Some interesting details about the 56 signers of the Declaration of Independence

~  12 colonies/states were represented, no signers represented Rhode Island

~ 37  were only in their 30’s or 40’s, 2 were in their 20’s

~ 8 of them were born in England, Scotland, Ireland, or Wales

~ They were lawyers, landowners, farmers, merchants, 4 physicians, and 2 ministers

~ Some of the signers of the Declaration of Independence were captured by the British as traitors, and tortured before they died.

~ At least twelve of them had their homes ransacked and burned.

~ Nine of the 56 signers fought and died from wounds or hardships of the Revolutionary War.

~ Four of the signers lost their sons in the Continental Army or had sons who were captured.

The Declaration of Independence

July 4, 1776

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.–Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.

He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.

He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.

He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.

He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.

He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.

He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary powers.

He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.

He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance.

He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.

He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power.

He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:

For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:

For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:

For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:

For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:

For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury:

For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences

For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies:

For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:

For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.

He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.

He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.

He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.

He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.

He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our Brittish brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

 

Writing Reviews Really Does Help Authors


 

 

 

 

  I loved writing this Revolutionary War series and grew quite attached to the characters. I hope if you read any of these stories and enjoyed them that you would consider writing a review.

A Heart Set Free

In 1770, Heather Douglas is desperate to escape a brewing scandal in her native Scotland. Penniless and hoping for a fresh start far away, she signs a seven-year indenture and boards a British merchant vessel headed to Virginia.

Widowed planter Matthew Stewart needs someone to help raise his two young children. The tall blonde standing on the Alexandria quay doesn’t look like much after her harrowing sea voyage, but there’s a refinement about her that her filthy clothing cannot hide. Could God be leading him to take this unknown servant as his wife?

When Matthew purchases Heather’s indenture, marries her and takes her to his farm, she is faced with new and constant challenges. And Matthew wonders if they can ever bridge their differences and make a life together.

But in the Virginia countryside, Heather begins her greatest journey, one of self-discovery and of maturing faith. Here, she discovers that her emotional and spiritual scars bind her far more than her indenture . . . and love will finally set her heart free.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/33224574-a-heart-set-free

https://www.bookbub.com/books/a-heart-set-free-by-janet-s-grunst

https://www.amazon.com/Heart-Set-Free…/dp/B01MQK0SXR/ref

A Heart For Freedom

By 1775, the conflict has escalated between Loyalists and Patriots throughout the colonies. The Stewarts’ ordinary and the surrounding Virginia countryside are not immune from the strife, pitting friends, neighbors, and families against each other.

Matthew Stewart has avoided taking sides and wants only to farm, manage Stewarts’ Green, and raise his family. But political tensions are heating up and circumstances and connections convince him that he should answer a call to aid the Patriot cause … with conditions.

Heather Stewart, born and raised in Scotland, has witnessed the devastation and political consequences of opposing England. Threatened by the prospect of war, she wants only to avoid it, and protect the family and peace she sought and finally found in Virginia.

The journey the Stewarts take is not an easy one and will involve sacrifice, and questioned loyalties. Lives and relationships will be changed forever. Ultimately the knowledge that God is faithful will equip them with the courage to face the future … with a heart for freedom.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/40967736-a-heart-for-freedom

https://www.bookbub.com/books/a-heart-for-freedom-a-novel-by-janet-s-grunst

https://www.amazon.com/Heart-Freedom…/dp/B07FB5J172/ref

Setting Two Hearts Free

Donald Duncan joined the Patriot cause for noble reasons, battling the British while enduring deprivation and hardship on every side. The war has changed him, and now the battle is internal. Returning home to Virginia is in sight where a new life and his Mary wait for him.

Mary Stewart spends the war years with her family at Stewarts’ Green, helping them operate their ordinary. Daily, she prays for Donald’s safe return, eagerly waiting for him … until that day the evil side of war touches her.

Two hearts changed by a war that dragged on for six years. Two hearts left hurting and struggling to find the love and trust they once knew. Is there a path for them to rekindle what was lost, Setting Two Hearts Free?

