Picturing Washington's Army: West Point | Headquarters
Take a closer look at the buildings and parade ground at West Point. Cadets at the United States Military Academy continue to train on the same ground where the Continental Army encamped during the Revolutionary War.
Image courtesy of Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, Washington, D.C.
Finding Freedom: London - Troop Return of the American Legion
London arrived in New Brunswick, Canada, in 1783 with fellow members of the American Legion, a Loyalist military unit. This list of troops in the American Legion from 1785 records that London, then called London York, died at some point between 1783 and 1785. Like many other formerly enslaved men and women who resettled in Canada, London may have died due to sickness caused by the harsh living conditions and cold weather. Unfortunately, London died prior to receiving a plot of land in New Brunswick on which he could live as a free man.
Provincial Archives of New Brunswick, RS108 Land Petitions: Original Series
Finding Freedom: Eve - Lord Dunmore’s Proclamation
On November 14, 1775, Virginia’s Royal Governor Lord Dunmore published this proclamation in Williamsburg that freed “all indented Servants, Negroes, or others, (appertaining to Rebels,) … that are able and willing to bear Arms” for the King. Eve and her son George were among the 800 or so enslaved people who fled to Lord Dunmore as the news spread.
Dunmore’s Proclamation, A 1775 .V55, Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library, University of Virginia
Picturing Washington's Army: Verplanck’s Point | 2nd Connecticut Brigade
Take a closer look at the line of tents of the 2nd and 4th Connecticut Regiments. Structures made of brush are visible in front of the line of tents. The structures provided shade for the soldiers and decoration for the camp.
Image: Museum of the American Revolution, Gift of the Landenberger Family Foundation
Season of Independence: Rhode Island Act Repealing Allegiance to Great Britain, May 4, 1776
Via this act, Rhode Island’s General Assembly formally rejected King George III and broke their legal ties to him months before independence was officially declared by the Second Continental Congress. This document repealed an earlier act passed by Rhode Island’s assembly entitled “An Act for the more effectual securing to His Majesty the Allegiance of his Subjects in this His Colony and Dominion of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations” which had once bound them to Great Britain. In addition to renouncing the King, this document also includes several new oaths created for government officials that removed language that bound them to royal authority.
Courtesy of the Rhode Island State Archives
Finding Freedom: Deborah - Marquis de Lafayette’s Letter to George Washington
General George Washington received this confidential letter from the Marquis de Lafayette a few weeks after a British ship sailed up the Potomac River and took supplies from Mount Vernon, Washington’s home in Virginia. Lafayette informed General Washington that several enslaved people had escaped from Mount Vernon to join the British in search of their freedom. He also noted that Lund Washington, the general’s cousin and farm manager, had boarded the enemy’s vessel and offered to provide the British with supplies to prevent Mount Vernon from being burned down. Lafayette warned General Washington that this might make his neighbors upset because they had attempted to resist the British and their homes were burned as a result. On April 30, 1781, General Washington wrote a letter to Lund Washington to criticize his cousin’s decision to give supplies to the British. General Washington felt his honor had been tarnished by giving in to the enemy.
George Washington Papers, Manuscript Division, Library of Congress, Washington, DC
Finding Freedom: Andrew - “Soldiers in Uniform”
This French officer’s depiction of American soldiers at the Siege of Yorktown shows a soldier of African descent from the Rhode Island Regiment of the Continental Army. During the Revolutionary War, Black and White soldiers fought alongside one another on both sides of the conflict. Historians estimate that between 4,000 and 8,000 men of African descent served in the Continental Army. In 1778, Rhode Island offered freedom to enslaved men in exchange for service. It created a regiment with privates of African and Native American ancestry, officered by White men. In 1781, the Rhode Island line was collapsed from two regiments into one integrated unit with segregated companies.
Anne S.K. Brown Military Collection, Brown University Library
When Women Lost the Vote: A Revolutionary Story: Upper Penns Neck Township, Salem County, New Jersey Poll Lists, 1801
Upper Penns Neck Township
Salem County, New Jersey
October 13 & 14, 1801
Ink on Paper
This poll list is from an October 1801 state election that was held at the home of Philip Souder, an innkeeper in Upper Penns Neck Township, Salem County. The election determined annual officeholders for the New Jersey State Assembly and Legislative Council, and for the Salem County Sheriff and Coroner. The town officers presiding over the election included Judge Joseph Borden, Assessor Jacob Wright, Clerk Isaac Ward, and Collector Philip Curriden.
The poll list includes the names of 115 total voters. At least eight of these voters are women, accounting for about seven percent of the voters on the list.
We assume Upper Penns Neck Township, like the rest of Salem County, voted Democratic Republican in the October 1801 election, but we do not know which candidates the township voters supported due to a gap in historical records.
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
Finding Freedom: Jack - Patrick Lockhart’s Letter to Thomas Nelson
Patrick Lockhart of Botetourt County, Virginia, wrote this letter to Virginia Governor Thomas Nelson in November 1781 to ask for state assistance to recapture Jack, who had escaped from prison earlier that year. Lockhart described that Jack was heavily armed and “Threatening Revenge” upon the people who had first imprisoned him. In April of 1781, Jack was arrested, brought to court, and found guilty of trying to start an uprising among people of African descent who would join the British to battle the American Revolutionaries. One day before his planned execution, Jack escaped from jail and White residents of Botetourt County, such as Patrick Lockhart, feared for their lives. Considering this fear, the accuracy of Lockhart’s claims in this letter is unclear.
Courtesy of the Library of Virginia
Finding Freedom: Deborah - “Inspection Roll of Negroes,” Book 1, Page 4
These pages are from a British Army document called the “Inspection Roll of Negroes,” written in 1783. Deborah’s name is recorded on the left side of the first page near the bottom. The second page records that she was formerly enslaved by George Washington. The “Inspection Roll of Negroes” records the roughly 3,000 formerly enslaved men and women whom the British evacuated from New York City at the end of the Revolutionary War. Most of these people, such as Deborah, settled in Canada with assistance from the British. Deborah is recorded below her husband Harry, who was enslaved to a Loyalist named Lynch. Deborah and Harry boarded the ship “Polly” bound for Port Roseway (now Shelburne) in Nova Scotia, Canada.
ational Archives and Records Administration, Washington, DC