Real Patriotsgreenspun.com : LUSENET : Freedom! self reliance : One Thread
We all know about Thomas Jefferson,Ben Franklin,John Adams,John Hancock,but here are some facts about some of the lesser known founding fathers that signed the D of I. The price for FREEDOM is not cheap!
Francis Lewis,New York: His wife was captured by the British and later died as a result of her captivity.Lewis lived his remaining years in proverty,having sacrificed his independent fortune for the cause of patriotism.
Phillip Livingston,New York: He and his family had to flee their home and land to escape the British army and never had a chance to return.
Lewis Morris, New York: He and family also fled the British army which destroyed his estate,burned hundreds of acres of crops and took his livestock.
John Hart,New Jersey: Hessians destroyed his farm,livestock and other property. The destruction cause his wife to become sick and she died while he was trying to reach her. Hart himself was forced to flee into the woods and slept in caves when British troops invaded N.J. His children were forced into hiding and had to seek refuge with relatives and friends.
Richard Stockton, New Jersey: Was dragged from his bed by a group of royalists and imprisoned in New York. Upon release he returned to find his fortune almost gone,his land ruined,his library burnt and his livestock seized.
Abraham Clark,New Jersey: Two of his sons, who were officers in the army, were captured by the British and confined to the prison ship Jersey. One was held in solitary confinement and given no food. Clark upon being offered the chance to spare his son's lives if he would support the crown,refuse to change his postion and never heard from his son's again.
Several,several other less known founding fathers also were either imprisoned and/or lost their homes and fortunes because of their devotion to independence. HOW STRONG IS YOUR DEVOTION?
-- TomK(mich) (firstname.lastname@example.org), March 01, 2002
I know I have the will to stand. This isn't something I say lightly, nor do I have a cavalier attitude about it. frankly, as I see it, we have no choice. Tom, it is really a pleasure to have you come and post here. Where have you been until recently???
-- Doreen (email@example.com), March 02, 2002.
One of the reason I come to Freedom! self reliance is, the mind triggering statements I read here.Like this one now, it made me wonder could the words freedom or independence have a true meaning in the physical or even spiritual world. I'll use Richard Stockton , who is mentioned as an example.After released from prison he finds his fortune almost gone his land ruined his library burnt and his livestock seized.It was the result of his fighting the British for independence . Is he not free after losing all or most of his valued possesions he work so hard for ? Anyone who raises a garden or livestock knows how little freedom they have to just pick themselves up and go on a months vacation or travel during the peak of the summer or even devote time to a new hobby, when beans and vegies need picking,canning, weeding, watering, hay needs cutting and bailed,animals need milking or caring for, fences needing fixings.Although you no longer might need to depend on the outside world past the boundries of your land, you would be dependent on the land ,the weather, the insects that eat the pesty ones,and your strenght that you'll need to maintain your farm.You may gain freedom and independence from not working for someone else and not getting food from someone else , but then you lose freedom and independence by needing to stay put and devoting all your time to caring for garden and livestock and taking care of all the tools and materials needed to maintain your garden and livestock. Do you know a serious homesteader with FREE time ? Is freedom just having the choice of what lifestyle you are willing to get chained and bound to ? If I don't get lost in this deep thought and get brain strain, I think the point I'm trying to get to is , are we ever realy free or independent? If the British had not destroyed Richard Stocktons farm and even if he had large sums of money and a large flock of slaves to do all the manual labor ,he might of had more freedom and independece to travel around when he wanted, but he'd still need to have his mind bound to his buisness decisions to maintain and keep possesion of his land, wealth, workers and livestock. How could he be considered free and independent if he depended on his farm, which can be so easily destoyed and his livilyhood be taken from him . Is freedom and independence a lifelong quest (an illusion) in the physical and even spiritual world that humans will always strive for, but never obtain ?
-- SM Steve (firstname.lastname@example.org), March 02, 2002.
Freedom has a price and it is death. What we do in between determines our fate. No one can determine what freedom is for another man, it is up to him to decide his destiny, or in this case how free he wants to be. But, believe me with the amount of freedom that a person wants, also comes responsibility! So, how much responsibility do you want to take? Freedom and responibility go hand and hand, one will not exsist without the other.
Henry David Thoreau was irresponsible in this respect. He wanted freedom but, was ill prepared to take responsibility for those freedoms. After spending a few days in jail for failure to pay taxes, he was bailed out by his friend (Emerson) who paid them for him. He never paid it back!
Henry David Thoreau, built his little cabin on the shores of Walden Pond (which was owned by Emerson). While he lived there for two years, he beratted the farmers and other homesteaders about their land ownership and keeping animals, which did not allow them to do more than to work themselves into early graves. He would spend his weekends, staying with his parents which lived just two miles from his cabin in the woods. When he left, his mother would give him a large basket of food to get him through most of the week!
Now, don't get me wrong about Henry David Thoreau, as I am a BIG ADMIRER of his philosophy (see my webpage). But, his stand on freedom was just NOT quite right!
The signers of the Declaration of Independence KNEW the repercussions of signing that document. In fact John Hancock, (the one who drafted the first outline of it) signed his name the largest so the king of England would have NO TROUBLE reading it!
They knew that a document of its magnitude would surely be the same as signing their own DEATH WARRANTS, but the cost was worth it. As all LANDOWNERS know, sometimes you just have to fight for what is yours. Whether it is an oppressive government or drought.
