As war crept up on Philadelphia in 1776, the city's leaders and residents prepared for a potential invasion by British forces. In this excerpt from Philadelphia: A 300-Year History, we see how the year's events led an uneasy population to shore up their defenses — and eventually flee.
In 1864, the Reverend E.B. Hillard published photographs and interviews of six of the last living American Revolution veterans. In The Revolution's Last Men: The Soldiers Behind the Photographs, Don N. Hagist updates Reverend Hillard's biographies with comprehensive, primary-source research to provide a richer, more accurate look at these remarkable men's lives.
Benedict Arnold's treasonous behavior during the American Revolution has earned him widespread notoriety to this day. Rarely mentioned, however, is the role his wife, Peggy Shippen, played in his betrayal. In Treacherous Beauty, authors Mark Jacob and Stephen H. Case share the fascinating story of how the machinations of a Philadelphia society girl impacted the American War of Independence.
In The American Plate: A Culinary History in 100 Bites, author Libby H. O'Connell shows how the evolution of the country can be understood through changing trends in food and drink. In this excerpt she explains the role patriotism played in leading us towards our now ubiquitous coffee culture.
In the decades of resistance leading up to the War of Independence, Americans throughout the colonies began boycotting the importation of British goods in protest of increased taxation on everyday items. Women played a critical role in this effort, as described in Laurel Thatcher Ulrich’s The Age of Homespun.
Lawrence E. Babits' A Devil of a Whipping transports us to South Carolina on January 17, 1781. After suffering a series of southern losses, the Americans finally achieved victory at the Battle of Cowpens. In this excerpt we see the start of this memorable battle, in the words of the men who fought it.
This month marks the 239th anniversary of the publication of Thomas Paine's influential pamphlet Common Sense. Written by Paine less than two years after he emigrated to Philadelphia from England, Common Sense outlined the need for American independence. Today's excerpt comes from the section "Thoughts on the Present State of American Affairs."
The Continental Army endured incredible hardships at their winter encampment in Valley Forge from 1777-1778, while 20 miles away the British reveled in their occupation of Philadelphia. This excerpt from Ron Chernow's Washington: A Life shows General George Washington uneasily deciding on Valley Forge as the place to house his troops until the spring.