HOLIDAY SPECIAL: The cost of revolution — sacrifices behind what we celebrate on the Fourth of July (** with link to transcript/high-res image of Declaration of Independence **)

By Peninsula Daily News staff

"When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation."

— From the Declaration of Independence

FIFTY-SIX MEN signed the Declaration of Independence.

They largely represented the wealthy elite of colonial society; one-third were slaveholders.

But some made significant personal sacrifices for the cause of independence . . .


Late in 1776, Stockton hastened home from an inspection of the Continental Army in New York, after learning of the British invasion of New Jersey. He was captured and imprisoned under harsh conditions. Released in 1777, in poor health, he found Morven, his home in Princeton, pillaged and partly burned. He died in 1781, months before the British surrender.


Heyward was wounded in 1779 while helping to repel a British attack on Port Royal Island, near his home, and was captured in 1780 during the siege of Charleston. The next year, the British pillaged his home. While he was imprisoned at St. Augustine, Fla., his wife died. At the war's end, he was nearly killed after falling overboard while traveling by ship with other prisoners.

SEE MORE (slide show from New York Times):

and . . .our Independence Day Navigator — a list of resources from around the Web about the Fourth of July:

Charters of Freedom — Online National Archives display of Declaration of Independence (includes transcript and high-res image), the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights:

Find facts about the history of the holiday, information on fireworks safety, laws and celebrations, and tips to make your July 4th fun and safe. You can also share your birthday wishes to the United States on the Facebook page:

Bet You Didn't Know: Independence Day — Did you know New York City has the biggest fireworks display in the United States, and that three U.S. presidents died on July 4?. Videos by the History Channel:

Last modified: July 03. 2014 6:34PM
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