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Lives of the Signers of the Declaration of Independence Paperback – February 1, 1995
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Josiah Barlett of New Hampshire 1729-1795
William Whipple of New Hampshire 1730-1785
Matthew Thornton of New Hampshire 1714-1803
Elbridge Gerry of Massachusetts 1744-1814
All of these men were brilliant statesmen; they had a mind capacity that would far outreach many of our politicians today. These men understood law and government. Not only did they sign the Declaration, many drafted the U.S. Constitution years later. I believe this book belongs on every home-school family's shelf. This is a great read-aloud for the family because the short sketches are easy to follow, and it is very educational. There are many books like this one, for instance, A Worthy Company M. E. Bradford; however, Lives of the Signers is possibly the more in-depth. I heartily recommend this book.
The book walks through the lives of the fifty-six signers of the Declaration of Independence in the order in which they signed - from the three delegates from New Hampshire to the signers from Georgia. Obviously some names are familiar such as John Hancock, John Adams, Samuel Adams, John Witherspoon, Benjamin Rush, Benjamin Franklin, and Thomas Jefferson. But little is known even about these great men regarding the extent of their personal sacrifice to the cause of this nation.
However, the essence of this book is in examining the lives of those lesser known men who gave up just as much, some even more, in the cause of freedom. Men such as Dr. Matthew Thorton from New Hampshire, who interestingly enough was absent on the Fourth of July when the vote was taken on the adoption of the Declaration, but who, approving of the measure, was subsequently given an opportunity to sign it personally. Many of these men were imprisoned during the Revolutionary War and some even suffered tremendous financial distress as they served as the primary funding for the conflict - several never regained their pre-war financial status and some passed away penniless!Read more ›
The topic of this work was also of great interest. One thing that struck me was the familiarity of the names. Counties streets, schools all sorts of things have very similar names. Also the amount that these men gave for all of us to enjoy what we do today is astounding. For anyone interested in the founding of the USA this is an excellent read. The book also contains chapters on the articles of confederation, stamp act and the constitution
The footnotes of both the biographies, the declaration and the constitution are far more interesting, some may find the legal notes regarding the constitution as it was interpreted then to be of far more interest [such as congress having sole power regarding naturalization] than the nominal biographies that leave so much more to be desired.
I'd argue the book is a place to begin for those starting on a quest about our founders, than being a compendium of answers.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Wow! Had no idea about what these men did and went thru. Great History book. Wish it was required reading in school.Published 2 months ago by Les
It's good for research projects. My son was doing a biography on Richard Henry Lee, not much around about him. This book has sufficient info on every signer of the Dec of Indep.Published 8 months ago by KCinStP