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, December 28, 2011

Mrs. Button Gwinnett

                    There is very little known about Mrs. Button Gwinnett, wife of the signer of the Declaration of Independence.  She was married and had children when she emigrated from Bristol, England, to South Carolina with her husband in 1770.  The Gwinnett family lived for two years in Charleston where they owned a mercantile business.  They sold the business and purchased land on St. Catharine Island in Georgia.  The land included "a stock of horses, cattle, and hogs, some lumber and a plantation boat."  Mr. and Mrs. Gwinnett and their children lived on the island.

                    Mrs. Gwinnett was apparently with her husband when he transferred his loyalty for "natural Tory principles" and joined the patriot cause of liberty.  She apparently supported him in his phenomenal rise in politics as well as supported him when his fall from popularity happened.  She probably tried to comfort him when he made enemies as she was with him after he was fatally shot by Colonel Lachlan McIntosh in a dual.  "All we know of Mrs. Gwinnett at that time is that she nursed him during the twelve days he lay groaning with his shattered hip, and then she and her children drop out of all knowledge, and the chroniclers of the day who mention her simply say that `Mrs. Gwinnett and her children soon followed him.'"  

                    Facts and quotes are from Wives of the Signers - The women behind the Declaration of Independence, pp. 272-275.

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