Thursday, July 2, 2009

A little piece of history

Happy 4th Of July!!! My holiday weekend starts at High Noon Baby!! I'll be on the beach (cast and all) reading my book by 1pm. Hooyah!

Lets not forget why we celebrate this day. And a friend of mine posted this elsewhere, thought it was kind of interesting.

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 tortured before they died.
Twelve had their homes ransacked and burned.
Two lost their sons serving in the Revolutionary Army; another had two sons captured.
Nine of the 56 fought and died from wounds or hardships of the Revolutionary War.
They signed and they pledged their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor.

What kind of men were they?
Twenty-four were lawyers and jurists.
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 McKeam 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 kept in hiding. His possessions were taken from him, and poverty was his reward.
Vandals or soldiers looted the properties of Dillery, Hall, Clymer, Walton, Gwinnett, 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.
Their 13 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 vanished.
So, take a few minutes while enjoying your 4th of July holiday and silently thank these patriots. It's not much to ask for the price they paid.

Remember: freedom is never free!
It's time we get the word out that patriotism is NOT a sin, and the Fourth of July means more than beer, picnics, and baseball games.
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Ok, its me again....Here is some of my family tree history...

I'm sure you all know the song America The Beautiful, Here is a little history:

(lyrics by Katherine Lee Bates;
music composed by Samuel A. Ward)

O beautiful for spacious skies,
For amber waves of grain,
For purple mountain majesties
Above the fruited plain!

America! America!
God shed His grace on thee,
And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea!
O beautiful for pilgrim feet
Whose stern impassion'd stress
A thoroughfare for freedom beat
Across the wilderness.

America! America!
God mend thine ev'ry flaw,
Confirm thy soul in self-control,
Thy liberty in law.

O beautiful for heroes prov'd
In liberating strife,
Who more than self their country loved,
And mercy more than life.


The words are by Katharine Lee Bates, an English professor at Wellesley College as a poem.

Several existing pieces of music were adapted to the poem. The Hymn tune composed in 1882 by Samuel A. Ward, was generally considered the best music as early as 1910 and is still the popular tune today.
Its interesting to note that Katharine Lee Bates, never met the composer, Samuel A. Ward, and except for one $5 fee, neither received any money for it.

Samuel A. Ward is my paternal Great-Great Grandfather.
A little more history....his Great-Great grandfather(I'm not real sure about how many Greats) was Samuel Ward, (May 25, 1725 – March 26, 1776) Govenor of Rhode Island and a delagate to the Continental Congress who died of small pox three months before he would have signed the Declaration of Independance.(!)

I think my family history is so cool. Theres more cool stuff, like Julia Ward Howe (I'm still trying to figure out who she is to me...but she's related somehow) wrote "The Battle Hymn of the Republic".

Have a great 4th of July everyone!

7 comments:

Gia's Spot said...

Very very cool post, Peedee !! Oh and Katherine Lee Bates is our town's claim to fame, she is from Falmouth, which I happen to live in!! We have her home here as a museum of sorts, and streets named after her and all kinds of stuff!! As four the 4th celebrations? I am one who hates that every important day in this country has turned into another excuse to party! Not that I am opposed to partying, just not for those days and not for those reasons! Oh crap another thunder and lightening storm is upon me.. gotta close the windows!! CRAP!! Cant wait to get to FLorida!!!

Gia's Spot said...

Whats with the comment moderation? Gotta stalker?

peedee said...

Hey that is so cooooool! Without Kathy Bates, my g/g/grandfathers hyme would have never become famous!

And yeah, any excuse for a party. or a furniture or car sale. Its annoying really.

And I'm only moderating cause I keep missing comments. I dont like it but I'll try it for a bit.

Michael Morse said...

Thank you for the best July 4th post I've read all day. Great!

peedee said...

Well thank you Micheal. Now that I've picked my jaw up off the floor, let me take this moment to say I love your blog. I miss that life and live vicariously thru you and a few others. =)

Gia's Spot said...

Peedee just reread this post.. your family is from Rhode Island? how cool...almost neighbors! I have aunts and cousins in Coventry! And I love Rescuing Providence! Have a happy day!

Mrs. Bunker said...

Printed post out for my kids. THANKS for the reminder!