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The following definitions may be useful as you explore the Liberty: Don Troiani's Paintings of the Revolutionary War Teacher Resources, Big Ideas, and Primary Sources. Print or download the PDF for even easier access as you explore.

Arms
Weapons and materials used in warfare such as guns, swords, and bullets.

Abolition
The act or actions of a person or group to legally end a system of oppression, such as slavery.

Artifacts
Man-made or modified objects found at archaeological sites. These are studied by historians, archaeologists, and anthropologists to gain an understanding of how people of the past lived.

Artillery
Cannon or other large weapons that are too heavy for a person to carry. This term also refers to the branch of the army that uses these types of weapons.

Besiege
A military tactic that involves surrounding or attacking an enemy from all sides.

Bias
The belief or prejudice that some people, ideas, behaviors, things, etc. are better or worse, or more or less valuable, than others. These views are often based on stereotypes rather than facts or reasoned judgement.

Bicentennial
The 200th anniversary of a significant event.

Boycott
A form of protest in which people refuse to buy or engage the services of an organization or person.

Broadsword
A large, heavy sword with a wide blade and decorated handle. These swords were carried in the Revolutionary War by some officers as a sign of rank and by some specialized soldiers.

Cartridge Box Plate
A decorative metal symbol or plaque found on the leather flaps of cartridge boxes. They often feature symbols of European monarchs and rulers. Cartridge boxes were worn by soldiers during the Revolutionary War to carry cartridges (paper tubes filled with gunpowder and lead musket balls) and were important tools for keeping gunpowder dry.

Casualties
The number of people in military service that are unable to serve further due to death, injury, capture, or desertion.

Desert
To abandon a military post or position without permission and without the intention of returning.

Dialects
Particular forms of a language that are specific to certain regions or people.

Dragoons
Infantrymen who rode on horseback and dismounted to fight on foot. The Continental, British, and Hessian armies all had dragoons. These soldiers used swords, pistols, and short muskets to fight at close range.

Encampment
A temporary military site which typically consists of huts or tents alongside kitchens, latrines, and stables where troops can rest and prepare for battle. Also: the act of residing at one of these sites. During the Revolutionary War, the longest encampments were during the wintertime when fighting did not typically occur.

Grapeshot
A cluster of small cast-iron balls contained in a canvas bag that would scatter when fired from a cannon.

Hessian Jäger
Soldiers from small European nations called “principalities” in what is now known as Germany. These soldiers supplemented the British Army during the Revolutionary War. Hessian troops included special “light infantry” soldiers called Jägers that fought on foot and marched in front of the main army.

Historical Thinking Skills
Skills used to interpret, analyze, and understand the past. These skills include researching using a variety of primary and secondary sources; asking questions about their context, perspective, and purpose; connecting the causes and effects of historic events; and considering how these events shape our lives today.

Insignia
A badge or symbol worn by officers of an army to display their rank or title.

IOU
An abbreviated form of the phrase “I owe you,” often used to refer to a signed document acknowledging a debt.

Legislature
An organized group of people who make laws to govern a community, state, or country.

Light Infantry
A group of lightly equipped, elite foot soldiers who move quickly while marching or in battle. Groups of light infantrymen often lead attacks and engaged in scouting missions.

Lineage
Family connections that link individuals in one generation to individuals in the previous and following generation. Line of descent tracing one generation to the next.

Loyalist Units
Military companies made up of Loyalists (American colonists loyal to King George III) who joined the British Army during the Revolutionary War.

Minutemen
Soldiers specially selected from local militias (groups of soldiers organized by a colony or state for local defense) who were required to be ready for military service on short notice.

Missionary
A member of a religious group sent into an area to promote their religion and offer charitable services such as education and medical care.

Multiethnic
A term used to describe a group made up of people from several ethnic groups.

Obelisk
A monument most often made of stone in the shape of a tall column.

On Parade
When a formation of soldiers marches together for ceremonial purposes to show the strength and unity of an army.

Pension
A specific amount of money a person receives from a government as payment for their past public service (including in the military) or to help pay for their living expenses when they reach a certain age.

Plunder
Stolen food, equipment, and people taken by force during a military raid or battle.

Privateer
A private sailing ship that has been authorized by a government to attack and capture supplies from an enemy vessel in a time of war. The term can also be used to describe a sailor who serves aboard a privateer ship.

Promissory Note
A written promise by one person or group to pay another other person or group a defined sum of money at a later date.

Propaganda
Information and ideas that are created and shared — via news, imagery, music, literature, and other cultural products — to promote a cause or shape people’s opinions. Propaganda often contains highly exaggerated or even falsified information or ideas in order to achieve its goal.

Quota
A certain amount of something that a person or group is required to receive or contribute.

Regiments
A group of soldiers in a military unit that fight together on foot or on horseback. The size of a regiment varies from army to army, but it was usually hundreds of soldiers.

Repositories
Buildings, containers, or rooms where items are placed or stored.

Stockbridge Indians
The Stockbridge-Munsee Band of Mohican Indians are a Native American tribe descended from the Stockbridge Mohican and Delaware Munsee people. Originally inhabiting the northeastern coast of the United States, they were forced to relocate west due to Euro-American expansion and have been living in Wisconsin since 1856. They are federally recognized as an independent nation — meaning they receive certain federal benefits, services, and protections — and have their own government and laws.

Sovereignty
The authority of a state to govern itself without outside intervention.

Widower
A man whose wife has passed away and is not remarried.

Learn More

A Museum staff member views a painting in the Liberty exhibit
 

Liberty: Don Troiani’s Paintings of the Revolutionary War

Open daily, 11 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., through September 5, 2022
The Museum's special exhibition, Liberty: Don Troiani’s Paintings of the Revolutionary War, immerses visitors in the dramatic and research-based works of nationally renowned historical artist Don Troiani to bring the compelling stories about the diverse people and complex events of the American Revolution to life.
Explore Exhibit
This graphic depicts a teacher in front of a chalkboard and by clicking the image, it will take you to Teacher Resources.
 

Liberty Exhibit Teacher Resources

Explore modular activities and ready-made worksheets to help your students dig deeper into the complexities of the Revolutionary era through the work of nationally renowned historical artist Don Troiani.
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This graphic depicts a lightbulb and, by clicking, will provide you with short essays that put the stories of Andrew, Deborah, Eve, Jack, and London into historical context.
 

Liberty Exhibit Big Ideas

Explore these short framing essays to discover how the works of historical artist Don Troiani bring the compelling stories about the diverse people and complex events of the American Revolution to life.
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