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/54458496-setting-two-hearts-free#

https://www.bookbub.com/books/setting-two-hearts-free-by-janet-s-grunst

https://www.amazon.com/Setting-Hearts…/dp/B085DRXFZY/ref

 

Meet Denise Weimer, Author of Bent Tree Bride

Your latest book is Bent Tree Bride, a story set in the early nineteenth century filled with rich historical detail. But first, please tell us something about yourself. 

Thank you for hosting me, Janet! I write historical and contemporary romance and romantic suspense, mostly set in my home state of Georgia. I also serve as managing editor for the historical imprints of Iron Stream Media/Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas. On a personal note, I’m a wife and mother of two college-aged daughters. I love coffee, chocolate, and old houses!

Tell us about your writing journey. 

I started writing around age eleven. I was born in Atlanta but grew up in the country, an only child of parents who loved history. We traveled all over the Southeast, and the historic towns and buildings we visited made me wonder what type of people once lived there and what their lives were like. I started writing stories in spiral-bound notebooks and reading them to my mom. She encouraged me to keep writing.

Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer just to see where an idea takes you?

Originally, I began as more of a pantster, but as I gained training and experience, I began to plot my stories a little more. I weave my historical tales among real historical events, using many of those as reversals or climaxes, then I add in smaller interior and exterior challenges for the characters. It’s vital to avoid the sagging middle and to keep the reader turning pages. I still allow for small changes and for the characters’ voices to take over in different scenes, though. The action should feel true to the characters’ personalities.

You write contemporary as well as historical fiction. Which is your preference and why? 

I began with historicals, and I’m a historical editor, so that probably gives you a hint as to where my heart lies. However, I realized when writing my dual-time-period Restoration Trilogy that I could enjoy and thrive writing contemporary romances as well … especially when a little history is mixed in. I love to write stories where the characters uncover mysteries and learn life lessons from the past.

In general, it’s refreshing to switch back and forth between contemporary and historical. I think it keeps me sharp at both because I’m not getting tired of either. And most of my readers say they enjoy both as long as the tale is engaging.

God often teaches us something through our writing. What have you learned about life, faith, or yourself in the process of writing?

Writing has been part of my life for so long, the lessons I’ve learned are endless. Early on, when a publishing agreement fell apart in an embarrassing and difficult way, I had to be willing to put my writing on the altar … to give it up if God wanted me to. At that point, writing was so much a part of me, I wasn’t sure I’d recognize myself without it. But we have our identity in Christ, not our gifts or our career. No story is worth writing unless it has God’s blessing. Many times, when you do achieve the goal you’ve worked so hard to reach, it doesn’t feel as we expected it to. While we may enjoy many blessings if we’re walking in God’s will, nothing is fully satisfying but Christ. It’s vital to keep our priorities in order, to remain humble, and to help others.

If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?

I actually had a historical mentor, a historical print artist and historian named John Kollock, who lent me his family letters and diaries and illustrated the covers of my Georgia Gold Series. He was so well-respected in North Georgia that his endorsement opened many doors for me when I was first writing.

Another mentor I’d mention would have to be Pegg Thomas. I met her when we were both part of the Backcountry Brides Collection. At that time, Pegg was managing editor at Smitten Historical Romance. I began working as a general editor for the other historical imprint, Heritage Beacon. Before long, Pegg invited me to co-manage Smitten. Before I knew it, both managers had retired, and I was working as ME for both imprints. Pegg taught me many things about editing and the publishing world. Her faith in me allowed me to fill some big shoes. My new release is dedicated to her.

Please tell us a little about Bent Tree Bride.

Bent Tree Bride just released this past week! It’s set in 1813 Creek Territory, which was modern-day Alabama. Many people don’t know that during the War of 1812, the Cherokees allied with the Americans under Andrew Jackson, while the Creek Indians were split. The National Creeks fought with the Americans but the Red Sticks on the British side. My story follows a mixed-blood lieutenant in the Cherokee Regiment who falls in love with his colonel’s daughter. Here’s the back cover copy:

Susanna Moore can’t get him out of her mind—the learned lieutenant who delivered the commission from Andrew Jackson making her father colonel of the Cherokee Regiment. But the next time she sees Lieutenant Sam Hicks, he’s leading a string of prisoners into a frontier fort, and he’s wearing the garb of a Cherokee scout rather than the suit of a white gentleman.

