Declaration of Independence

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.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Two Elizabeth Haywards

                    Thomas Hayward, signer of the Declaration of Independence, married twice.  He married Elizabeth Mathews about 1767 or 1768 - soon after he returned from studying law in Europe.  His father was Colonel Daniel Hayward, a wealthy planter who sent his son to Europe to study and travel to gain an education.  Thomas came home a very patriotic American who later served in the Continental Congress and as well as being a member of the military.  After being shot in the leg, he was captured by the British and taken to St. Augustine, Florida, where he remained in prison for nearly a year.
                    While Thomas was in prison, a military detachment went to his plantation to plunder it.  His family fled for their lives, and his home was looted.  The military took almost 200 slaves from his plantation and took them to Jamaica where they were sold.  Although some slaves were returned, he never regain about 180 of them.  The loss of the slaves alone cause the Hayward family approximately $50,000.  Elizabeth became ill from the shock of this experience and never recovered her health.  She died in 1781, about the time that Thomas was released from prison.  She was the mother of five children, but she lost all of them in infancy except one son named Daniel.  (Daniel married Anne Sarah Trezevant; they had a daughter named Elizabeth who married Captain James Hamilton.)
                    Thomas later married Elizabeth Savage and had three more children:  Thomas (married Ann Elisa Cutbert), James Hamilton (married Decima Shubrick), and Elizabeth Savage (married Henry Middleton Parker).  When Thomas passed away in 1809 at age 63, he was survived by his widow and four living children.
                    Facts are from Wives of the Signers:  The women behind the Declaration of Independence, pp. 266-268.   

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