The price they paid
Of the 56 men that signed the Declaration of Independence, those closest to the British forces paid the most dearly for signing the treasonous and illegal Declaration of Independence. All 56 signers faced death by hanging.
Francis Lewis had his home and estate plundered. His wife was captured and brutalized, later dying from the effects of bad treatment.
William Floyd and his family were unable to return to their pillaged home for seven years.
Philip Livingston was forced to leave his family and died alone in 1778.
Lewis Morris and family spent the entire war in exile, their vast estate and fortune destroyed.
“Honest John” Hart left his dying wife and 13 children behind, hiding in caves and forests. Years later he returned to find his wife’s grave, his 13 children gone. He died alone, a broken man in 1779.
Richard Stockton was brutally beaten upon capture, and mistreated in prison. He died in 1781 a despondent 51 year-old.
Robert Morris lent his vast fortune and credit to the cause. He died broke in 1806.
William Ellery had his home and property looted.
Thomas Lynch Jr. sought vacation to aid his failing health, dying in a shipwreck.
Thomas Heyward, Edward Rutledge, and Arthur Middleton lost their vast fortunes while in prison. Mrs. Heyward died while her husband was imprisoned.
Thomas Nelson Jr., despite failing health, served as a commander in the militia, and spent his personal fortune on the cause. At the battle of Yorktown, he ordered his own home destroyed by cannon fire while it was occupied by the British.
Abraham Clark was notified his two sons were captured and being brutally tortured while in prison. The British offered Clark his two sons freedom if he would renounce his signature on the Declaration of Independence. With a heavy heart he answered, “NO.”