John Hancock signed first, saying “the price on my head has just doubled.”
Benjamin Franklin said:
“We must hang together or most assuredly we shall hang separately.” Of the 56 signers:
17 served in the military;
11 had their homes destroyed;
5 were hunted and captured;
Abraham Clark had two sons imprisoned on the British starving ship Jersey;
John Witherspoon’s son was killed in battle;
Francis Lewis’ wife was imprisoned and died from the harsh treatment;
many, such as Thomas Nelson and Carter Braxton, lost their fortunes; and
9 died during the War.
When Samuel Adams signed the Declaration, he said:
“We have this day restored the Sovereign to whom all men ought to be obedient. He reigns in heaven and from the rising to the setting of the sun, let His kingdom come.”
John Adams wrote:
“I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated, by succeeding generations, as the great anniversary Festival. It ought to be commemorated, as the Day of Deliverance by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty.
It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shews, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires and illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other from this time forward forever more.”
John Adams continued:
“You will think me transported with enthusiasm but I am not.
I am well aware of the toil and blood and treasure, that it will cost us to maintain this Declaration, and support and defend these States.
Yet through all the gloom I can see the rays of ravishing light and glory. I can see that the end is more than worth all the means.
And that Posterity will triumph in that Days Transaction, even although we should rue it, which I trust in God We shall not.”
In addition, on this Fourth of July, please be inspired as a former marine stuns a crowd at a Herman Cain event by singing the final verse of the Star Spangled Banner impromptu.