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Fates of Declaration signers info came from discredited essay

To The Daily Sun,
On July 5, you published a letter conveying a stirring account of the fates endured by the 56 men who signed the Declaration of Independence. Many of your readers may have experienced a feeling of déjà vu as they read the essay. Little wonder. Fourteen years ago, the essay was widely circulated. Since then, scholars have diluted and refuted the essay's claims.
For the record: The person who submitted the essay to you did not write it. She was simply passing on material from what she reasonably thought was a reliable source, an old Ann Landers's column. The actual author is unknown.
To that original author: Is it necessary to embellish and create history to make America admirable? The country often comes off quite well when scrutinized and better than okay in the grand scheme of things. If pride depends on fantasy, what is the price of loyalty and glory?
Some examples of the essay's claims versus reality follow.
Claim: The British captured five signers as traitors and tortured them before they died.
Reality: Yes, the British captured five, but not as traitors (except for one) and none died in captivity. Four of the five were actively engaged in military operations at the time of their capture. The British took them as prisoners of war.
Claim: Nine "died from wounds or hardships" of war.Reality: Yes, nine died during the time of the war, but not from wounds or hardships inflicted by the British. Only one died from wounds. A fellow officer inflicted those in a duel.
Claim: Carter Braxton ". . . saw his ships swept from the seas. . . . He sold his home and properties to pay his debts and died in rags."
Reality: The British appropriated some of Braxton's ships because they flew British flags. They captured or sunk others in the conduct of war; i.e., not because Braxton signed the Declaration. He sold assets (land holdings mostly) to cover the losses.
In the immediate aftermath of the war, Braxton recouped most of his losses. In subsequent years, however, he again lost considerable wealth through bad business decisions. Consequently, his wealth at death was considerably less than it was before the war, but he was not impoverished.
Claim: The British hounded Thomas McKean and forced his family to move and hide constantly. They took his possessions, "and poverty was his reward."
Reality: McKean kept his family on the run for about five months. Attributing this to his signature on the Declaration of Independence does not pass the smell test. His name is not on the documents authenticated in 1777. He evidently signed later. The British were more likely after him because he was a militia leader. "Poverty was his reward" is an outright fabrication. McKean had a long, distinguished and lucrative career. He was a delegate to the Continental Congress (serving for a time as its president), president (equivalent to governor) of Delaware, and Pennsylvania's chief justice and governor. At his death in 1817, his estate consisted of "stocks, bonds and huge tracts of land in Pennsylvania," according to contemporary accounts.
Claim: The British drove John Hart from the bedside of his dying wife. Their 13 children fled for their lives. He lived in forests and caves for more than a year. When he returned home, his wife was dead, his children were gone. He died shortly thereafter heartbroken.
Reality: There is a nugget of truth. The British looted Hart's New Jersey farm in November 1776 (probably because he was the speaker of the assembly). The rest of the claim is hogwash. A month after the raid, the Continental Army liberated the area; that is, Hart hid in the mountains for about a month (not more than a year). The British did not drive him from his dying wife. She had died weeks before the raid. Most of the fleeing children were adults. He died neither "shortly thereafter" nor "heartbroken." He died of kidney stones more than two years later. In the interim, NJ voters reelected him to the state assembly.
Robert Moran

Last Updated on Wednesday, 10 July 2013 09:59

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Administration is kicking Constitution around like a soccer ball

To The Daily Sun,
I find it interesting to see how many Democrat/liberal/progressives who, when they don't have facts to support their positions, resort to the tactic of attempting to smear the opposition. Last week it was Professor Maloof who didn't have his facts right. In his letter to The Daily Sun on Tuesday, Werner Dietrich gave us another demonstration of being careless with the facts and liberal with his personal attacks. As to his "facts", none of those "clownish buffoons" candidates that he mentioned were "front runners". In fact, Donald Trump was not even entered in the primaries. Dietrich also charges that the fact that 80 percent of the Republicans voted for the Civil Rights Act of 1964 is somehow "false advertising". His argument for that claim is that many of the "Dixiecrats" later became Republicans. I guess he didn't know that the most famous of those Dixiecrats, Robert Byrd, the former Exalted Cyclops leader of the Ku Klux Klan, was later voted, by his fellow Democrats, to be the majority leader of the Senate.
I gather that Mr. Dietrich is happy as a clam about the current administration kicking the Constitution and Bill of Rights around as though it were an old soccer ball. Can Mr. Maloof or Mr. Dietrich tell us where the president was when four American were killed in Benghazi? Or who gave the order not to send help? Or who was involved in the IRS scandal? Or who gave the order to follow reporter James Rosen's every move? And while you're at it, check into the legality of the president delaying implementation of Obamacare until after the 2014 election? And all those telephone records of just plain folks — what's up with that? Good Democrat, liberal progressives that you are, you shouldn't have any trouble getting answers from the "most transparent" administration in our history.
For sure, it's not your daddy's Democrat party any more.
Bob Meade

