Tag Archives: American Revolution

Culper Ring: Washington’s Spy Letters


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long island history project logoThe Culper Spy Ring has taken hold of the public imagination in recent years. From the work of historian Alexander Rose to the AMC series Turn, this story of a tight-knit group of Long Island natives spying for George Washington during the Revolution provides a compelling narrative.

On the latest episode of the Long Island History Project, we take a closer look at the primary sources that help document the Culper story. Kristen Nyitray, Director of Special Collections and University Archives at Stony Brook University, and Chris Filstrup, former Dean of SBU Libraries, discuss their pursuit and acquisition of two letters by George Washington to Benjamin Tallmadge about the operations of the spy ring. We also discus how the letters helped form closer ties among community groups involved in interpreting and promoting this fascinating aspect of Long Island history. Continue reading

The Martyr and the Traitor: Nathan Hale and Moses Dunbar


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In this episode of the Ben Franklin’s World podcast, we explore answers to these questions about how and why Americans chose to support the sides they did during the American Revolution, by looking at the lives of two young soldiers from Connecticut: Moses Dunbar and Nathan Hale.

Taking us through the lives, politics, and decisions of these young men is Virginia DeJohn Anderson, a professor of history at the University of Colorado-Boulder and author of The Martyr and the Traitor: Nathan Hale, Moses Dunbar, and the American Revolution (Oxford Univ. Press, 2017). 
 You can listen to the podcast here: www.benfranklinsworld.com/181

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Governance After the American Revolution


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ben_franklins_worldIn this episode of the Ben Franklin’s World podcast, George William Van Cleve, a researcher in law and history at the University of Seattle Law School and author of We Have Not A Government: The Articles of Confederation and the Road to the Constitution (Univ. of Chicago Press, 2017), takes us into the Confederation period so we can discover more about the Articles of Confederation, the government it established, and the problems that government confronted. You can listen to the podcast here: www.benfranklinsworld.com/179

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Spies, Patriots, and Traitors: American Intelligence in the Revolutionary War


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ben_franklins_worldIntelligence gathering plays an important role in the foreign policies of many modern-day nation states, including the United States. Which raises the questions: How and when did the United States establish its foreign intelligence service?

To answer those questions, in this episode of Ben Franklin’s World: A Podcast About Early American History we’ll journey back to the American Revolution.

Our guide is Kenneth Daigler, an intelligence professional with 33 years experience managing human sources and collection and the author of Spies, Patriots, and Traitors: American Intelligence in the Revolutionary War (Georgetown university Press, 2014)will facilitate our mental time travel and exploration of this topic. You can listen to the podcast here: www.benfranklinsworld.com/172

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Age of Revolutions: American Revolution in Context


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ben_franklins_worldThe American Revolution took place within a larger period known today as the “Age of Revolutions.”

What does the Revolution look like when we place it within this larger context? Did it really help foment the many other failed and successful revolutions that took place during the period?

Over the next two episodes of the Ben Franklin’s World podcast, we’ll explore answers to these questions by taking a closer look at how the American Revolution fit within the larger context of the Age of Revolutions.

The first part of our exploration will take us into the Caribbean. Laurent Dubois, a professor of history at Duke University and the author of four books about slavery and revolution in the French Caribbean, will serve as our guide. You can listen to the podcast here: www.benfranklinsworld.com/164

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Dunmore’s New World: British Empire and American Revolution


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ben_franklins_worldWhat did British imperial officials in London and their North America-based representatives make of the American Revolution?

In this episode of Ben Franklin’s World: A Podcast About Early American History, we explore the American Revolution through the eyes of John Murray, 4th Earl of Dunmore, a British imperial official who served the empire in North America before, during, and after the American Revolution.

James Corbett David, author of Dunmore’s New World: The Extraordinary Life of a Royal Governor in Revolutionary America (University of Virginia Press, 2013), serves as our guide for this exploration. You can listen to the podcast here: www.benfranklinsworld.com/162

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Rockland County History Podcast: Revolutionary Rogues


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crossroads of rockland historyThis month on “Crossroads of Rockland History,” Clare Sheridan interviewed Selene Castrovilla.  She discussed her new children’s book, Revolutionary Rogues:  John André and Benedict Arnold, a riveting nonfiction picture book that unfolds like a play, telling a story from American history. Gravely injured and with little chance for more military honors, Major-General Benedict Arnold seeks reward and recognition another way. He contacts Major John André, the new head of British intelligence and another man determined to prove himself. Arnold and André strike a deal and use Arnold’s intelligence to take over West Point, the strategic American fort. The plan ultimately fails, leading to André’s capture and death and Arnold’s loss of reward and glory. Ms. Castrovilla and the book’s illustrator, John O’Brien, brilliantly capture the tensions and high drama of these two revolutionary rogues by highlighting their similarities and differences and demonstrating how they brought about their own tragic ends. The book also includes an afterword, timelines of the lives of both men, an extensive bibliography, and a list of key places to visit.

Listen to the podcast here. Continue reading

Politics of Tea During the American Revolution


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ben_franklins_worldHow did early Americans go from hosting social tea parties to hosting protests like the Boston Tea Party?

Tea played a central role in the economic, cultural, and political lives of early Americans. As such, tea came to serve as a powerful symbol of both early American culture and of the American Revolution.

In this episode of Ben Franklin’s World: A Podcast About Early American History, Jane Merritt, Jennifer Anderson, and David Shields take us on an exploration of the politics of tea during the era of the American Revolution. You can listen to the podcast here: www.benfranklinsworld.com/160

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North American Economy on the Eve of the Revolution


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ben_franklins_worldHow much merit do the economic factors behind the cry “No Taxation Without Representation” have when we consider the origins of the American Revolution?

In this episode of Ben Franklin’s World: A Podcast About Early American History, we begin a 3-episode exploration of different aspects of the early American economy and what roles these economic aspects played in causing the American Revolution. Serena Zabin, a Professor of History at Carleton College and author of Dangerous Economies: Status and Commerce in Imperial New York (Penn Press, 2011), helps us survey the economic scene by guiding us through the British North American economy on the eve of the American Revolution. You can listen to the podcast here: www.benfranklinsworld.com/159

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