Friday, January 15, 2010

a remarkable man

Have been watching the film on John Adams, and it reminded me of my own little known ancestor, John Hart. He signed the Declaration of Independence from New Jersey and his story is quite interesting to any history buff. The redcoats put a price on his head, as they did most of the Signers.

He was a simple farmer, not overly educated, but enough to be elected to a string of small local offices starting with alderman. It seemed to be his honesty and integrity that impressed the voters of that period. When the British started hunting him, he fled to the hills of New Jersey. These hills are almost mountains, and contained numerous caves where criminal and refugees held out. Bruno Haunptmann, the kidnapper of the Lindbergh child, escaped to the same caves years later. John survived the rest of the war in those mountains, and returned to his farm when peace was declared. There he found his wife and several of his children deceased, and the farm in virtual ruins. Crops had been trampled down and much of the fencing had been used for firewood, as the location was central and used as bivouac by both British and Americans.
He pulled affairs together, raised the remaining family, and did little politically again.

The point of all this is obvious. How little we know of the sacrifices made by so many in any war.
And of course, how our choices effect so many others, not only then but through the years.

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