In the summer of 1776, fifty-six men risked their lives and livelihood to defy King George III and sign the Declaration of Independence—yet how many of them do we actually remember? Signing Their Lives Away introduces readers to the eclectic group of statesmen, soldiers, slaveholders, and scoundrels who signed this historic document—and the many strange fates that awaited them. Some prospered and rose to the highest levels of United States government, while others had their homes and farms seized by British soldiers. Signer George Wythe was poisoned by his nephew; Button Gwinnett was killed in a duel; Robert Morris went to prison; Thomas Lynch was lost at sea; and of course Sam Adams achieved fame as a patriot/brewer. Complete with portraits of the signers as well as a facsimile of the Declaration of Independence, Signing Their Lives Away provides an entertaining and enlightening narrative for history buffs of all ages.
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|Title of History eBook: Signing Their Lives Away|
|Release Date: 08-01-2010|
|Allowed Countries (hover)|
|Publisher: Quirk Books|
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Signing Their Lives Away
Chapter OneNew Hampshire
The Signer immortalized on The West Wing
Born: November 21, 1729
DIED: may 19, 1795
AGE AT SIGNING: 46
BURIED: Plains Cemetery, Kingston, New Hampshire
Live Free or Die" is one of the least-subtle state mottos in the United States, and the signers from New Hampshire, especially Josiah Bartlett, led lives that do justice to this phrase.
Bartlett came from a humble background. As the son of a cobbler, he lacked access to formal education, so he studied medicine with a local doctor (a routine custom at the time) and eventually began his own successful practice in Kingston, New Hampshire. Despite his revolutionary political leanings, the royal government favored him-at least for a while. His career in politics started around 1765 when he became a member of New Hampshire's provincial assembly and received appointments from the governor as a colonel in the militia and as a justice of the peace. He was unceremoniously stripped of these titles as his involvement in the cause of independence became more high-profile, but this didn't hinder Bartlett's work; when the governor disbanded the provincial assembly, Bartlett and other like-minded patriots just formed the New Hampshire Provincial Congress instead.
Bartlett is often included on the list of those signers who had their homes burned by the British because they signed the Declaration, but that isn't exactly true. Bartlett was elected to the First Continental Congress in 1774 but couldn't attend because his house had burned to the...