Two Frogs

Greatness to Spare: The Heroic Sacrifices of the Men Who Signed the Declaration of Independence


by T. R. Fehrenbach
Date Reviewed: January 03, 2004

I snagged an earlier copy of this from a Friends of the Library book sale for a buck. It’s a collection of short biographies of all of the signers of the Declaration of Independence, how they came to be at the signing, and – in many cases – what happened to them after the signing. It’s not a bad book, but there’s so much bone here there isn’t much room for meat. When you’re trying to cover fifty-six men, it’s impossible to get too in-depth about any one of them. It did spark an interest in me about several of the previously unknown (to me) signers, including Thomas Nelson, Jr. Nelson’s financial sacrifice to the cause of American independence was total: he went from aristocrat to pauper, because he secured loans to the state of Virginia with his own fortune, and eventually had to forfeit everything he owned to repay those debts. At any rate, if you want a quick introduction to this part of American history, and to know more about some of the more obscure founding fathers, this isn’t a bad place to start.

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