Year: 2023

Critical Thinking Posted on

A Demographic View of South Carolina Revolutionary War Soldiers, 1775–1783

Over the past few years, three demographic studies of North Carolina and Georgia Revolutionary War pension applicants have been completed (North Carolina militia, North Carolina Line, Georgia). A similar study of South Carolina soldiers who served in the Continental Line, state troops, and militia provides compiled demographic data of those who served in that state, […]

by Douglas R. Dorney, Jr.
Autobiography and Biography Posted on

This Week on Dispatches: Shirley L. Green on the Frank Brothers and the 1st Rhode Island Regiment

On this week’s Dispatches, host Brady Crytzer interviews history professor and author Shirley L. Greenabout her new book, Revolutionary Blacks: Discovering the Frank Brothers, Freeborn Men of Color, Soldiers of Independence. New episodes of Dispatchesare available for free every Saturday evening(Eastern United States Time) on iTunes, Stitcher, Google Play, Amazon Music, and the JAR Dispatches web site. Dispatchescan now […]

by Editors
Diplomacy Posted on

Don Diego de Gardoqui: Hero of the Revolution, Schemer Against the Republic

When Don Diego Gardoqui stepped onto Philadelphia’s docks in May 1785, he was a hero of the American Revolution. A merchant from Bilbao, Spain, Gardoqui, forty-nine, had early on in the war transformed his trade connections with Massachusetts into a pipeline for delivering the arms and supplies desperately needed by American troops. Following the war, […]

by Tyson Reeder
Critical Thinking Posted on

John Adams Above the Fray: The Original Foreign Policy President

The “whole of [President John] Adams’s single term was absorbed, to a degree unequaled in any other American presidency, with a single problem”: a diplomatic crisis with France.[1] Some Federalists must have been surprised that France, the United States’s greatest ally during the Revolution, became its greatest enemy within a generation. Not Adams: As a […]

by Max Schreiber
Politics During the War (1775-1783) Posted on

George Washington Versus the Continental Army: Showdown at the New Windsor Cantonment, 1782–1783

BOOK REVIEW: George Washington Versus the Continental Army Showdown at the New Windsor Cantonment, 1782-1783 by Michael S. McGurty (Jefferson, NC: McFarland & Company, Inc., Publishers, 2023) Except for the dangerous Newburgh Conspiracy, historians overlook the Continental Army’s activities in the Hudson Valley during the last year of the American War for Independence. Michael S. McGurty […]

by Gene Procknow
Historic Sites Posted on

Securing the Bells

“Remove all public bells, in Philadelphia, to a place of security.”—Continental Congress Resolution, Sept. 14, 1777 The British Army commanded by Gen. Sir William Howe landed on the western shore of Elk River in Cecil County, Maryland, on August 25, 1777, with the objective of occupying Philadelphia, capital of the recently declared independent United States. […]

by William W. Reynolds
Books and Publications Posted on

This Week on Dispatches: Novia Liu on John Adams’s Defence of the Constitutions of Government of the United States

On this week’s Dispatches, host Brady Crytzer interviews JAR contributor Novia Liuon her examination of John Adams’s Defence of the Constitutions of Government of the United States, a response to Anne-Robert-Jacques Turgot’s letter criticizing the US state constitutions. New episodes of Dispatchesare available for free every Saturday evening(Eastern United States Time) on iTunes, Stitcher, Google Play, Amazon Music, […]

by Editors
Autobiography and Biography Posted on

The Lionkeeper of Algiers: How an American Captive Rose to Power in Barbary and Saved His Homeland from War

BOOK REVIEW: The Lionkeeper of Algiers: How an American Captive Rose to Power in Barbary and Saved His Homeland from War by Des Ekin (Essex, CT: Prometheus Books, 2023) The war with the Barbary States is often referred to as the first war of the new United States, post-Revolution. President Thomas Jefferson has been given credit […]

by Timothy Symington
Reviews Posted on

Revolutionary Blacks: Discovering the Frank Brothers, Freeborn Men of Color, Soldiers of Independence

BOOK REVIEW: Revolutionary Blacks, Discovering the Frank Brothers, Freeborn Men of Color, Soldiers of Independence by Shirley L. Green (Yardley, PA: Westholme, 2023) This captivating book tells a new American story. It is the first book to detail the life, challenges, fears and hopes of a Black soldier in the Continental Army during the American Revolutionary […]

by Christian McBurney
Constitutional Debate Posted on

Early Presidential Elections: The Questionable Use of Electors to Correct Voter Imbalances

