Five signers were captured by the British as traitors,and tortured before they died. Twelve had their homes ransacked and burned. Two lost their sons serving in the Revolutionary Army;another had two sons captured. Nine of the 56 signers died from wounds or hardship of the Revolutionary war. They signed and they pledged their lives,fortunes,and their sacred honor. Twenty-four were lawyers and jurists. Eleven were merchants, nine farmers who owned plantations:men of wealth, educated, but they signed the Declaration of Independence knowing full well the penalty was death if caught. Carter Braxton of Virginia, a wealthy planter/trader,saw his ships swept from the seas, by the British Navy. He sold his home and properties to pay debt and died in rags. Thomas McKeam was so hounded by the British that he was forced to move his family,constantly. He served in the congress without pay, and his family was kept in hiding. His possessions were taken and his reward was poverty! Solders looted the properties of Dillery, Hall, Clymer,Walton,Gwinnett,Heyward,Ruttledge, and Middletown. John Hart was driven from his wife's bedside as she was dying. Their 13 children fled for their lives. His fields and gristmill were laid waste. For more than a year, he lived in forests and caves, returning home to find his wife dead and children vanished. Francis Lewis had his home and properties destroyed. His wife was jailed and died shortly there after. Freedom is NOT free!