“Fifty-six men signed the document on August 2, 1776, or, in the case of some, shortly thereafter. They pledged their lives!–and at least nine of them died as a result of the war. If the Revolution had failed, if their fight had come to naught, they would have been hanged as traitors. They pledged their fortunes!–and at least fifteen fulfilled that pledge to support the war effort. They pledged their sacred honor!–best expressed by the noble statement of John Adams. He said: ‘All that I have, and all that I am, and all that I hope, in this life, I am now ready here to stake upon it; and I leave off as I begun, that live or die, survive or perish, I am for the Declaration. It is my living sentiment, and by the blessing of God it shall be my dying sentiment, Independence, now, and INDEPENDENCE FOR EVER’ .