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Finding Freedom: Eve - Bruton & Middleton Parish Register, page 83

This page from the record book for Bruton Parish Church in Williamsburg, Virginia, lists the baptism of Eve’s infant son George on July 6, 1766. The names of George and Eve can be found near the middle of the page. When Eve and George first ran away from the Randolph family in search of their freedom in late-1775 or early-1776, George was about 10 years old.

Courtesy of Bruton Parish Church

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Picturing Washington's Army: Verplanck’s Point | Rhode Island Regiment

Take a closer look at the anchor-decorated colonnade of the Rhode Island Regiment. The Rhode Islanders’ tents were set up between the Massachusetts and Connecticut brigades. An officer’s marquee tent is visible in the foreground of this section of the painting. 

Image: Museum of the American Revolution, Gift of the Landenberger Family Foundation 

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Among His Troops: Pierre Charles L’Enfant

In 1782, Pierre “Peter” Charles L’Enfant, a French-born Continental Army engineer, created the panoramic watercolor views of the army’s encampments at Verplanck’s Point and West Point. The son of an artist, L’Enfant studied at the Royal Academy of Painting and Sculpture in Paris. He crossed the ocean to volunteer for America. In 1778, during the Valley Forge winter, he received a commission as captain of engineers. Unsatisfied with such a technical role, L’Enfant went south in hopes of distinguishing himself in combat. In 1779, he fought at Savannah, Georgia and was badly wounded in the leg. He rejoined the army in 1780, and fought while leaning on a crutch during the Siege of Charleston, South Carolina. Taken prisoner with the rest of the Charleston garrison in 1780, L’Enfant missed the Siege of Yorktown in 1781. When he painted these watercolors in 1782, he was still nursing hurt feelings that he had missed the chance for glory and promotion at Yorktown. After the siege of Yorktown, L’Enfant returned to the Continental Army, and wrote to Washington from Philadelphia on February 18, 1782, asking for a promotion. He then moved with the army from Philadelphia to the Hudson Highlands in the spring of 1782.
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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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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.

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Finding Freedom: Deborah - “Muster Book of Free Black Settlement of Birchtown,” Page 40

When Deborah arrived in Nova Scotia in 1783, she was one of many newly freed people of African descent who helped settle Birchtown, a town named for British Brigadier General Samuel Birch. This page from a 1784 census, or list of residents, documents the men and women who lived in Birchtown the year after the town’s founding. Deborah’s name, recorded as Deborah Lynch, can be found near the bottom of the page on the left side. Harry, her husband listed in the 1783 “Inspection Roll of Negroes,” is not included in this census. He may have died due to the harsh conditions and bad weather that the settlers faced. Deborah likely took the last name Lynch because Harry had been owned by a Loyalist named Lynch, whom Deborah also lived with for a short time. In this document, Deborah is listed as a member of the household of a man named Neil Robinson. No other details about their relationship status are currently known.

“Muster Book of Free Black Settlement of Birchtown,” 1784, Library and Archives Canada, MG 9 B9-14, item 1292

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Cost of Revolution: Part 1 St. George’s Ireland

Richard Mansergh St. George grew up in the 1750s as a member of one of Ireland’s wealthy, Protestant, land-owning families. At the time, Ireland was part of the British Empire and under the rule of the British Crown. The Irish Parliament and the Lord Lieutenant (who represented the British monarch) governed the country, but the British Parliament could also make laws for Ireland. Members of the Protestant Church of Ireland dominated the country’s social, economic, and political power. St. George’s family belonged to this minority of the Irish population, which became known as the “Protestant Ascendancy.” His family owned thousands of acres of Irish land and accumulated money from rents paid by tenant farmers. Richard Mansergh St. George’s grandfather, General Richard St. George, was a senior officer in the British Army stationed in Ireland and increased the St. George family’s prominence. As a boy in County Galway, Richard Mansergh St. George lived in medieval stone towers, rode horses through emerald green pastures, developed artistic talents, and learned to be a gentleman. As a young adult, he inherited his family’s land and the power it represented.
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When Women Lost the Vote: A Revolutionary Story: Martha Githens

At the age of 23, Martha Githens voted in 1807. She voted along with her father, older brother, and older sister. Martha Githens was the daughter of George Githens, the prosperous owner of a mineral spring resort hotel.
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When Women Lost the Vote: A Revolutionary Story: How Did Women Lose the Vote?: The Backlash

In November 1807, the New Jersey State Legislature stripped the vote from women, people of color, and recent immigrants. They redefined the property qualification to include all white male taxpayers. The preamble of the new act on election regulations justified the change by citing “doubts” that “have been raised, and great diversities in practices obtained throughout the state in regard to the admission of aliens, persons of color, or negroes, to vote in elections” as well as “the mode of ascertaining” voter qualifications. What did this mean? What had happened?
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When Women Lost the Vote: A Revolutionary Story: Upper Penns Neck Township, Salem County, New Jersey Poll Lists, 1800

Upper Penns Neck Township
Salem County, New Jersey
December 23 & 24, 1800
Ink on Paper

This poll list is from a December 1800 congressional election that was held at the home of Philip Souder, an innkeeper in Upper Penns Neck Township, Salem County. The election determined congressional office holders for the United States House of Representatives. We do not currently know the names of the town officers, including the judge, collector, clerk, and poll inspectors who presided over the election. 

The poll list includes the names of 217 total voters. At least 29 of these voters are women, accounting for nearly 13 percent of the voters on the list. 

Like the rest of Salem County, Upper Penns Neck Township voted Democratic Republican in December 1800. Most voters in the township supported Democratic-Republicans James Mott, Ebenezer Elmer, John Condit, William Helms, and Henry Southard 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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