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Showing 121–130 of 1339 results for Virtual Tour of Washington's Field Headquarters

Finding Freedom: London - Portrait of Brigadier General Benedict Arnold

London served as a trumpeter in the American Legion, a Loyalist force formed by British Brigadier General Benedict Arnold. This portrait by an unknown artist shows Arnold in his British Army uniform. In the fall of 1780, just a few months before London joined the American Legion, Benedict Arnold infamously defected from the Continental Army and joined the British. 

Courtesy of Clive Hammond

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Finding Freedom: Deborah - 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. According to the 1783 “Inspection Roll of Negroes,” Deborah received a Birch Pass that allowed her to go to Nova Scotia as a free person. Cato Rammsay, an enslaved man who escaped from Norfolk, Virginia, received this Birch Pass that allowed him to go to Nova Scotia as well. 

Passport for Cato Ramsay to emigrate to Nova Scotia, 21 April 1783; NSA, Gideon White fonds, MG 1 vol. 948 no. 196

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When Women Lost the Vote: A Revolutionary Story: Ruth Carle Elberson

Ruth Carle voted as a single woman. She was the sister of Continental Army veteran Ephraim Taylor Carle.
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When Women Lost the Vote: A Revolutionary Story: Thomas Blue

Thomas Blue is one of at least four free Black men who voted in Montgomery Township in October 1801.
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The Davenport Letters: April 14, 1783

The last letter in Davenport’s collection is dated April 14, 1783, shortly before the Continental Army began to discharge soldiers. It gives us a glimpse at how quickly letters could travel in this period, often because they were carried by individual travelers. His brother wrote a letter on March 28 that James Davenport received on April 7, and it apparently included a reprimand from his father, almost certainly for the language in James’s candid letter of March 25 (suggesting that that letter had made it to Dorchester in just three days). The reprimand didn’t prevent James from making more references to the Molls at home in this next letter, of course.

James Davenport ends this letter fittingly: “Liberty Peace and Independence forever.” He returned home in 1783 and married Esther Mellish in 1784. They had eleven children and James Davenport died forty years later, remembered as a devout Christian and Master Mason, at age 64. His descendants carefully preserved mementoes of his service, including the letters transcribed here as well as his noncommissioned officer’s sword from his service under the Marquis de Lafayette and the various objects highlighted elsewhere here. According to a family story, Esther Mellish used the red wool from a British coat that James Davenport brought home to make a small pair of baby booties for their new child. Carefully preserved by later generations, these booties allow us to imagine how the first generation of American revolutionaries beat swords into ploughshares and began their lives in the new United States. 

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Finding Freedom: Andrew - Claim for Increase in Revolutionary War Pension Payment

Andrew Ferguson traveled west to Knox County, Indiana, in 1844 to apply for an increase in his Revolutionary War pension payments due to the growing pain of his wartime injuries. This written record documents his testimony given at the county courthouse and the support Ferguson’s application received from a fellow Black veteran named Daniel Strother. According to his testimony, Ferguson was wounded in the leg at the Battle of Camden in 1780 and in the head at the Battle of Guilford Courthouse in 1781. Two doctors examined Ferguson following his testimony and agreed that his injuries prevented him from earning a living from manual labor. The doctors supported his claim for an increase in his pension payments, but the United States Government denied Ferguson’s request. 

National Archives and Records Administration, Washington, DC/

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Meet the Figures: Oneida Nation Theater: Skenandoah

Skenandoah was born in 1706 as a Conestoga but became Oneida soon after through a “requickening” (absorption and reidentification) ritual. After an embarrassing episode in Albany in 1755, he abstained from alcohol for the rest of his life. According to one observer, he “possessed a vigorous mind, and was alike sagacious, active and persevering.” In 1775, he accompanied a Presbyterian missionary friend to the new army camp outside Boston, where they met Washington and the Massachusetts Provincial Congress. Because of his allegiance to the Revolution, he was imprisoned by the British at Niagara in 1779-1780 and under a sort of house arrest until 1784. His engagement in the treaty negotiations with the British in this period was something for which some Oneida people never forgave him. He died in 1816, aged about 110.

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When Women Lost the Vote: A Revolutionary Story: Elizabeth Dudley

Born in 1778, Quaker woman Elizabeth Dudley had 10 siblings. She voted along with her father and three of her brothers in 1807.
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When Women Lost the Vote: A Revolutionary Story: Sabillah Pearson

Quaker woman Sabillah Pearson was born near Moorestown, New Jersey, in 1783. She cast her ballot in 1807 at the age of 24.
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Finding Freedom: Andrew - United States Census, 1830

Andrew Ferguson moved to Indiana (which became a state in 1816) after the Revolutionary War. The 1830 United States Census, shown here, documents Ferguson’s residence in Monroe County. Ferguson is listed as a “Free Colored” man between the ages of 55 and 100. A “Free Colored” woman between the ages of 36 and 55, possibly his first wife, is listed in Andrew’s household. No other family members are documented in their household. 

National Archives and Records Administration, Washington, DC/

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