Tag: Siege of Boston

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Silas Talbot, Continental Army Mariner

Silas Talbot was a remarkable Revolutionary War notable who was astute and tactically flexible. He was at various times an artisan, entrepreneur, privateer, Rhode Island Militia officer, Continental Army officer, Continental Navy officer, United States Navy captain and United States Congressman. Talbot’s multifarious vocations, extraordinary exploits and changing fortunes reflect the intrepidity of one unusual […]

by Louis Arthur Norton
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Morale Manipulation as the Central Strategic Imperative in the American Revolutionary War

Most people think of wartime propaganda as atrocity stories about the enemy. But commanders also disseminate false and true information in hopes of boosting their own soldiers’ morale and sapping the enemy’s. Even more persuasive than words are actions, and manipulating morale often dictates how commanders deploy their troops. Witness the American War of Independence. […]

by Woody Holton
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“That a General be Appointed to command”

After the events at Lexington and Concord on April 19, it appeared that military force of some sort might be warranted in dealing with Great Britain. There was a mass of militiamen and volunteers outside of Boston but there were many questions about their purpose, organization, and leadership. When George Washington set off for the […]

by Jeff Dacus
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Nineteenth-Century Remembrances of Black Revolutionary Veterans: Jacob Francis, Massachusetts Continental and New Jersey Militia

Philadelphia Blacks, under the leadership of well-to-do Robert Purvis, organized the Vigilance Committee to aid and assist fugitive slaves in 1837. Purvis’s wife, Harriett Forten Purvis, the daughter of successful Black businessman James Forten, led the Female Vigilant Society. Robert Purvis was referred to by some as the “President of the Underground Railroad.” Also that […]

by John Rees
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Blue Mountain Valley and the Rise of Lord Stirling

“A Most Dreadful Voyage” was how the captain of British supply ship Blue Mountain Valley described his mission to North America in the fall and winter of 1775–1776. The ship’s young Scottish captain, James Dempster, was an experienced merchant sailor with voyages to China, India, and the West Indies.[1] The mission Dempster embarked on when Blue […]

by Eric Wiser
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General Charles Lee Imposes Oaths of Allegiance on Newport Tories, 1775

Major General Charles Lee visited Newport, Rhode Island, in late December 1775, where he—controversially—insisted that local Loyalists take an oath of allegiance to the Continental Congress. This approach, and a similar one he took in New York City shortly thereafter, created concern in Congress on how best to handle Loyalists. But by mid-1778, Lee had changed […]

by Christian McBurney
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“Monsr Dubuq,” the First French Officer to Serve the American Cause?

To historians of the American Revolution, the date of 1775 for French participation in the Patriot cause may seem incredible. The enigmatic “Monsr Dubuq,” “Dubuc,” or “Dubuque” was nonetheless, one of the first French officers to assist in the American Revolution, before envoy M. Julien Bonvouloir,[1] and two years prior to the arrival of Baron […]

by Frederic C. Detwiller
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James McCubbin Lingan, an American Story

Of the thousands of men and women who contributed to the Patriot cause during the American Revolution, James McCubbin Lingan (1751–1812) stands out with an important story to tell.[1] A recent visit to Washington D.C. included a leisurely walk through Arlington National Cemetery. As one reads the many monuments honoring military personnel resting in Arlington’s historic […]

by Patrick H. Hannum
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Contributor Question: Best Strategic Defeat?

This month, we asked our contributors to consider the many changes of fortune that occurred over the tumultuous four decades that transformed thirteen British colonies into the nascent United States: What was the best strategic defeat, whether political or military, of the American Revolution and the founding era (roughly 1765 thru 1805)? That is, what […]

by Editors
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The General, the Corporal, and the Anecdote: Jacob Francis and Israel Putnam

On August 18, 1832, a seventy-eight-year-old New Jersey man named Jacob Francis went before Hunterdon County officials and described his military service in the Revolutionary War. His affidavit became the core of his application for a federal government pension available to surviving veterans.[1] According to Francis, he had joined the Continental Army besieging Boston in […]

by J. L. Bell
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Displaced: The Donation People of 1775

In late November 1775, just as the bone-chilling New England winter started to settle upon Massachusetts, British General Howe loaded three hundred poor, sick inhabitants of Boston onto transport ships with no provisions or firewood.[1] They were landed on windswept Point Shirley peninsula, a narrow, beachy finger of land situated in between the gentle waves […]

by Katie Turner Getty
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Valentine to Miss Mercy Scollay

When researching the biography of Revolutionary War hero Dr. Joseph Warren, I had the unexpected pleasure of becoming acquainted with his fiancée Miss Mercy Scollay. Readers of the Journal of the American Revolution may already be familiar with Joseph Warren as the author of the foundational Suffolk Resolves, head of the Massachusetts Committee of Safety […]

by Samuel A. Forman