Picturing Washington's Army: West Point
In August 1782, Pierre Charles L’Enfant painted West Point, the administrative and strategic center of the Continental Army. Since the spring of 1778, West Point had become the army’s largest post. During that summer, New England troops dug entrenchments on the surrounding hills and built fortifications on Constitution Island, across the river. These buildings and fortifications are visible in L’Enfant’s scene.
Image courtesy of Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, Washington, D.C.
When Women Lost the Vote: A Revolutionary Story: Grace Gaw Nicholson Little
Washington's Field Headquarters: George Washington’s Sleeping Marquee
Click on the numbers here to learn more about the components of the tent and to see images of the original objects and paintings that helped us build this replica.
When Women Lost the Vote: A Revolutionary Story: Catherine Helms
Finding Freedom: Eve - Peyton Randolph’s Will
Peyton Randolph, a politician and plantation owner from Williamsburg, Virginia, wrote his will on August 10, 1774, one year before he died. Randolph, a slave owner, requested that the people he enslaved were to be inherited by his wife Elizabeth and other family members, or, if necessary, be sold to pay off his debts. Elizabeth Randolph was to receive four enslaved women and their children, including Eve and George, upon her husband’s death.
This historical record is dedicated to the Museum of the American Revolution by the York County-Poquoson Circuit Court, Authorized by the Honorable Kristen N. Nelson, Clerk
When Women Lost the Vote: A Revolutionary Story: 1800 Bedminster Township Poll List
Bedminster Township, Somerset County, New Jersey
October 14 & 15, 1800
Ink on Paper
This poll list is from an October 1800 state election that was held at John Van Duyn’s tavern, located in a part of Bedminster Township, Somerset County, called Larger Cross-Roads. The election determined annual officeholders for the New Jersey State Assembly and Legislative Council, and for the Somerset County sheriff and coroner. The town officers presiding over the election included Judge Joseph Annin, David Sevill, Alfoard Hernot, and Peter Stuphen.
The poll list includes the names of 118 total voters. It lists the names of three women voters: Sarah Eoff, Margaret McDonald, and Eleanor Boylan. These women account for almost three percent of the voters on the list. This is the only known poll list to survive from before 1807 that shows who voters cast their ballots for. It also includes a referendum on changing New Jersey’s constitution, which had the potential to endanger women’s votes. Two of the women, Eoff and McDonald, voted against the referendum.
Like the rest of Somerset County, Bedminster Township voted Federalist in 1800. Most voters in the township supported Federalists Peter D. Vroom for Legislative Council; James Van Duyn, William MacEowen, and Frederick Frelinghuysen for State Assembly; Joseph Doty for county sheriff; and William Forman for county 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: New Jersey Historical Society
Finding Freedom: London - Robert Pleasants’s Letter to Benedict Arnold
On January 30, 1781, London’s former owner, Robert Pleasants, wrote this letter to British Brigadier General Benedict Arnold, the American turncoat. Pleasants described how he valued London and wanted him to be returned. Soldiers from Arnold’s army had encamped near Pleasants’s plantation, called “Curles Neck,” earlier that month and may have persuaded London and his uncle, Carter Jack, to join them. London never returned to the Pleasants’s plantation.
Robert Pleasants Letterbook, Special Collections Research Center, Swem Library, College of William and Mary
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
Finding Freedom: Andrew - Revolutionary War Pension Application
On August 15, 1838, Andrew Ferguson told the story of his military service during the Revolutionary War at the courthouse in Monroe County, Indiana. This document records his story and the testimony of people who could verify Ferguson’s claims. Ferguson told his story in order to apply for a veteran’s pension (financial assistance) from the United States Government. Six years earlier, in 1832, Congress passed a law that allowed men who had served at least two years in the Continental army, militia, or navy during the war to apply for lifetime pensions. Following the application requirements, Andrew Ferguson appeared before his local court and described his military service under oath. Ferguson described himself as a “colored man” from Virginia who had served at battles such as King’s Mountain, Guilford Courthouse, and Eutaw Springs. His application was successful, and he began to receive payments the following year.
National Archives and Records Administration, Washington, DC/Fold3.com
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