Tag Archives: American Revolution

The Common Cause of the American Revolution


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ben_franklins_worldHow do you get people living in thirteen different colonies to come together and fight for independence?

What ideas and experiences would even unite them behind the fight?

Patriot leaders asked themselves these very questions, especially as the American Revolution turned from a series of political protests against imperial policies to a bloody war for independence. What’s more, Patriot leaders also asked themselves once we find these ideas and experiences, how do we use them to unite the American people?

In this episode of the Ben Franklin’s World podcast, Robert Parkinson, an Assistant Professor of History at Binghamton University and author of the award-winning book, The Common Cause: Creating Race and Nation in the American Revolution (UNCPress, 2016), has some ideas for how patriot leaders answered these questions. You can listen to the podcast here: www.benfranklinsworld.com/144

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Revolutionary Camp Night in New Windsor August 5th


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Continental Army Soldiers from the 7th Massachusetts Regiment Drill on the Grand Parade at the New Windsor CantonmentThe New Windsor Cantonment State Historic Site and National Temple Hill Association will present a night of Revolutionary War military drills, musket firings and other period activities on Saturday August 5, from 7 to 9:30 pm.

The authentically-constructed log huts were commissioned by the Town of New Windsor, New York during the Bicentennial of the American Revolution to highlight their historic property, encompassing a large portion of the 1782-83 final winter encampment of the northern Continental Army. This property is currently managed by the National Temple Hill Association on behalf of the Town of New Windsor. Primarily responsible for the preservation of a large portion of this encampment site, the National Temple Hill Association also operates the mid-18th century stone house owned by James Edmonston that was used for a short time as a headquarters by Major General Horatio Gates. Continue reading

Brooklyn Ghost Ship: Revolutionary War British Prison Ship HMS Jersey


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Brooklyn Prison ShipA new book by Robert P. Watson, The Ghost Ship of Brooklyn (Da Capo Press, 2017) tells the story of a prison ship employed by the British during the American Revolution.

Moored off the coast of Brooklyn until the end of the war, the derelict ship, the HMS Jersey, held thousands of Americans either captured by the British or accused of disloyalty.

Crammed below deck – one thousand men at a time – without light or fresh air, the prisoners were scarcely fed food and water. Disease ran rampant and human waste fouled the air as prisoners were held at the mercy of British and Hessian guards. Continue reading

How the War of 1812 Truly Ended the American Revolution


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unshackling americaWillard Sterne Randall’s new book, Unshackling America: How the War of 1812 Truly Ended the American Revolution (St. Martin’s Press, 2017) challenges the notion that Americans fought two separate wars of independence.

Willard Sterne Randall documents a fifty-year-long struggle for economic independence from Britain overlapping two armed conflicts linked by an unacknowledged global struggle. Randall  argues that the struggle was all about free trade. Continue reading

Revolutionary War At New Windsor Historic Huts


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Continental Army Soldiers from the 7th Massachusetts Regiment Drill on the Grand Parade at the New Windsor CantonmentThe New Windsor Cantonment State Historic Site and National Temple Hill Association will present a night of Revolutionary War military drills, musket firings and other period activities on Saturday June 24 from 7 to 9:30 pm.

The authentically-constructed log huts were commissioned by the Town of New Windsor during the Bicentennial of the American Revolution to highlight their historic property, encompassing a large portion of the 1782-83 final winter encampment of the northern Continental Army. This property is currently managed by the National Temple Hill Association on behalf of the Town of New Windsor. Primarily responsible for the preservation of a large portion of this encampment site, the National Temple Hill Association also operates the mid-18th century stone house owned by James Edmonston that was used for a short time as a headquarters by Major General Horatio Gates. Continue reading

170 Acres Preserved At Saratoga Battlefield


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Saratoga National Historical Park finalized the acquisition of 170 acres of historically significant land in April, after 10 years of collaboration with the Open Space Institute (OSI). After a minor administrative boundary adjustment to the park in 2016, Saratoga successfully secured funding from the Land and Water Conservation Fund to provide for the transfer of the property from OSI. Continue reading

Joseph Brant’s 1780 Attack On Canajoharie


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joseph brantThe American Revolution Round Table (ARRT) of the Hudson and Mohawk Valleys will host Wayne Lenig, who will give a presentation entitled Joseph Brant’s 1780 Attack on Canajohary.

Original accounts of the August 2nd raid began appearing in major newspapers about two weeks after the attack. A newspaper account dated September 9, 1780 stated the following: “At the fort now called fort Ransalaer (Fort Plain), Sir John Johnson and Captain Brant have burnt 51 houses, 42 barns, 17 killed, and 52 prisoners.”

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Crown Point’s Overlooked Role in Freeing Boston, 1776


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A few weeks ago in this space appeared the story of Gershom Beach’s remarkable 24-hour recruiting hike in Vermont, rounding up Green Mountain Boys to join their leader, Ethan Allen, in capturing Fort Ticonderoga on the New York side of Lake Champlain. In the end, their combined efforts played a critical role in George Washington’s American troops driving the British from Boston, for the armaments he used came from Fort Ticonderoga and Crown Point. Men serving under Colonel Henry Knox completed the delivery, carrying them south to Albany and east to Boston.

Typically shortchanged in that famous story is the fort at Crown Point, which was captured two days after Ticonderoga fell. Seth Warner, a name very familiar to historians in connection with other military campaigns, commanded the troops that executed the takeover, which met with little resistance. Continue reading