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Showing 31–40 of 1312 results for Flags and Founding Documents

When Women Lost the Vote: A Revolutionary Story: How Did Women Gain the Vote?: The Promise of 1776 for Women

On July 4, 1776, The American Continental Congress in Philadelphia adopted the Declaration of Independence, announcing that “all men are created equal.” Two days earlier in nearby Burlington, New Jersey, the new state legislature adopted a written constitution that would open the door to a radical new vision of voting in America, one that would include women and people of color among the voters. But what was the world like for the women and other people of New Jersey who might have read that constitution in 1776? What might it have meant to them? Did it really mean equality for men and women and for people of both European and African descent?
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Finding Freedom: Andrew - Application for Increase in Revolutionary War Pension Payment

In 1851, Andrew Ferguson returned to the courthouse in Monroe County, Indiana, to describe his service during the Revolutionary and request an increase in his pension payment from the United States Government. Because of his old age (he was about 86 years old at the time) and the pain from his two wartime injuries, Ferguson could not support himself and his family. It is unclear if the government granted his request. 

National Archives and Records Administration, Washington, DC/

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Finding Freedom: Eve - St. George Tucker’s Letter to Fanny Tucker

Williamsburg, Virginia, resident St. George Tucker wrote this letter to his wife Fanny in 1781 and described that the British Army left "pestilence" and "poverty" behind them following their occupation of the city. He noted that many enslaved people ran away from Williamsburg with the army. One of Tucker’s neighbors was left with "but one little wait on them.” Eve and her son George were among the enslaved people who left Williamsburg to follow the British Army in search of their freedom. St. George Tucker lived on the same street as the Randolph family, the owners of Eve and George.

Tucker-Coleman Papers, Special Collections Research Center, Swem Library, College of William and Mary

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The Davenport Letters: December 13, 1782

By December of 1782, Washington had moved his army from Verplanck’s Point to a permanent winter encampment up the Hudson at New Windsor. Amid his usual complaints about how little food, money, and correspondence he had, James Davenport recorded how the army went into its winter quarters. As they had every previous winter of the war, the soldiers maintained a defensive front while building huts. James was a member of the light infantry, units of soldiers who were supposed to be especially active, intelligent, and prepared for the sort of common small engagements and dispersed fighting called skirmishing. His unit remained in their tents on guard in case of a British attack while other soldiers began building the small log cabins that would house them over the cold New York winter. These huts usually had plank roofs, bunk beds, and fireplaces, and by December 13, James and perhaps a dozen other soldiers had finished theirs enough that they could begin living in it.

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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: Upper Penns Neck Township, Salem County, New Jersey Poll Lists, October 1803

Upper Penns Neck Township
Salem County, New Jersey
October 12 & 13, 1803
Ink on Paper

This poll list is from an October 1803 state election that was held at the houses of Andrew Alston and George Clark, innkeepers at Alston and the Cove in Upper Penns Neck Township, Salem County. The election determined annual officeholders for the New Jersey State Assembly and Legislative Council, and for Salem County Sheriff and Coroner. The town officers presiding over the election included Judge Andrew Vanneman, Assessor Charles Jones, Clerk Isaac Ward, and Collector Joseph Borden. 

The poll list includes the names of 252 total voters. At least 29 of these voters are women, accounting for nearly 12 percent of the voters on the list. 

Like the rest of Salem County, Upper Penns Neck Township voted Democratic Republican in October 1803. Most voters in the township supported Democratic-Republicans Edward Burroughs, Samuel Ray, and Merriman Smith for State Assembly and William Parrett for Legislative Council. We do not know who they supported for county sheriff or coroner.

Note: The names recorded on this poll list were written by an election official, not by the voters themselves. The spelling of each voter’s name on the poll list may be different compared to how that same person’s name is spelled in other historical records and by the Museum of the American Revolution.

Images: Salem County Historical Society

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When Women Lost the Vote: A Revolutionary Story: How Did the Vote Expand?: New Jersey’s Revolutionary Decade

New Jersey became the first and only state to legally enfranchise women in 1790, when state legislatures reformed the New Jersey State Constitution’s election law to include the words “he or she.” It proclaimed what the New Jersey Constitution of 1776 had only implied: that propertied women could vote. This statute was neither accidental nor insignificant, and it changed the voting landscape in the state. Women voting was just one part of a growing national and international movement among some women to increase women’s rights, a movement inspired by Revolutionary-era ideology in both America and Europe. And while New Jersey blazed the trail in the new nation, it expressed a tide rising in other states as well, like Massachusetts, where Abigail Adams endorsed women voting in New Jersey.
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Meet the Figures: Oneida Nation Theater: Han Yerry

Han Yerry was born about 1724 to a Mohawk mother and a German father (he was also known by Han Yerry Doxtader, referring to his part-German ancestry), though he considered himself an Oneida and became chief warrior of the nation’s Wolf Clan. He was “ordinary sized” and “quite a gentleman in his demeanor.” At the outbreak of the war, he mustered Oneida warriors to support the Revolutionary cause. After Oriskany, Han Yerry was part of the Oneida party that travelled to Valley Forge, where he had a personal dinner with George Washington. In 1779, he was one of a number of Oneida and Tuscarora warriors who received officers’ commissions from Congress (he was made a captain). He remained a leader after the war and died around 1794. 

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The Davenport Letters: February 15, 1783

The winter of 1782 dragged on as James Davenport was encamped with the Continental Army at New Windsor, New York. This particular letter hints at the religious education that Davenport must have received as a child in Dorchester. Like many young Americans, he would have learned to read and write with the Bible as a primary learning and teaching tool. Two of his references – to a coming “jubilee” in which the soldiers would become free and to making bricks without straw under strict taskmasters – would have been familiar to most people as both common idioms and ideas rooted in Christian tradition. And both references helped Davenport convey the increasing resentment he felt at his situation, stuck in an army waiting for peace. “We hope to get free from our Slaveng soon,” he wrote.

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When Women Lost the Vote: A Revolutionary Story: Women of the Holton Family

Two women named Christianna Holton (mother and daughter) voted in Upper Penns Neck Township elections between 1800 and 1806. They were both members of the Oldman’s Creek Moravian Church.
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