past 25 years I have published a Quarterly Newsletter for my patients titled Dr. Fuzzy's Floss-o-phy. The following article was one of my most requested over the last four years.
Leaving Memorial Day behind and heading to the 4th of July, I request you read with your family and discuss the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution. Read both of them and send a message to your government officals. I know for certain that a hand written ( not typed or emailed) note to an elected official attracts more attention. Politicians know that if you take the time for a handwritten note, then you have time to support or defeat them on their issues.
"We the People" is you and me - Don't let the government forget.
Have you ever wondered what happened to the 56 men who signed the Declaration of Independence?
• Five signers were captured by the British as traitors and were tortured before they died.
• Twelve had their homes ransacked and burned.
• Two lost sons who were serving in the Revolutionary Army; another had two sons captured.
• Nine of the 56 fought and died from wounds and hardships during the Revolutionary War.
• They signed and pledged their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor.
What kind of men were they?
Twenty four were laywers and jurist. Eleven were merchants, nine were farmers and large plantation owners-men of means, well educated. But they signed the Declaration of Independence knowing full well that the penalty would be death if they were captured.
Carter Braxton of Virginia, a wealthy planter and trader, saw his ships swept from the seas by the British Navy. He sold his home and properties to pay his debts and died in rags.
Thomas Mckean 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 well kept in hiding. His possessions were taken from him and poverty was his reward.
Vandals or soldiers looted properties of Dillery, Hall, Clymer, Walton, Gwennett, Heyward, Ruttledge, and Middleton.
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 destroyed and Nelson died bankrupt.
Francis Lewis had his home and properties destroyed. The enemy jailed his wife and she died within a few months.
John Hart was driven from his wife's bedside as she was dying. His thirteen children fled for their lives. His fields and his gristmill were laid to waste. For more than a year, he lived in forests and caves, returning home to find his wife dead and his children missing. A few weeks later, he died from exhaustion and a broken heart.
Norris and Livingston suffered similar fates.
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 fortune, and our sacred honor.
They gave you and me a free and independent America. The history books never told you a lot about what happened in the Revoltuionary War. We didn't just fight the British. We were British subjects at the time, and we fought our own government!
Some of us take these liberties for granted, but we shouldn't. So take a few minutes while enjoying your 4th of July holiday and silently thank these patriots. It is not much to ask for the price they paid.
Remember: Freedom is never free, patriotism is NOT a sin, and the 4th of July is more to it than beer, picnics, and baseball games.
Happy 4th of July!
Dr. Keith Hudson DDS
Tuesdays & Thursdays
506 East Commerce St.
San Saba, Texas 76877
P.S.: Don't forget to write our local troops who are now serving our country.