As both Susanna’s father and Sam’s commanding officer, Colonel Moore couldn’t have made his directive to stay away from his daughter clearer to Sam. He wants a better match for Susanna—like the stuffy doctor who escorted her to Creek Territory. Then a suspected spy forces Moore to rely on Sam for military intelligence and Susanna’s protection, making it impossible for either to guard their heart.

Is there a message in Bent Tree Bride that you want readers to grasp? 

There’s a beautiful cross-cultural romance in the story, but more importantly, the history behind the story bears out that God works to redeem any circumstance. He works through all people groups. All people need His guidance and His goodness. The most poignant spiritual moment in the book might happen in the beginning of my Author’s Note. Check it out.

Can you share anything about your current work in progress with us?

In December 2020 and January 2021, I wrote A Secondhand Betrothal, set on the Georgia frontier in 1813. So this spring, I’m working on Winter Wish, a contemporary about a female glassblower who gets a restart in life in the artsy mountain town of Blue Ridge. I love to do seasonal romances with my contemporaries. Winter Wish is in the style of Fall Flip and Spring Splash. I wonder what could be next on my horizon. Anyone want to suggest a title? LOL.

What are your social media sites?

Connect with Denise here:

Monthly Newsletter Sign-up

Website

Facebook

Twitter

BookBub

Thank you so much, Denise, for being my guest. I know folks will enjoy your books.

 

Canceling or Changing Our History

Cancel Culture or political correctness run amuck.

While people have been maligned for behaving outside of perceived social norms for centuries, more recently cancel culture has entered our lexicon. This movement to eradicate statues, books, movies, shows, the names of streets, schools, sports teams, and even people from social media.

Cancel culture is the practice of publicly rejecting, boycotting, or ending support for particular people or groups because of their socially or morally unacceptable views or actions by people who appoint themselves as the arbiters of right and wrong.

Fact: This silencing of anyone or thing that does not agree with the currently prevailing “acceptable” attitudes is robbing us of our first amendment rights and silencing people from expressing their opinions for fear of being castigated.

The preamble to our Constitution reads:

“We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”

Individuals or organizations who are eager to find fault with our past or founders don’t acknowledge that all people and nations have flaws. Attitudes have changed over the centuries and should be evaluated in the context of their times. The institution of slavery was certainly a tragic part of our history, but our country has and continues to make great strides to be a more perfect union. Scripture states:

“for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Romans 3:23

For too many years our nation has witnessed the altering of history to suit a person’s or group’s agenda. I witnessed this in my public school in the sixties and it has only gotten worse. In the eighties, I took my sons out of the government schools due to the social engineering programs that were being instituted at the expense of academic programs. Our family was fortunate to be able to have them educated in private and parochial schools.

In comparison to the public schools, I noticed the vast improvement in the curriculum, history in particular. I even homeschooled for a time. Arthur Schlesinger made an important observation as did George Santayana:

“History is to the nation much as memory is to the individual.                                     The individual who losses his memory doesn’t know where he came from  or where he’s going and he becomes dislocated and disoriented.”

Arthur Schlesinger

“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”

George Santayana

Many families do not have the financial resources to send their children to private or religious schools. But that doesn’t mean parents can’t provide facts about our history and supplement what their students are receiving in schools. Fortunately, there are many resources available to expand their knowledge and equip them whenever they hear or read false information. (I will share some of those resources in my next post.)

For example: Growing up I was taught our nation’s founders were Deists. Many years later, upon reading their writings and the actual proceedings of the Continental and Constitutional Conventions, I learned that they often stopped to pray during their deliberations. Deists believe in a Creator, but He does not intervene in human history, and certainly would not respond to prayers. That theory is certainly not supported by the writings of the founders. Here are just two.:

“How has it happened that we have not, hitherto once thought of humbly applying to the Father of Lights to illuminate our Understandings?”

Benjamin Franklin (during the Constitutional Convention)

“Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people.                           It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”                                                                    John Adams

Recommended resources:

We Will Not Be Silenced by Dr. Erwin Lutzer is a book every adult and teen should read because it exposes what is behind the attack on Christianity, as well as cancel culture, climate change, sexuality issues, racism, Marxism, and capitalism. Besides the book, listen to Dr. Dobson’s interview with the author.

