Finding Freedom: Eve - Elizabeth Randolph’s Will and Codicil
According to her 1780 will, Elizabeth Randolph requested that Eve and her son George were to be inherited by her niece Ann Coupland. The other enslaved people owned by Elizabeth Randolph were to be inherited by her other nieces and nephews. Two years later, Randolph wrote a codicil (additional directions) for her will that changed her decision about Eve’s future. Randolph described that she sold Eve due to “bad behavior,” likely referring to Eve’s decision to runaway from Williamsburg. The money from the sale of Eve was to be used to purchase an enslaved boy for her nephew and an enslaved girl for her niece.
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
Finding Freedom: Andrew - Additional Revolutionary War Pension Deposition
One year after he initially applied for a Revolutionary War pension from the United States Government, Andrew Ferguson returned to the courthouse in Monroe County, Indiana, to share more details about his military service during the war. This document records his additional testimony. Ferguson declared that he had hoped to apply for a pension 17 years earlier in response to Congress’s 1818 law that allowed impoverished Revolutionary War veterans to apply for financial support from the United States Government. However, at the time, Ferguson was told that “a Colored man could not get a pension.” Many veterans of African descent applied for and received pensions according to the 1818 legislation, but they encountered racial discrimination and intimidation during the application process.
National Archives and Records Administration, Washington, DC/Fold3.com
When Women Lost the Vote: A Revolutionary Story: Exploring New Jersey Voters, 1800 - 1807
As of 2020, the Museum of the American Revolution has identified 163 women voters named on nine poll lists dated between 1800 - 1807 from across New Jersey. Of these voters, we have compiled biographies of nearly 30 women and free people of color who voted in these elections. These biographies provide a glimpse into the voters’ lives — their families, religions, homes, ownership of property, and roles in their communities. More biographies will be added as our research continues!
When Women Lost the Vote: A Revolutionary Story: Elizabeth Dudley
When Women Lost the Vote: A Revolutionary Story: Rebecca Venable
Meet the Figures: Oneida Nation Theater: Wale
Mary Hanonwayele, also known as Wale (possibly the Oneida pronunciation of “Mary”), was a member of the Oneida Bear Clan. Her brother, Thomas Sinavis, was one of the Oneida warriors at Valley Forge and was killed at the Battle of Barren Hill on May 20, 1778. Unfortunately, Revolutionary commissioners overlooked her in distributing condolence gifts. In 1794, she finally received a small sum for this purpose as part of larger treaty negotiations between the United States and native groups. She lived until at least 1800.
When Women Lost the Vote: A Revolutionary Story: Eleanor Boylan
When Women Lost the Vote: A Revolutionary Story: How Did Women Lose the Vote?: The Backlash
Finding Freedom: London - Birch Pass
In the terms of the surrender to the Americans, the British were to return all captured property—including human property. The British did not adhere to this stipulation, and instead evacuated thousands of free and formerly enslaved men and women to Canada. Birch Passes, named for British Brigadier General Samuel Birch, were given to those who could prove they sought the protection of the British forces during the war. The passes, such as this example, guaranteed a place on a departing ship. London may have received one. Cato Rammsay, an enslaved man who escaped from Norfolk, Virginia, received this Birch Pass that allowed him to go to Nova Scotia as a free person.
Passport for Cato Ramsay to emigrate to Nova Scotia, 21 April 1783; NSA, Gideon White fonds, MG 1 vol. 948 no. 196
Among His Troops: Discovery
The Museum of the American Revolution’s newly discovered watercolor of the encampment at Verplanck’s Point is one of two known panoramic views of the Continental Army in camp, both of which army engineer Captain Pierre Charles L’Enfant created in 1782. When the Museum’s curators first saw the watercolor of Verplanck’s Point for sale at auction, they immediately saw similarities to L’Enfant’s panorama of West Point owned by the Library of Congress. An investigation of other original sources—diaries, letters, army orders, and maps—helped date both scenes to a narrow time period of three months, August through October 1782. Further study of the Verplanck’s Point watercolor’s provenance and a small ink inscription on the back confirmed that L’Enfant painted it during the Revolutionary War. The Museum’s discovery provides modern audiences with a glimpse into the highest professional moment of the Continental Army, the artistry of Pierre Charles L’Enfant, and a new eyewitness view of George Washington’s war tent.