…The Honorable the Continental Congress, impelled by the dictates of duty, policy and necessity, having been pleased to dissolve the Connection which subsisted between this Country, and Great Britain, and to declare the United Colonies of North America, free and independent STATES: The several brigades are to be drawn up this evening on their respective Parades, at six OClock, when the declaration of Congress, shewing the grounds & reasons of this measure, is to be read with an audible voice.
The General hopes this important Event will serve as a fresh incentive to every officer, and soldier, to act with Fidelity and Courage, as knowing that now the peace and safety of his Country depends (under God) solely on the success of our arms: And that he is now in the service of a State, possessed of sufficient power to reward his merit, and advance him to the highest Honors of a free Country.…
235 years ago on June 28, 1778, Molly Pitcher, the legendary heroine of the American Revolution, is said to have participated in the Battle of Monmouth. This is a copy of the engraving by J.C. Armytage after Alonzo Chappel.
But who was Molly Pitcher? See Will the Real Molly Pitcher Please Stand Up? via the National Archives’ Prologue Magazine.
But on Saturday last, the 17th, the Regulars attacked us upon one of the Charlestown Hills, where we had begun to entrench, and obliged us to retreat, by means of their Ships and Floating Batterys, we having no large Cannon to match theirs; the Cannon we cou’d have had, if we had had Gunpowder enough to Spare, but we had not more than sufficient for the Field Pieces and Musquetry; however, the Enemy have not much to boast; for tho’ they kept the Field, and took from us 4 or 5 pieces, 3 Pounders, yet they lost, by the best accounts we can yet obtain, about 500 kill’d and wounded, and among the former are, as we have reason to believe, several officers of distinction: our loss in numbers is not great, by the best accounts we yet have, about 60 or 70 kill’d and missing;4 but —— among these is —— what Shall I say! how Shall I write the name of our worthy Friend, the great and good Dr. W——. You will hear by others who will write tomorrow, such particulars as I am not possessed of: Soon after the Regulars landed, they Set Fire to the Town of Charlestown, and that day, yesterday and this Day they have consumed most of the Houses as far as Penny-Ferry;5 and they have possession of all that part of Charlestown, and are encamped upon Bunker’s Hill; and we are encamped upon Prospect Hill, Winters Hill, and at the Bridge leading to Inman’s, Phips’s &c. Yesterday and this day, they have Cannonnaded us, but to no purpose; and our people, by Small Parties have picked off some of their out Guards: We expect another action very soon. Do send us Powder, and then we Shall, by the blessing of Heaven, soon destroy this Hornets Nest.
An account of the Battle of Bunker Hill (June 17, 1775) via the Founders Online—a new tool for seamless searching across the Papers of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, and Alexander Hamilton. A partnership between the University of Virginia Press and the National Archives’ National Historical Publications and Records Commission, you can read more about this massive undertaking at Prologue: The Papers of the Founding Fathers Are Now Online
Ethan Allen and his Vermont militia, the Green Mountain Boys, accompanied by Benedict Arnold, captured Fort Ticonderoga in New York from its small British garrison on May 10, 1775, in the second major engagement of the American Revolution.
A plan of Fort Ticonderoga in July 1758 during the Seven Years War. (111-SC-94756)
Controlling the southern end of Lake Champlain, the fort had been a strategic linchpin during the earlier French and Indian Wars but had later fallen into disrepair. However, the artillery pieces captured with the fort would prove key months later, when they were removed and used to break the siege of Boston, liberating it from British occupation.
Now a reconstructed museum, Fort Ticonderoga existed only as ruins in the years following the war. Read more about the fort and a would-be veteran in the compelling A Soldier of the Revolution; Or, Will the Real Isaac Rice Please Stand Up from the National Archives’ Prologue Magazine.
(Ed. note - visited Fort Ti this past summer, along with the “jr. curator.” -D)
Three months after the King declared every rebel a traitor, and with a reward posted for the capture of certain prominent rebel leaders, the delegates to Congress adopted these strict rules of secrecy to protect the cause of American liberty and their own lives.
This document bears the signatures of eighty-seven delegates; thirty-nine signed on November 9, and the other delegates signed as they reported to Congress.
The Agreement of Secrecy, November 9, 1775; Papers of the Continental Congress- 1774-1789, Item 6A: Rough Secret Journal, 1776-79, p. 1; Records of the Continental and Confederation Congresses and the Constitutional Convention; Record Group 360; National Archives
On September 23, 1779, the Bonhomme Richard, commanded by John Paul Jones, defeated the the British warship HMS Serapis at the Battle of Flamborough Head. A converted merchant ship provided to the Continental Navy by King Louis XVI of France, the Bonhomme Richard was named for the French translation of Benjamin Franklin’s “Poor Richard” pseudonym. The American vessel was heavily damaged in the battle and sank soon afterwards.