Do you think you’re too young or too old to embark on a new adventure? If the Lord calls you to a task, would you let age stop you? What if the call involves danger . . . or a revolution?
Let’s pull back the tapestry of time and examine the faces of those untested men who signed the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776. Hazard a guess as to their ages?
According to most articles, the Declaration signers’ average age was 44!
David McCullough, famous author who wrote John Adams’ biography, observed that decades had passed by the time the Founding Fathers sat for portraits. In fact, since Mr. McCullough couldn’t locate a list denoting the ages of these men, he compiled one himself.
Can you guess the age of the youngest signer of the Declaration of Independence?
Prepare to be surprised!
Thomas Lynch, Jr., and Edward Rutledge were 26 years old.
Lynch studied in England and returned to the colonies as a lawyer. Though one of the youngest to sign the Declaration, he was also the youngest to die (age 30).
Edward Rutledge, also a lawyer, became the youngest member of Congress and one of the independence nay-sayers (1775). Yet, in 1776, this brash and influential South Carolinian signed the Declaration of Independence. He continued to serve his country until his death at 50.
Several of the 56 signers were trained or served as ministers. Four were physicians, 24 were lawyers, and one was a printer. The remaining 26 men made their living as merchants, plantation owners, surveyors, musicians, or scientists. Not a slothful or ignorant man among them!
Nine of the 56 Declaration of Independence signers died in battle or as a result of their wounds. Col. McKean moved his family a minimum of five times during the first few months of war. He later told John Adams that the enemy hunted him like he was a fox. Abraham Clark’s two sons were captured by the British, and John Witherspoon’s son was killed in battle.
Five signers were captured by the British and tortured before they died.
Francis Lewis’s home was destroyed and his wife was taken prisoner. John Hart fled while his farm and mills were demolished, then died in hiding. Ten other signers had their property and homes destroyed.
Of those who survived the Revolutionary War, most served this new nation in some capacity at either the state or federal level.
So, back to the original question: do you think you’re too young or too old to begin a new adventure? What if the task requires you to defend America’s freedom?
This quote has been attributed to several including Edmund Burke, who criticized Britain’s treatment of the colonies and later moved to America:
“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men should do nothing.”
We are a blessed nation in part because our Founding Fathers sought God and would not allow evil to triumph.
Will we follow their example?
By Amre Cortadino
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Glad you enjoyed it! We owe so much to these men who built a Godly nation!! 🙂
This information has been great, Amre–thank you! Something to think about.
Amen!! Thanks for stopping by, Judy! 🙂
I agree!! Makes me shake in my boots, but I know the Lord will help us, just as He did them!! 🙂
Wow, Amre, this is a powerful post that reminds us of the courage our founding fathers possessed. Praying we can match that courage through our faith in our Heavenly Father when we are called upon to protect what is right.
Wow! Thank you Amre, for this wonderful information. May we all take a stand for what is right no matter what our ages.
Thanks for stopping by, Kathy!! 🙂
Fascinating. Thank you, Erma.:)
Hi Karen! Thank you for stopping by!! Amen – God is with us, and as we turn our hearts back to Him, He’ll delight in us!! 🙂
Thank you, Erma. Wonderful information! Yes, I’m more than ready to rise up to save America and our freedoms. Just waiting for the signal. It’s not going to be easy, but neither is freedom. God is with us and will bring us the victory one more time.
Amen!!! Lord, help us to stand with courage and conviction!!! 🙂
Haha – good point, Gwen!! Benjamin Franklin lived to 84, I think, and the wealthiest one of the bunch to 90 – so they were on borrowed time, and I’m so glad God gave them those extra years!!!! 🙂
Brave men who counted the cost. We need these reminders. As side note, people in the time period were only expected to live about 40 years. So at 26, they were over the hill! 🙂
So good! I think there’s nothing needed in America than the courage to stand for what we believe.
Amen! Causes me to tremble to think this might be required of us. Praying we’ll be faithful – whatever is required of us! 🙂
Their willingness to put their names on the document and to take risks for what they believed in is inspiring. I believe in recent history we do not have enough appreciation for what these men did.
I pray that we too may be willing to stand up for what we believe.
Thank you, Rosalie!! I am grateful you took the time to read this post!! Blessings! 🙂
They were!! Probably scared out of their minds too!! Thanks for stopping by, Dave! 🙂
Thank you, Erma!
Whoever coulda thunk those old guys were such a bunch of young squirts?
Blessings my sister in CHRIST,
Thank you for sharing this I APPRECIATE IT SO MUCH.. GODBLESS YOU AND YOUR FAMILY MORE…