If you see land ownership as a loss of freedom then wait until you are NOT allowed to own land, as with many of the world's nation. If you believe that caring for animals and crops is just not worth the hassle because you can not go on vacation, then TELL that to a farmer who works 20 hours a day, 7 days a week, helping FEED the never ending populations of the world.
The farmer, because of his ways is more of a FREEDOM FIGHTER than the transient that allows no ownership or possessions to hold him down.
I am a SIMPLE MAN and I live VERY simply but, I know that LAND OWNERSHIP equates freedom. Without roots firmly planted in the ground the plant wilts and dies.
Freedom is NOT a state of mind....it begins with taking RESPONSIBILITY for one's destiny.
-- http://communities.msn.com/livingoffthelandintheozarks (email@example.com), March 02, 2002.
SM Steve, Good post & since I am in a very philosophic mood today,let see if I have a answer for you.
Freedom is the ability to act without the initiation of force,or its threat, being used against you. You have a right to freedom because your life is your property,yours to live as you see fit,as long as you do not violate the right to life and liberty of another. If you are free,you have the unrestrain ability to pursue your own happiness,to make those choices needed for the sustenance of your own life.
You asked,(Is he not free after losing all or most of his valued possesions he work so hard for ?),In one sense Yes, he is free,free from all the daily chores and responsibilites life as we know it has in it to keeping a farm or homestead,but in another way he was not free. Given his situation he was probably forced to depend on family and friends for survival. But do you really think you could live a happy life by just drifting from day to day? The freedom we speak of for him after imprisonment was a forced freedom, it was not his choice to have done to him what happened. His choice was to build a fortune,have livestock,keep a library,etc. That was his freedom to do so just as he also had the choice not to acquire them things.
(Is freedom just having the choice of what lifestyle you are willing to get chained and bound to ?)In essence, again yes, but no. No, because as long as we live and breathe,we have to have a lifestyle,you have no choice in that matter. What can be your choice,your decision, is what type of lifestyle you want and that is only possible if you are free to make that choice in the land in which you live. Even if you just lay on the ground from the time your born to your death,that is a lifestyle,but its your choice to do it.
(Is freedom and independence a lifelong quest (an illusion) in the physical and even spiritual world that humans will always strive for, but never obtain ?) Yes, but whether an illusion or not is debatable. Physically,the quest and attainment of freedom and independence depends on your definition of freedom. Spiritually, and this is just my humble Deist opinion, we really don't know if we will have freedom and independence after this life, we can guess and we can debate and read books about what awaits us, but in reality,we just don't know and we won't know until after we died.
I hope this has helped.
-- TomK(mich) (firstname.lastname@example.org), March 02, 2002.
Doreen, thanks for the kind words, and I have been around. It's just recently that I have been getting more involved and realize that more people need to speak up and spread the message,that as a nation we are losing our natural liberties and freedoms and having them replaced with choices that are made available through government force.
-- TomK(mich) (email@example.com), March 02, 2002.
This is where the essential difference between liberty and freedom comes in...Since we have come to see the two terms as interchangeable we have lost the actual meaning of liberty. Should it be as readily recognized what liberty is any longer, I would rather say that we can achieve liberty, but true freedom is a philosophical and spiritual attainment and not something that government may even try to truly provide or insure to a people. As Ernest (again) so eloquently stated, resposibility is an absolute requirement of liberty. Now how can we possibly claim liberty when the government tells us how many gallons of water can be used to flush the toilet?
As to some of the questions posed by Steve, I see that all of these people helped by losing their possessions and very lives to give us the opportunity to chart our own course. This is a gift that we have pretty much thrown away because we have failed to recognize the value and the sacrifices made. Yes, of course there were mistakes made by the early government and the founding fathers, but the idea was a "more perfect union" as they were aware enough to realize that perfection is not something man can attain.
-- Doreen (firstname.lastname@example.org), March 02, 2002.
Hmmm. Kinda hard to make a poor man any poorer, isn't it? Maybe for someone like Bill Gates (gets ya to think, doesn't it?) or someone else that is a bit well off, poverty would be something to fear. Well, I have lived in poverty as a kid, and have (unfortunately) returned to poverty. I have the essentials, and that is good. Roof over my head, food to eat (usually) and a computer to communicate with. I've had worse.
So what can poverty to do me that I havn't already experienced? No I don't want to remain in poverty or return to the level I was at when I was a kid, but I know I lived then and I know how I can utilize my resources if I must return to that level again.
What about you?
-- not this time.... (email@example.com), March 05, 2002.
Yhe reason things have been allowed to go on as long as they have and get as far into the toilet as they have is because people DO fear poverty. For so many in this country, it is inconceiveable to them to live without their cell phones and their new cars, without their Saturday night out and without their cafe au lait. They have never learned how to live without, and the thought of doing so terrifies them. Many of them would never be able to cope without their wealth that they work so long and hard for. Many of them would die, either through ignorance or through suicide if they were responsible for actually producing the things necessary to meet even their most basic needs. Think of how many people call 911 every time the electricity goes out for 10 minutes. They just cannot conceive of life without luxuries. When the time comes, it will be up to those who know how to live without to do anything. The vast majority of people will not take any action at all until they are already destitute and desparate, and many will never do anything at all. As it stands today, people are just too smug with their swimming pools, hot tubs, and 100 plus channels of television to even think of risking losing it. Of course, if they sit there and do nothing they will likely lose those things anyway, but most seem to figure that everything will hold together for as long as they live, and they will let someone else further down the line deal with it. Kind of the ultimate "me" generation thing. As long as I get mine, to hell with everyone else seems to be the attitude.
-- Green (firstname.lastname@example.org), March 07, 2002.