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Finding Freedom: Deborah - “Muster Book of Free Black Settlement of Birchtown,” Page 40

When Deborah arrived in Nova Scotia in 1783, she was one of many newly freed people of African descent who helped settle Birchtown, a town named for British Brigadier General Samuel Birch. This page from a 1784 census, or list of residents, documents the men and women who lived in Birchtown the year after the town’s founding. Deborah’s name, recorded as Deborah Lynch, can be found near the bottom of the page on the left side. Harry, her husband listed in the 1783 “Inspection Roll of Negroes,” is not included in this census. He may have died due to the harsh conditions and bad weather that the settlers faced. Deborah likely took the last name Lynch because Harry had been owned by a Loyalist named Lynch, whom Deborah also lived with for a short time. In this document, Deborah is listed as a member of the household of a man named Neil Robinson. No other details about their relationship status are currently known.

“Muster Book of Free Black Settlement of Birchtown,” 1784, Library and Archives Canada, MG 9 B9-14, item 1292

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Cost of Revolution: Part 1 St. George’s Ireland

Richard Mansergh St. George grew up in the 1750s as a member of one of Ireland’s wealthy, Protestant, land-owning families. At the time, Ireland was part of the British Empire and under the rule of the British Crown. The Irish Parliament and the Lord Lieutenant (who represented the British monarch) governed the country, but the British Parliament could also make laws for Ireland. Members of the Protestant Church of Ireland dominated the country’s social, economic, and political power. St. George’s family belonged to this minority of the Irish population, which became known as the “Protestant Ascendancy.” His family owned thousands of acres of Irish land and accumulated money from rents paid by tenant farmers. Richard Mansergh St. George’s grandfather, General Richard St. George, was a senior officer in the British Army stationed in Ireland and increased the St. George family’s prominence. As a boy in County Galway, Richard Mansergh St. George lived in medieval stone towers, rode horses through emerald green pastures, developed artistic talents, and learned to be a gentleman. As a young adult, he inherited his family’s land and the power it represented.
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When Women Lost the Vote: A Revolutionary Story: Martha Githens

At the age of 23, Martha Githens voted in 1807. She voted along with her father, older brother, and older sister. Martha Githens was the daughter of George Githens, the prosperous owner of a mineral spring resort hotel.
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When Women Lost the Vote: A Revolutionary Story: How Did Women Lose the Vote?: The Backlash

In November 1807, the New Jersey State Legislature stripped the vote from women, people of color, and recent immigrants. They redefined the property qualification to include all white male taxpayers. The preamble of the new act on election regulations justified the change by citing “doubts” that “have been raised, and great diversities in practices obtained throughout the state in regard to the admission of aliens, persons of color, or negroes, to vote in elections” as well as “the mode of ascertaining” voter qualifications. What did this mean? What had happened?
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When Women Lost the Vote: A Revolutionary Story: Tableau Interactive

Here, three women gather at the Rocky Hill Inn in Montgomery Township, Somerset County, New Jersey, for a state election held on October 13-14, 1801. Two white women hold ballots to vote, as was the right of property-owning women in New Jersey. A woman of African descent, possibly as a voter, or possibly as the enslaved property of one of the other women, clenches her hand in her pocket.

Scenes like this one were not uncommon at polling places in New Jersey from the 1790s until 1807. Though little known today, New Jersey Laws of 1790 and 1797 held that: “All free inhabitants of this State of full age, and who are worth fifty pounds proclamation money…shall be entitled to vote for all public officers.” This included women and free people of color.

The tableau figures were made by StudioEIS with contributions from Carrie Fellows, Kirsten Hammerstrom, Scott Lance, Paul McClintock, Gabriela Salvador, Jana Violante, Janeen Violante, and Kalela Williams.

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Picturing Washington's Army: West Point | Fort Clinton and Constitution Island

Take a closer look at the fortifications on both sides of the Hudson River. Notice the S-curve in the Hudson River that made West Point such a strategic location.

Image courtesy of Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, Washington, D.C. 

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Season of Independence: Charlestown, South Carolina Grand Jury Presentments, April 23, 1776

This documentation of Grand Jury Presentments in Charlestown, South Carolina makes numerous legal arguments for why South Carolina and other American colonies would be justified in dissolving their connection to Great Britain. Also included are various grievances against King George III and Parliament, similar to those that were later included in the Declaration of Independence when it was adopted by Congress.

Courtesy of South Carolina Department of Archives and History

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When Women Lost the Vote: A Revolutionary Story: Nancy Oppie

Nancy Oppie, the daughter of William and Mary Oppie of Rocky Hill, New Jersey, voted as a single woman in 1801.
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Picturing Washington's Army: West Point | Hudson Highlands

Take a closer look at the outlying defenses on the rocky hills and cliffs south of West Point. Notice the Hudson River in the foreground and the Continental Army’s hilltop fortifications. 

Image courtesy of Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, Washington, D.C. 

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Finding Freedom: London - “A Sketch of New London & Groton”

This battle map of the British Army’s attack on New London and Groton in Connecticut shows the positions of the American Legion on the left side of the map. London served with the American Legion as it assaulted New London. British Brigadier General Benedict Arnold led the attack on the town and the surrounding fortifications. After intense fighting, the British Army defeated the Revolutionary forces defending the towns.

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

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