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Blog Posts by Subject: American Revolutionary War

Mary Katherine Goddard's Declaration of Independence

Most Americans in the revolutionary period found out who signed the Declaration of Independence in print, not parchment. Publicizing the signers’ names was a bold step considering that they were endorsing treason.Read More ›

Celebrating the Stamp Act's Repeal, May 19, 1766

One Philadelphian's account of the celebrations accompanying the repeal of the Stamp Act in 1766, and what it tells us about the coming of the American Revolution.Read More ›

British Soldiers' Theatre During the Revolutionary War

When Shakespeare wrote “All the World’s a Stage,” he probably wasn’t thinking that his words would someday be performed in an occupied city by an invading army. Nevertheless, during the American Revolution theater seemed to spring up in the oddest of places, often in productions acted by soldiers. Read More ›

Silas Deane: Reading and Parenting in Revolutionary America

Political elites are well represented in archival collections. One of the great virtues for historians is that a lot of their family correspondence survives, though it is not always included in edited volumes that focus on political events. Through these papers we can glimpse family life at an emotional level.Read More ›

Top 9 Documents from the Boston Committee of Correspondence Records

The BCC records is an important resource for understanding the American Revolution. But it is also a massive and unwieldy one. To make things easier, I've put together a list of nine important and representative documents from the BCC records, which, taken together, offer a rough outline of the BCC's activities and functions during the 1770s and 1780s, as well as a sense of the Committee's place in the larger story of the American Revolution.Read More ›

Reintroducing the Boston Committee of Correspondence Records

Looking back on the Revolution in 1815, John Adams remarked that “The History of the United States never can be written” without the records of the Boston Committee of Correspondence. Read More ›

Unexpected Sources: Slave Cloth in the Richard Henry Lee Letters

One of the most surprising letters I have recently come across is held in a small group of Richard Henry Lee correspondence: a passing reference that serves as an indication of slavery’s enormous economic influence.Read More ›

George Chalmers and the History Wars of the American Revolutionary Era

George Chalmers was a sore loser. Born in Scotland in 1742, Chalmers came to Maryland in 1763 and practiced as an attorney until 1775. Hostilities between Britain and its colonies drove the ardent loyalist to leave North America for London. In England, Chalmers began amassing documents and writing histories about colonial North America and British imperial policy in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.Read More ›

Booktalking "Finishing Becca" by Ann Rinaldi

The Declaration of Independence was penned in 1776. This is Philadelphia in 1778, in the midst of the Rebels and the Loyalists. 14-year-old Becca Syng is sent to work and live as a maid with the spoiled Peggy Shippen, future wife of Benedict Arnold.Read More ›

Evacuation Day: New York's Former November Holiday

A once-annual holiday local to New York City, Evacuation Day was formerly equal in importance to the Fourth of July. Referring to the evacuation of British troops from New York City following the Revolutionary War, the celebration of the troops’ departure was observed yearly throughout the early 20th century. Read More ›

TeachNYPL Summer 2014: Lists for Lesson Planning - Primary Sources and the Common Core

From July 28-Aug 1 we welcomed our second group of teachers from NYC or our second annual Education Innovation @ NYPL Summer Institute.Read More ›

Booktalking "Founding Mothers" by Cokie Roberts

Unfortunately, there is not much written about the formative female figures in our nation's history. In many cases, women assisted famous male figures, but some also did amazing things sheerly of their own volition.Read More ›

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