Tag Archives: American Revolution

Tammany and NYC’s Fourth of July Celebrations


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In 1776 John Adams wrote to his wife Abigail about July 4:

“I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated, by succeeding Generations, as the great anniversary Festival. It ought to be commemorated, as the Day of Deliverance by solemn Acts of Devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with Pomp and Parade, with Shews, Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other from this Time forward forever more.”

242 years after John Adams’ exhortation, people in the city of New York are still struggling with how to celebrate July 4, and its meaning.  In the City of New York July 4 celebrations held after the enactment of the U.S. Constitution were anything but nonpartisan. Continue reading

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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