An important issue that the Congressional delegates faced when drafting the Constitution was how to create an equitable balance in voting rights between the larger states (Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Virginia) and the smaller ones (Delaware, Georgia, New Hampshire). Although the delegates were sworn to secrecy throughout their debates (May through September 1787), once the debates were […]

by Marvin L. Simner
Economics Posted on

Speculation Nation: Land Mania in the Revolutionary American Republic

BOOK REVIEW: Speculation Nation: Land Mania in the Revolutionary American Republic by Michael A. Blaakman (Early American Studies. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2023) The mark of excellent historical analysis is a fresh point of view on highly contested, deeply entrenched issues, whether you fully agree or not with its arguments. This is the case with Michael A. […]

by Gene Procknow
Books and Publications Posted on

Left Behind in History: John Adams’ Misguided Defense

Today’s Americans revere the Founding Fathers as egalitarian exceptions within the eighteenth century’s hierarchical world. Yet, these men were neither uniform nor wholly democratic in their opinions. Among them, John Adams stands out as a particularly clear deviation, continuing to espouse support for the Old World’s system of natural hierarchy long after the American Revolution. […]

by Novia Liu
Economics Posted on

This Week on Dispatches: Abby Chandler on Seized with the Temper of the Times

On this week’s Dispatches, host Brady Crytzer interviews historian and JAR Booksauthor Abby Chandleron her research into the Stamp Act Riots in Rhode Island and the Regulator Movement in North Carolina—and the surprising connection between both events and Martin Howard. New episodes of Dispatchesare available for free every Saturday evening(Eastern United States Time) on iTunes, Stitcher, Google […]

by Editors
Culture Posted on

Historical Markers, Forgotten Cemeteries, and Finding the Revolution in Your Backyard

The din of passing cars and semi-trucks jockeying for position as lanes converge ahead rises above the rattle of leaves clinging to the branches of a towering maple tree above. Across the road, a Walmart Supercenter dominates the landscape. NY-13, a busy throughway in Cortland and Cortlandville, New York, ebbs-and-flows with traffic to and from […]

by Zachary Finn
Diplomacy Posted on

The Lord North Conciliatory Proposal: A Case of Too Little Too Late

Just prior to the start of hostilities in the American Revolution, and even early on in those battles, last-minute efforts were made in many quarters to reach a peaceful settlement to the differences between the belligerents. One lesser analyzed of these was Lord North’s Conciliatory Resolution, made in February 1775. This proposal, unlike an earlier […]

by Richard J. Werther
1
Autobiography and Biography Posted on

John Hancock’s Politics and Personality in Ten Quotes

Nearly every American knows the name of John Hancock, but often for little more than his signature on the Declaration of Independence. Hancock was one of the most popular men in eighteenth-century North America, winning people over with his style, personability, and generosity. These ten quotations offer a fuller picture of the character, political temper, […]

by Brooke Barbier
Interviews Posted on

This Week on Dispatches: Jane Strachan on Margaret Moncrieffe Coghlan’s Descent from Riches to Rags

On this week’s Dispatches, host Brady Crytzer interviews attorney and JAR contributor Jane Strachan on her two-part series about the descent from riches to rags of Margaret Moncrieffe Coghlan and the memoir she penned describing her life. New episodes of Dispatches are available for free every Saturday evening (Eastern United States Time) on iTunes, Stitcher, Google Play, […]

by Editors
Battles Posted on

Lord Rawdon at Camden—Giving a Victor His Due: Strategy and Tactics

Departing from Morristown, New Jersey, the Continental Army’s Maryland Division, Delaware Regiment, and 1st Continental artillery (approximately 1,400 men), were ordered south in April 1780 to break the siege of Charlestown and reinforce Maj. Gen. Benjamin Lincoln’s beleaguered garrison. Upon reaching Petersburgh, Virginia, in early June, the surrender of Charlestown on May 12 became known. […]

by John Boyd
3
Memorials Posted on

“The Modern American Wallace:” Relics, Revolutions, and Revolutionaries

On Friday morning, December 30, 1792, Archibald Robertson, an ambitious painter from Aberdeen, Scotland, arrived at the doorstep of the executive mansion at Philadelphia.[1] David Steuart Erskine, 11th Earl of Buchan, entrusted him to deliver a wooden box to President George Washington.[2] Yet this was no ordinary box and Robertson’s call no ordinary visit. For […]

by Shawn David McGhee
Interviews Posted on

This Week on Dispatches: Michael Cecere on the Middle Colonies during the First Year of the American Revolution

On this week’s Dispatches, host Brady Crytzer interviews historians and JAR contributor Michael Cecere. In his new book United for Independence: The American Revolution in the Middle Colonies, 1775-1776, Michael provides an in-depth analysis of the people of politics of the Middle Colonies from 1775-1776. New episodes of Dispatches are available for free every Saturday evening (Eastern United […]

by Editors
Loyalists Posted on

The Tory’s Wife: A Woman and Her Family in Revolutionary America

BOOK REVIEW: The Tory’s Wife: A Woman and Her Family in Revolutionary America by Cynthia Kierner (University of Virginia Press, 2023) Linda K. Kerber’s Women of the Republic: Intellect and Ideology in Revolutionary America demonstrated women’s resilience to create their own “republican motherhood;” this later evolved into accomplishing what the revolution did not do for women. […]

by Kelsey DeFord
Autobiography and Biography Posted on

Margaret (Montcrieffe) Coghlan: The Making of Her Memoirs (Part Two of Two)

Margaret Moncrieffe Coghlan was many things—the privileged daughter of a highly-regarded British Army officer who served in North America, an alleged British spy, hapless wife, high society courtesan, scandalous and political memoirist—and last, a woman hounded by creditors in London and Paris who ensured that she served time in debtors prison. (Read Part One.) No […]

by Jane Strachan