Finding Freedom: Jack - “A Map of the Most Inhabited Part of Virginia”
Jack arrived in Virginia from his previous enslavement in North Carolina, his owner brought him to Botetourt County. As shown on this 1755 map, Botetourt County (marked with a star) was located along the western frontier—a mountainous region isolated from the more populated east. Jack was likely his owner’s only enslaved person. His duties probably included a little of everything: farming, clearing land, preparing firewood, mending tools, taking care of animals, repairing the house, and other tasks. In contrast, the majority of enslaved people in eastern Virginia lived on farms or plantations with at least ten other enslaved people. This meant they typically had a more specialized work assignment, as well as a built-in community.
Geography and Map Division, Library of Congress, Washington, DC
Finding Freedom: Eve - Newspaper Advertisement for Eve
On February 2, 1782, Peyton Randolph’s nephew, Harrison, advertised in “The Virginia Gazette” that Eve ran away from slavery after the Siege of Yorktown. It is unknown if she was successful. Runaway advertisements are valuable documents for historians studying enslaved people because they help confirm a variety of biographical details such as age, location, and physical appearance.
Special Collections Research Center, Swem Library, College of William and Mary
Picturing Washington's Army: West Point | Headquarters
Take a closer look at the buildings and parade ground at West Point. Cadets at the United States Military Academy continue to train on the same ground where the Continental Army encamped during the Revolutionary War.
Image courtesy of Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, Washington, D.C.
When Women Lost the Vote: A Revolutionary Story: PLG - Upper Penns Neck Township, Salem County, New Jersey Poll Lists
Upper Penns Neck Township, Salem County, New Jersey, 1800-1806
A book of historic poll lists at the Salem County Historical Society includes six lists that record women voting in state and congressional elections held in Upper Penns Neck Township between 1800 and 1806. There are at least 75 women voters included on these six lists, many voting year after year, proving that some New Jersey women voted in multiple elections.
A number of voters on this list 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.
Season of Independence: Rhode Island Act Repealing Allegiance to Great Britain, May 4, 1776
Via this act, Rhode Island’s General Assembly formally rejected King George III and broke their legal ties to him months before independence was officially declared by the Second Continental Congress. This document repealed an earlier act passed by Rhode Island’s assembly entitled “An Act for the more effectual securing to His Majesty the Allegiance of his Subjects in this His Colony and Dominion of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations” which had once bound them to Great Britain. In addition to renouncing the King, this document also includes several new oaths created for government officials that removed language that bound them to royal authority.
Courtesy of the Rhode Island State Archives
When Women Lost the Vote: A Revolutionary Story: Chester Township, Burlington County, October 1807
Burlington County, New Jersey
October 13 & 14, 1807
Ink on Paper
This poll list transcription records the names of voters from an October 1807 state election held in Chester Township, Burlington County. Voters cast their ballots at a schoolhouse in Moorestown. The election determined annual officeholders for the New Jersey State Assembly and Legislative Council, and for Burlington County Sheriff and Coroner. The town officers presiding over the election included Judge Edward French, Assessor John Bispham, Clerk Joseph Bispham, and Collector Nathan Middleton.
The poll list includes the names of 260 total voters. At least 38 of these voters are women, accounting for nearly 15 percent of the voters on the list.
While we do not know the partisan majority in Burlington County in 1806, we can assume it voted Democratic Republican, as there were no other Federalist-majority counties in New Jersey in 1806. Chester Township, however, did vote Federalist in the 1806 election. Most voters in the township supported Federalists William Irick, William Coxe, Caleb Earl, and William Stockton for State Assembly and George Anderson for Legislative Council. We do not know who they supported for county sheriff or coroner.
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: Moorestown Library
When Women Lost the Vote: A Revolutionary Story: When Women Lost the Vote: A Tableau Interactive
Finding Freedom: London - Portrait of General Sir Henry Clinton
In 1779, British General Sir Henry Clinton’s Philipsburg Proclamation offered protection to any enslaved people owned by American rebels who fled to the British lines in search of freedom. This was broader than Virginia Royal Governor Lord Dunmore's 1775 proclamation, which only applied to enslaved men who joined the British forces to fight for the King.
The Society of the Cincinnati, Washington, D.C.
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