We Will Not Be Silenced: Responding Courageously to Our Culture’s Assault on Christianity https://www.amazon.com/Will-Not-Silenced-Courageously-Christianity/dp/0736981799/ref

Dr. James Dobson Family Institute—Interview with Dr. Erwin Lutzer Part 1 and 2 https://www.drjamesdobson.org/broadcasts/we-will-not-be-silenced-part-1?hss_channel=fbp-296680801734

https://www.drjamesdobson.org/broadcasts/we-will-not-be-silenced-part-2

Tucker Carlson The radical lesson plans that are being taught America’s kids            https://video.foxnews.com/v/6233884972001#sp=show-clips

In my next post, I’ll share resources parents can use to supplement their children’s education.

Hopping John ~ A New Year’s Tradition

For many years our family begins each New Year with Hopping John for lunch or dinner. It’s a family favorite and easy to make. Many people believe black-eyed peas on New Years bring good fortune.

Spicy Hopping John 

2 cups of canned black-eyed peas                                                          ½ lb bacon   (reserve 2 Tablespoon of bacon drippings)               

1 medium chopped onion            2 minced garlic cloves 

½ teasp. of crushed red pepper flakes   ½ teasp. Black pepper

½ teasp. Salt                     1 cup white uncooked white rice

Cook rice according to directions. Fry bacon and set aside. Sauté chopped onion in reserved bacon drippings until soft and clear. Add garlic and pepper flakes to onion and heat for a couple of minutes. When rice is done, add black-eyed peas, cooked bacon, and salt and pepper. Stir together and heat on low heat for 10 minutes to allow flavors to blend. Chill leftovers and reheat when you are ready for more.

There are many variations for this southern dish so feel free to experiment and make it your own.

My sons enjoyed it and wondered why we only had it once a year. While we never ate it because it would bring good luck, we enjoyed Hopping John every New Year and hope that our new year would be blessed.

I hope your New Year will be healthy, safe,

and filled with hope and joy.

SETTING TWO HEARTS FREE ~ Releases October 6th

History has always fascinated me, particularly people and events that change the course of a nation or the world. When interpreting history through a Biblical worldview (Providentially) one sees God’s presence, provision, protection, power, and at times permission to accomplish His will. Our world has been polluted by sin since mankind’s fall, ushering in all manner of evil over time. And while God does not endorse these horrible events, we know that He often works through them or despite them to accomplish His greater purposes.

Discovering God’s direction and intervention in the years leading up to, during, and after the American Revolution inspired me to write a series of stories about the American Revolution. I’m delighted that the final book in the series Setting Two Hearts Free releases October sixth.

Setting Two Hearts Free is dedicated to all who suffer the invisible wounds of war and other trauma. And to their families and loved ones, sometimes struggling to best know how to help and cope.

A HEART SET FREE ~ A story of Forgiveness

1770 ~ Heather Douglas, a woman, disillusioned and desperate to escape her native Scotland, signs a seven-year indenture and flees aboard a British merchant vessel to the Virginia colony.

Matthew Stewart, a widowed farmer with two young children needs someone to help raise them. Is God leading him to take this unknown indentured servant as his wife? How would these two individuals, from opposite sides of the Atlantic, each having experienced tragedies, bridge their differences to make a life together?

A HEART FOR FREEDOM ~ A story of Faithfulness

1775-1776 ~ When hostilities break out between the British and colonials, the antagonism between colonists and the British escalate to confrontation. Throughout Virginia, strife between factions loyal to the crown and those demanding independence pit friends, neighbors, and families against each other.

Like so many others, Heather and Matthew’s world is turning upside down. Loyalties are questioned and odd and unexplainable events create doubt and suspicion. Their journey is filled with challenges but God’s faithfulness will encourage His people.

SETTING TWO HEARTS FREE ~ A story of Forbearance

1781-1783 ~ Donald Duncan joined the Patriot cause for noble reasons, battling the British while enduring deprivation and hardship on every side. The war has changed him, and now the battle is internal. Returning home to Virginia is in sight where a new life and his Mary wait for him.

Mary Stewart spends the war years with her family at Stewarts’ Green, helping them operate their ordinary. Daily, she prays for Donald’s safe return, eagerly waiting for him … until that day the evil side of war touches her.

Two hearts are challenged by a war that dragged on for six years. Two hearts left hurting and struggling to find the love and trust they once knew. Is there a path for them to rekindle what was lost, Setting Two Hearts Free?