Revolutionary War

The ruins of Daniel Shays's fortified settlement reveal the hidden story of the famous rebellion. Shays and the Regulators founded the settlement deep in the Vermont wilderness after fleeing the uprising they led in 1787 in Massachusetts.

Rediscovered in 1997 and under study since 2013, these remnants divulge secrets of Shays's life that previously remained unknown, including his connection to Millard Filmore and the Anti-Federalist lawyer John Bay.

As the leader of the site's first formal study, Stephen Butz is here to tell us about the archaeological investigation, along with Shays's heroic life in the Continental army, his role in the infamous rebellion that bears his name and his influence on American law. His new book is: Shays' Settlement in Vermont: A Story of Revolt and Archaeology.

  Best-selling historian Nathaniel Philbrick once again takes readers deep into the American Revolution, leading them into battles and illuminating the players on the field and behind the scenes.

His latest - Valiant Ambition: George Washington, Benedict Arnold, and the Fate of the American Revolution - is a complex, controversial, and dramatic portrait of a people in crisis and the war that gave birth to a nation. 

Kevin R. C. Gutzman is the New York Times best-selling author of five books, including his latest, Thomas Jefferson—Revolutionary: A Radical’s Struggle to Remake America.

Although remembered as the third president of the United States and chief author of the Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson was also something more: the most successful constructive statesman in American history.

Thomas Jefferson—Revolutionary: A Radical's Struggle to Remake Americashows him formulating his radical plans to republicanize America and then working, with remarkable success, to implement them. Born into a monarchical society, Jefferson turned his great intellect and energy to making it highly egalitarian. Much of what we take for granted about America now was originally Jefferson's idea. It is a fascinating story.

In the autumn of 1777, near Saratoga, New York, an inexperienced and improvised American army led by General Horatio Gates faced off against the highly trained British and German forces led by General John Burgoyne.

The British strategy in confronting the Americans in upstate New York was to separate rebellious New England from the other colonies. Despite inferior organization and training, the Americans exploited access to fresh reinforcements of men and materiel, and ultimately handed the British a stunning defeat. The American victory, for the first time in the war, confirmed that independence from Great Britain was all but inevitable. 

Dean Snow is Professor Emeritus of Anthropology at Penn State University and past president of the Society for American Archaeology. His previous books include Archaeology of Native North America and The Iroquois. His new book is 1777: Tipping Point at Saratoga.

Did you know that many of America’s Founding Fathers― who fought for liberty and justice for all ― were slave owners?

Through the powerful stories of five enslaved people who were “owned” by four of our greatest presidents, Kenneth Davis’ new book, In the Shadow of Liberty, helps set the record straight about the role slavery played in the founding of America.

From Billy Lee, valet to George Washington, to Alfred Jackson, faithful servant of Andrew Jackson, these dramatic narratives explore our country’s great tragedy―that a nation “conceived in liberty” was also born in shackles.

Kenneth C. Davis is the New York Times bestselling author of America’s Hidden History and Don’t Know Much About History, which gave rise to the "Don’t Know Much About" series of books for adults and children. 

Battle of Bennington,  engraving after a painting by Alonzo Chappel
New York Public Library/Public Domain/Wikimedia Commons

Today is a state holiday in Vermont.  August 16th marks Bennington Battle Day, a Revolutionary War clash that was actually fought in nearby New York.

  Using Washington's extensive but often overlooked financial papers, Edward G. Lengel chronicles the fascinating and inspiring story of how this self-educated man built the Mount Vernon estate into a vast multilayered enterprise and prudently managed meager resources to win the war of independence.

Later, as president, he helped establish the national economy on a solid footing and favorably positioned the nation for the Industrial Revolution. Washington's steadfast commitment to the core economic principles of probity, transparency, careful management, and calculated boldness are timeless lessons that should inspire and instruct investors even today.

Historian Ed Lengel is here to talk about his new book, First Entrepreneur: How George Washington Built His – and the Nation’s – Prosperity.

  Best-selling historian Nathaniel Philbrick once again takes readers deep into the American Revolution, leading them into battles and illuminating the players on the field and behind the scenes. His latest - Valiant Ambition - is a complex, controversial, and dramatic portrait of a people in crisis and the war that gave birth to a nation.

The focus is on loyalty and personal integrity, evoking a Shakespearean tragedy that unfolds in the key relationship of George Washington and Benedict Arnold. Philbrick gives readers a fresh view of America’s first president and offers a surprisingly sympathetic view of the man whose name is synonymous with the word traitor.

