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New Online Exhibit “Cost of Revolution: The Life and Death of an Irish Soldier” Now Available

The Museum of the American Revolution’s award-winning 2019-2020 special exhibition Cost of Revolution: The Life and Death of an Irish Soldier is now available to virtual visitors through a robust online experience. The online exhibit is free and accessible to anyone with an internet connection.
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The Davenport Letters: June 26, 1782

The letters James Davenport wrote from West Point in May and June of 1782 were just over a month apart, suggesting that he probably wrote more letters home than survive in this set. Little had changed in his circumstances, however, and the soldiers still had “Plenty of duty & Little Provision & less money.” Davenport’s humor comes through in this letter, and it includes facetious remarks about the quality of his paper, young women at home, and the oppressive summer weather.

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Finding Freedom: Andrew - Revolutionary War Bounty Land Certificate

As a reward for military service during the Revolutionary War, veterans, like Andrew Ferguson, could apply to receive land in what is now the Midwest region of the United States. The land had been previously settled by Native Americans and taken over by the United States Government. According to an act passed by Congress in March 1855, veterans, their widows, or the children of deceased veterans could apply to receive 160 acres of land. The United States Department of the Interior sent this document to Andrew Ferguson in 1856 to officially grant him the land he earned for his service. Ferguson, however, died the same year. 

National Archives and Records Administration, Washington, DC/Fold3.com

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Meet the Figures: Oneida Nation Theater: Two Kettles Together

Tyonajanegen, also known as Two Kettles Together, was an Oneida woman who married Han Yerry in the 1750s and settled at the village of Oriska. By 1777, they managed a large farm, lived in a frame house, and owned a significant number of livestock, as some of the wealthiest local Oneida. On Aug. 2, 1777, she carried word into the countryside that the British and their Native allies were surrounding Revolutionary-held Fort Schuyler. On Aug. 6, at the Battle of Oriskany, Tyonajanegen fought alongside her husband, first with two pistols and then loading for him after he was wounded, an incident which appeared in period newspapers. Other British-allied Haudenosaunee/Iroquois destroyed their farm in retribution. Tyonajanegen lived into the 1820s.

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Meet the Figures: Oneida Nation Theater: Grasshopper

Cornelius Ojistalak, also known as Grasshopper, was Odatshehdeh, the first sachem (or leader) of the Oneida. As early as 1776, he was gathering intelligence regarding Haudenosaunee/Iroquois allegiances for Revolutionary leaders in New York. In March 1778, Cornelius Ojistalak addressed a council of Six Nations representatives at Johnstown, tacitly endorsing Oneida warriors who had sided with the Revolutionaries while also indicting Six Nations warriors who had forced the nations into conflict. In 1781, the French presented him with an embroidered uniform that he wore on future formal occasions, and he was likely part of the Oneida group that accompanied the armies to Yorktown. After the war, he helped petition the U.S. government on behalf of the Oneida and for personal compensation. He died in 1788.

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The Davenport Letters: January 15, 1778

The Continental Army had been at Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, for less than a month when Sergeant Isaac How Davenport wrote home to his brother, Samuel, in Dorchester, Massachusetts. Isaac had joined the Continental Army shortly after Lexington and Concord and served as a member of General George Washington’s Commander in Chief’s Guard. A company of mounted Guardsmen were commanded by Captain George Lewis, Washington’s nephew. In early 1777, they were consolidated into the 3rd Regiment of Continental Dragoons commanded by Colonel George Baylor. Davenport served as a sergeant through the campaigns of 1777 with this regiment. In this letter, he reflects on conditions at Valley Forge in early 1778. James and Isaac had three other brothers, Josiah, Joseph, and Samuel.

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When Women Lost the Vote: A Revolutionary Story: Election Locations

The recently discovered poll lists document elections that took place in four different townships in three New Jersey counties between 1800 and 1807. Each location is plotted on this 1795 map of the state. Prominent local taverns served as the polling places for the elections in Montgomery Township, Upper Penns Neck Township, and Bedminster Township. The election in Chester Township was held in a schoolhouse in Moorestown, Burlington County. 

Image courtesy of Library of Congress Geography and Map Division Washington, D.C.

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Museum of the American Revolution

2019 International Conference on the American Revolution

The 2019 International Conference on the American Revolution coincided with the Museum's special exhibit, Cost of Revolution: The Life and Death of an Irish Soldier.
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Finding Freedom: Jack - “A Map of the Most Inhabited Part of Virginia”

Jack arrived in Virginia from his previous enslavement in North Carolina, his owner brought him to Botetourt County. As shown on this 1755 map, Botetourt County (marked with a star) was located along the western frontier—a mountainous region isolated from the more populated east. Jack was likely his owner’s only enslaved person. His duties probably included a little of everything: farming, clearing land, preparing firewood, mending tools, taking care of animals, repairing the house, and other tasks. In contrast, the majority of enslaved people in eastern Virginia lived on farms or plantations with at least ten other enslaved people. This meant they typically had a more specialized work assignment, as well as a built-in community.

Geography and Map Division, Library of Congress, Washington, DC 

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Cost of Revolution: Under Attack at Germantown

This figure tableau shows Richard Mansergh St. George shouting orders and rallying his light infantrymen during the opening moments of the Battle of Germantown. St. George is accompanied by one of “two runaway negroes” who worked for him as servants during the Philadelphia Campaign. This man of African descent likely escaped from slavery and decided to seek his freedom with the British Army. The stakes were high: if the American Army captured him at Germantown, he faced death or re-enslavement. Soon after the American attack began, St. George collapsed from “a shocking wound in the head.” It is unknown what happened to St. George’s servants after the battle.

Tableau figures made by StudioEIS. Reproduction fence made by Newlin Grist Mill's Millwright Shop, Glen Mills, PA.

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