Last Updated on Wednesday, 10 July 2013 09:51

Hits: 253

Thanks, over 50 kids got scholarhsips to Prescott Farm summer camp

To The Daily Sun,
Prescott Farm has so much to be thankful for this summer camp season! We are at our highest registration rate ever. This is mainly due to all the help we have received with our Camp Scholarship Fund (CSF). We can't thank enough the local businesses and people that have supported our CSF this summer, as it has offered so many more children the opportunity to attend our camps that otherwise wouldn't have been able to.
We believe every child deserves the chance to experience environmental education and our CSF, supported by many generous community organizations, is designed to help families who would not otherwise be able to attend our camp. Full and partial scholarships are available, but funds are limited on a first come, first serve basis. The demand this year exceeded far beyond what we had available, but with help from Meredith Village Savings Bank, WLNH Children's Auction, PSNH, Belknap County Master Gardeners, Bank of New Hampshire, Pike Industries, Mill Falls at the Lake and many other generous individuals, we were able to provide over 50 children with scholarship assistance! Again, we want to thank those businesses and individuals, because this couldn't have been possible without their support! The Lakes Region community is strong, both businesses and individuals truly can make a difference when working together.
Our WildQuest day camps are licensed by the State of N.H. and led by experienced environmental educators. Our goal is to foster an appreciation and understanding of the natural and cultural history of Prescott Farm, and by extension, children's own special places as well. We believe that a camp experience with us will enhance your child's ecological awareness and provide fun learning opportunities in a community-minded and non-competitive atmosphere. Camp always includes nature activities, animal and plant identification, arts and crafts, quests, games, and hands-on learning. Most of the day is spent outdoors. Extended care can provide supervised playtime before and after regular camp hours.
If you would like to support our CSF or have a child that may like to attend our summer camp, but are in need of scholarship assistance please contact us at 603-366-5695. Also, you may go online to our website, www.prescottfarm.org to view our latest WildQuest Summer Camp information. We look another great summer with you!
Kimberly Drouin
Prescott Farm Environmental Education Center

Last Updated on Tuesday, 09 July 2013 12:33

Hits: 290

Backlash continues in response to religious war against women

To The Daily Sun,
The misogynist and religious war against women is not going well at all. Time and time again, tea party plagued states pass unconstitutional laws regarding abortion and family health care clinics. The strategy is to close as many clinics as possible and limit pregnancy termination to 20 weeks. Sometimes 18. Unfortunately for the puritanical party, that time frame is unconstitutional after Roe v. Wade. After the tea party rode into power on economic platforms, once in power, the Trojan Horse's doors opened at night and all the screaming religious banshees took to the legislative halls throughout America. Wars against women, workers, and voters were declared. Seven of 10 support Roe v. Wade so many were aghast as the minions of the religious right assaulted the laws protecting a woman's right to choose. And the clinics. But alas, the Imams, Ayatollahs and Mullahs of the Christian right are now being tarred, feathered and pilloried. Right wing abortion laws have been struck down by the courts in eleven states in the last year: Oklahoma, Georgia, Mississippi, Arizona, North Carolina, Kansas. Idaho, Texas (2011), Idaho, Arkansas, and North Dakota. Furthermore, a federal court has ruled that emergency contraception must be made available over the counter for all ages.
Many of these cases will eventually end up at the U.S. Supreme Court where a 5-4 majority ruling against the laws is a likely outcome on most of these various restrictive laws. It all depends on Justice Kennedy really. But Roberts could be a surprise, too. After Oklahoma appealed, the court sent a list of questions regarding their blocked RU-486 ban. So, it has begun and we progressives and moderates hope for an outcome as uplifting as the DOMA and Prop 8 rulings which crushed the tea party and the religious right.
In related matters, a Reagan-appointed judge struck down the use of anti-abortion license plates in North Carolina because pro-choice ones were not also offered by the state. And a Louisiana abortion doctor liability law designed to drive abortion providers out of practice was also struck down.
So all in all, things are looking up as the backlash continues against the Christian Sharia.
James Veverka

Last Updated on Tuesday, 09 July 2013 12:27

Hits: 245

The 60s? This ain't your dady's Republican Party anymore

To The Daily Sun,
I don't know whether to laugh or cry when I read Bob Meade writing that 80 percent of the Republicans in Congress voted for the Civil Rights Act in 1964. It's political false advertising — like putting a 767 next to a biplane and saying that all airplanes are the same. Where are those 80 percent to be found in today's Republican party? They're not. Those congressmen and senators couldn't even be nominated in today's version of the party. If they were already in office they would lose primaries to opponents from the knuckle-dragging wing which currently holds the entire party by its shorthairs.
This ain't your daddy's Republican party. Look at last year's presidential primaries. In 2012 clownish buffoons like Bachman, Cain, Trump and Perry were all front-runners. 40 years ago they would have been laughed off the debate stage by fellow Republicans.
Oh, and those one-third of Democrats in Congress who voted against the Civil Rights Acts? Like ole Strom Thurmond and his fellow Dixiecrats, many of them became Republicans and formed the base of the new GOP in the late '60s.
This aint your daddy's Republican party. It isn't Dwight Eisenhower's or Teddy Roosevelt's or Abraham Lincoln's either.
Werner Dietrich

Last Updated on Tuesday, 09 July 2013 12:22

Hits: 326

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