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This image depicts the book cover of Revolutionary Summer by Joseph Ellis. The text is written in red and black colored font.

Revolutionary Summer

This excerpt from Joseph Ellis explains how the success of the Battle of Long Island came from the combined result of lucky breaks for the Americans.
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True Colours Flags with family of four looking over railing.

A Revolutionary Summer

Throughout A Revolutionary Summer, the Museum's special events and exhibits offer visitors of all ages the opportunity to explore the American Revolution and its ongoing relevance.
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It’s a Revolutionary Summer at the Museum of the American Revolution

June 21 marks the official start of summer, and the Museum of the American Revolution is celebrating by announcing extended hours, special programs, a happy hour series and family fun all summer long. From June 17 – Sept. 4, the Museum will feature extended summertime hours from 9:30 a.m. – 6 p.m. For the month of July, hours will be extended even further until 7pm. After Labor Day, Museum hours will return to 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
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Make it a Revolutionary Summer at the Museum of the American Revolution

Escape “the melting Heats of a Philadelphia Summer” (John Adams) at the Museum of the American Revolution with extended hours, family-friendly activities, History After Hours evening events, and new guided tours of the Museum and its historic neighborhood. And enjoy special weekend-long events in celebration of Memorial Day, Flag Day, Independence Day, and Labor Day.
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Among His Troops: Continental Army Along the Hudson

George Washington called the Hudson River the “Key of America.” With the Mohawk River to the West and Lake George and Lake Champlain to the North, the Hudson was part of a system of waterways that reached from the Great Lakes, to Canada, and down to New York City. During the Revolutionary War, Americans clustered their Hudson River fortifications around three narrows– West Point in the North, the Popolopen Creek in the middle, and King’s Ferry to the South. These posts were between 45 and 60 miles from New York City. In 1781, French troops and a portion of the Continental Army crossed the Hudson River at King’s Ferry on their way to Yorktown, Virginia, a crossing that is now recognized as part of the Washington-Rochambeau Revolutionary Route National Historic Trail. By the summer of 1782, the American Army had secured its control of this region. Along the 15-mile stretch of the Hudson River, Washington maintained a force of over 11,000 soldiers. At the same time, 13,000 British troops occupied New York City. West Point was the Continental Army’s strongest fortification. Verplanck’s Point and Stony Point, on either side of King’s Ferry, were the front line against the British to the south.


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The Davenport Letters: June 26, 1782

The letters James Davenport wrote from West Point in May and June of 1782 were just over a month apart, suggesting that he probably wrote more letters home than survive in this set. Little had changed in his circumstances, however, and the soldiers still had “Plenty of duty & Little Provision & less money.” Davenport’s humor comes through in this letter, and it includes facetious remarks about the quality of his paper, young women at home, and the oppressive summer weather.

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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. 

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The Davenport Letters: August 26, 1780

By August 1780, James Davenport was encamped at Hackensack, New Jersey, north of New York City. That summer, the Continental Army was engaging in regular movements, marches, and active skirmishing with British parties that ventured out of the city. As James endured these marches, he was also reflecting on the larger strategic shifts of the war. Since February 1778, the French had been in a formal alliance with the United States, but many people remained skeptical both of the French and of their long-term commitment to the cause. A second copy of this letter, on different paper and with slightly different spelling, survives in the Davenport family papers.

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When Women Lost the Vote: A Revolutionary Story: Mary Curry

Born during the Revolutionary War, Mary Curry voted as a young woman in 1800. She married future United States Congressman Daniel Garrison in 1807.
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Finding Freedom: Andrew - United States Census, 1840

Andrew Ferguson moved to Indiana (which became a state in 1816) after the Revolutionary War. The 1840 United States Census, shown here, documents Ferguson’s residence in Monroe County. Ferguson is listed as a Revolutionary War veteran who received a pension for his military service. He is listed as being 82 years old (or born in about 1758), but he had previously claimed that he was born in about 1765. No other family members are documented in his household. 

National Archives and Records Administration, Washington, DC/Ancestry.com

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