  Americans know about the Boston Tea Party and “the shot heard ’round the world,” but sixteen months divided these two iconic events, a period that has nearly been lost to history. Ray Raphael's book, The Spirit of '74, fills in this gap in our nation’s founding narrative, showing how in these mislaid months, step by step, real people made a revolution.

After the Tea Party, Parliament not only shut down a port but also revoked the sacred Massachusetts charter. Completely disenfranchised, citizens rose up as a body and cast off British rule everywhere except in Boston, where British forces were stationed. A “Spirit of ’74” initiated the American Revolution, much as the better-known “Spirit of ’76” sparked independence.

  In eighteenth-century America, information about a woman’s life and accomplishments was very difficult to discover, but some woman were avid letter writers or devoted journal keepers, and thankfully some of those letters and journals were saved.

In her new book, Remarkable Women of New England: Daughters, Wives, Sisters, and Mothers: The War Years 1754 to 1787, Carole Owens tells the story of Mary Gray Bidwell, Elizabeth Edwards Burr; Lavinia Deane Fisk, Abigail Williams Sergeant Dwight and others.

The war years changed the lives of each of these women and their lives changed our new country.

  Sarah Vowell is the bestselling author of Assassination Vacation and The Partly Cloudy Patriot. Her latest look at history is an insightful and unconventional account of George Washington’s trusted officer and friend, that swashbuckling teenage French aristocrat the Marquis de Lafayette.

Drawn to the patriots’ war out of a lust for glory, Enlightenment ideas and the traditional French hatred for the British, young Lafayette crossed the Atlantic expecting to join forces with an undivided people, encountering instead fault lines between the Continental Congress and the Continental Army, rebel and loyalist inhabitants, and a conspiracy to fire George Washington, the one man holding together the rickety, seemingly doomed patriot cause.

    

A prideful and unchanged narrative of the American Revolution pervades U.S. history. Serving as the event which established the nation’s sovereignty, naturally, the popular account of the American Revolution has carried with it patriotic myths which exalt select figures and influence the public spirit of Americans.

Still, according to Andrew Schocket, director of American culture studies and associate professor of History and American culture studies at Bowling Green State University in Ohio, the prominent narratives surrounding the prideful event are oftentimes incomplete. In his new book, Fighting over the Founders: How We Remember the American Revolution, Schocket explores how politicians, screen writers, activists, biographers, jurist, museum professionals, and reenactors portray the American Revolution and how our angled perception of the past could influence America’s future.

  In The Return of George Washington: 1783-1789, Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Edward J. Larson recovers a crucially important—yet almost always overlooked—chapter of George Washington’s life, revealing how Washington saved the United States by coming out of retirement to lead the Constitutional Convention and serve as our first president.

  George Washington was famously unknowable, a man of deep passions hidden behind a facade of rigid self-control. Yet before he was a great general and president, Washington was a young man prone to peevishness and a volcanic temper. His greatness as a leader evolved over time, the product of experience and maturity but also a willed effort to restrain his wilder impulses.

Robert Middlekauff focuses on Washington’s early years in his new book, Washington's Revolution: The Making of America's First Leader.

wikipedia.org

Officials in Massachusetts say they'll reveal the contents of a time capsule dating to 1795 and believed placed by Samuel Adams and other Revolutionary War luminaries early next month.

    Band of Giants brings to life the founders who fought for our independence in the Revolutionary War. Jefferson, Adams, and Franklin are known to all; men like Morgan, Greene, and Wayne are less familiar. Yet the dreams of the politicians and theorists only became real because fighting men were willing to take on the grim, risky, brutal work of war.

We know Fort Knox, but what about Henry Knox, the burly Boston bookseller who took over the American artillery at the age of 25? Eighteen counties in the United States commemorate Richard Montgomery, but do we know that this revered martyr launched a full-scale invasion of Canada?

The soldiers of the American Revolution were a diverse lot: merchants and mechanics, farmers and fishermen, paragons and drunkards. Most were ardent amateurs. And journalist, novelist and historian Jack Kelly tells their story in Band of Giants.

commons.wikimedia.org

FISHKILL – Friends of the Fishkill Supply Depot, the group seeking to preserve a 10.4 acre parcel of land in the Town of Fishkill known to be a burial site for Revolutionary War soldiers, has identified two dozen additional soldiers known to have been laid to rest there. That brings to 84, the number of Continental Army soldiers buried at the privately owned site on Route 9.

Group President Lance Ashworth said the property owner wants millions for the land.