Sunday Post: Urban Design and 4th of July Reflections

Jake, over at Time after Time, has a Sunday Post Challenge…the theme this past week was Urban Design.

Sunday Post: Urban Design

As I looked at the pictures my daughter sent me from their New England 4th of July celebration, I thought about how our country started out as just a couple of small settlements.

 Sunday Post: Urban Design

Photo courtesy of

A child starts out small and, with the love and care a parent gives, grows to be a strong adult.

This country also started out small…and with the love and care given it by the Founding Fathers (and Mothers), it has grown to be a strong nation. But… 

Have you ever wondered what happened to the 56 men

who signed the Declaration of Independence?


My sister sent me this…and I am passing it on and giving many thanks to the person who did all this research.

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.

Freedom is not free. It is a precious gift to be treasured, cherished and protected.

Thank you to all of our military who put their lives on the line so that we can be safe.

If you’d like to play along with Jake’s Sunday Challenge:Sunday Post: Urban Design

On Monday, children’s author Susanna Leonard Hill will be announcing the finalists in the 4th of July Secret Mystery Writing Contest.

And on Monday, I’ll be revealing a real surprise.

9 thoughts on “Sunday Post: Urban Design and 4th of July Reflections

  1. Wow, this is a great post. I didn’t know all of that information, just that it had been challengning for the signers. So many of my own relatives founded settlements in Massachusetts and New Hampshire that are large cities. We carry a spark of them in us. And, it is for us to create a better world. For me it begins with right relationships in our own lives and extends to right action in all human endeavors — economics, education, science, medicine, arts, leadership, technology and so on.


    • And writing great picture books…don’t forget about that, Pat.:)Thank you so much for the insightful comment!When I visited San Antonio, my favorite place was the Alamo…so steeped in history…we learn about it in school…but to walk in that tiny building…and realize what took place there…that is moving. I get the same feeling when I walk the battlefields in PA or sit on a stone wall in New England.


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