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Showing 91–100 of 1330 results for Virtual Tour of Washington's Field Headquarters

Finding Freedom: Jack - Record from Trial of “Jack a Negro Man Slave”

On April 13, 1781, Jack faced charges of theft, rebellion, and attempted murder at the Botetourt County courthouse in Fincastle, Virginia. Like all enslaved people in Virginia, Jack was denied a jury trial. Instead, he was found guilty and sentenced to death by a group of justices. This written record of his case is the earliest known documentation of Jack’s activity during the Revolutionary War.

Court Order Book, Vol. 5a (pp.100-101), Botetourt County Courthouse, Virginia

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Finding Freedom: Andrew - United States House of Representatives’s Response to Revolutionary War Pension Pay Increase

In 1844, Andrew Ferguson sent a petition to the United States Government to request an increase in his Revolutionary War pension payments due to the growing pain of his wartime injuries. This written record documents the denial of Ferguson’s request by the House of Representatives one year later. According to this document, Ferguson had gathered support from “several hundred” people who signed his petition. The House of Representatives denied his application because Ferguson’s petition did not include sworn testimony from people that could authenticate his claims about his military service and wounds. 

National Archives and Records Administration, Washington, DC

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When Women Lost the Vote: A Revolutionary Story: Upper Penns Neck Township, Salem County, New Jersey Poll Lists, December 1803

Upper Penns Neck Township
Salem County, New Jersey
December 13 & 14, 1803
Ink on Paper

This poll list is from a December 1803 congressional 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 congressional officeholders for the United States House of Representatives. 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 115 total voters. At least three of these voters are women, accounting for just under three percent of the voters on the list. 

There were no Federalists on the ticket in Salem County for the 1803 congressional election. This may explain why voter turnout for this election was so low, since all Democratic-Republican candidates ran unopposed. Voters supported six Democratic Republicans — James Mott, Henry Southard, William Helms, Ebenezer Elmer, Adam Boyd, and James Sloan — for the United States House of Representatives.

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: Elizabeth Stryker Skillman

Of Dutch ancestry, Elizabeth Skillman was a member of the Harlingen Dutch Reformed Church in Somerset County. She owned a 220-acre farm following her husband’s death in 1796. She voted as a widow in 1801.
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When Women Lost the Vote: A Revolutionary Story: PLG - Bedminster Township, Somerset County, New Jersey, October 1800

Bedminster Township, Somerset County, New Jersey, October 1800


This poll list for an 1800 state election includes the names of three women voters: Sarah Eoff, Margaret McDonald, and Eleanor Boylan. This is the only known poll list from before 1807 that shows how women voted and who they voted for. The election included a referendum on revising the New Jersey State Constitution, which could have endangered the right to vote for women and free people of color. Two women voted against the referendum.


There are a number of voters on this list who have yet to be identified. As the Museum of the American Revolution continues its research, please contact us if you know more about any of the voters. Share your research with us.


Images of the 1800 Bedminster Poll List coming soon!

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When Women Lost the Vote: A Revolutionary Story: Rebecca Githens

Rebecca Githens lived from 1782 to 1875. She voted along with her father, older brother, and younger sister in 1807. Rebecca Githens was the daughter of George Githens, the prosperous owner of a mineral spring resort hotel.
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Finding Freedom: Andrew - Revolutionary War Bounty Land Claim

As a reward for military service during the Revolutionary War, veterans, like Andrew Ferguson, could apply to receive land in what is now the Midwest region of the United States. The land had been previously settled by Native Americans and taken over by the United States Government. According to an act passed by Congress in March 1855, veterans, their widows, or the children of deceased veterans could apply to receive 160 acres of land. This document records Andrew Ferguson’s application for his parcel of land. Ferguson’s application was approved, but he died in 1856, the same year he was granted the land. 

National Archives and Records Administration, Washington, DC/Fold3.com

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Season of Independence: New Jersey State Constitution, July 2, 1776

New Jersey adopted a constitution that declared its own independence from Great Britain on July 2, 1776. The preamble of the document blamed the colonists’ grievances on the actions of Parliament and King George III and claimed that “all civil Authority under [the King] is necessarily at an End” before going on to lay out a new framework for government without Royal authority.

New Jersey State Archives, Department of State

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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

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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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