One such example is signer Richard Stockton. After returning from Philadelphia after signing the Declaration, here is what happened as he returned to his home state of New Jersey:
As he returned from Philadelphia to his home in New Jersey, Judge Stockton was warned that British troops were coming to arrest him. He fled to a neighbor’s house with his wife and children. But a Loyalist, a supporter of the British cause, betrayed the family’s hiding place. Here is what happened next, as described in a wonderful little book Personal Liberty has made available in PDF form:For more information on the fate of the signers of the Declaration, please finish the article.
The judge was dragged from bed and beaten, then thrown into prison. This distinguished jurist, who had worn the handsome robes of a colonial court, now shivered in a common jail, abused and all but starved.
A shocked Congress arranged for his parole. Invalided by the harsh treatment he had received, he returned to (his home at) Morven to find his furniture and clothing burned, his fine horses stolen, and his library — one of the finest private collections in the country — completely destroyed. The hiding place of exquisite family silver, hastily buried, had been betrayed by a servant.
The Stocktons were so destitute that they had to accept charity. For the judge’s fortune was gone, too. He had pledged it and his life to his country. He lost both. He did not live to see the Revolution won.
Happy Independence Day, and God Bless America.
"If a nation expects to be ignorant and free... it expects what never was, and never will be." -Thomas Jefferson