Rounding out the year with a round-up from our friends at Americana Corner

As 2022 winds down, Emerging Revolutionary War wanted to share one more round-up of what our good friends at Americana Corner were doing in this last month of the year. We hope to continue to partner with Americana Corner in the 2023 and bring new content and new enthusiasm for this critical period in American history to the forefront. To all our readers, thank you and we all at Emerging Revolutionary War hope you have a great ending to 2022 and a Happy New Year!

A few blog posts for light reading as you wind down December…

Washington Takes Command
December 27, 2022

When it came to finding the right man to command the new Continental Army assembled around Boston, George Washington was the logical choice. John Adams quickly nominated Washington and Congress unanimously approved. As Adams stated, “This appointment will have a great effect in cementing and securing the Union of these colonies.”

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George Washington Enters Politics
December 20, 2022

As befitting a wealthy landowner in colonial Virginia, George Washington became active in the colony’s politics in the 1750s. He first ran for a seat representing Frederick County in the Virginia House of Burgesses in 1755 but lost the election. Interestingly, it was the only political race he would ever lose. Washington ran for that same seat in 1758 and was victorious, and he held this seat for seven years.

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The Life of Martha Washington
December 13, 2022

Martha Washington was our nation’s first First Lady and lived in the shadow of her larger-than-life husband George. However, most Americans do not realize that she was a very capable woman and, when given the opportunity, managed her own affairs quite well.

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George Washington’s Life at Mount Vernon
December 6, 2022

When George Washington resigned as Colonel and Commander of the Virginia Regiment in 1758, he returned to Mount Vernon to begin his life as a gentleman planter. Although in less than twenty years Washington would be called away by his country, his time between the French and Indian War and the American Revolution was a significant portion of this great man’s life.

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“Rev War Revelry” Ladies Night & Loyalist Women

Earlier this year, three great historians, in their words, “took over” the “Rev War Revelry” in a discussion that they dubbed “Ladies Night.” That particular Sunday night historian happy hour was well received, so Emerging Revolutionary War historians Kate Gruber and Vanessa Smiley have decided to have another “Ladies Night” but this time discuss the role of Loyalist women during and after the American Revolution.

Joining this dynamic duo will be Dr. Stephanie Seal Walters, who is currently the Digital Liaison in the Humanities for the University of Southern Mississippi. She earned her bachelor’s and graduate degrees in history from the University of Southern Mississippi and a doctorate in United States History from George Mason University. You may also recognize her from the first annual Emerging Revolutionary War Symposium held in Historic Alexandria, Virginia in September 2019.

We hope that you can tune in, on Sunday night, at 7pm EDT, to catch the next installment of “Rev War Revelry” on our Facebook page.

The Forgotten Woman of Valley Forge from America’s Forgotten Ally

During the winter encampment at Valley Forge, as thousands of men huddled around drafty wooden cabins, with dwindling supplies, and battled boredom and disease, a relief effort was organized hundreds of miles away.

George Washington, ensconced at the Potts House in the heart of the Valley Forge encampment, was very aware of the dire straights that his forces were exposed to. Throughout the winter he sent missives, directly and through intermediaries, discreetly asking for more aid, for supplies, for changes to military bureaucracy. He even consented to a delegation of congressmen to visit Valley Forge and see first-hand the situation in the winter of 1777-1778.

In a proverbial sense, he did not leave any stone unturned to try and ease the plight of his forces or continue to stay abreast of British designs, less than twenty-miles away in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

After hearing of the contributions of the Oneidas and Tuscaroras at the Battle of Oriskany in New York, Washington sent a letter of invitation for the Native Americans to visit his army. Approximately 50 warriors along with supplies made the few hundred mile journey from upstate New York to eastern Pennsylvania. They left their villages on April 25 and arrived on May 15,1778 in Valley Forge. The leaders of the Oneida party dined with Washington. Five days later some of the warriors participated in the engagement at Barren Hill under the Marquis de Lafayette. Six of the warriors gave their life in service to their ally.

In 2007 historian Joseph T. Glatthaar published a book about the Oneidas and their contributions to the American victory in the war. The title, in part, is Forgotten Allies. A fitting testament to the service and sacrifice this tribe underwent in their partnership with the fledgling American nation.

In 2004 a sculpture was completed of Polly Cooper, Chief Skenandoah, and George Washington
(courtesy of King of Prussia Historical Society)

If the Oneidas were the “forgotten allies” than in the winter encampment at Valley Forge there was a forgotten woman that tramped south with her fellow Oneidas. Her name was Polly Cooper.

Along with the warriors, whom Washington wanted to serve as scouts, the Oneidas brought much needed supplies, including bushels of white corn. While the leaders dined at the Potts House, Cooper established a de-facto cooking show. She handed out the white corn to the soldiers and taught them how to use husks to make soup and ground grain to make it palatable.

This much needed food sources, along with an improved supply chain under quartermaster Nathanael Greene rounded out the bleak winter with the glimmer of hope for better supplies in the upcoming campaign season.

The Oneida, including Polly Cooper for her services, refused any and all payment. Friends help friends in need is what the Oneida told Washington and his officers. However, a tradition exists in the history of the Oneida nation. That story, passed down orally from generation to generation, highlights that Marth Washington, in her gratitude for what Polly Cooper did for the rank-and-file of the Continental army, presented the Oneida heroine with a shawl and bonnet.

Another account reads that Cooper was gifted a black shawl that she saw for sale in a store window. The Continental Congress appropriated the money for the clothing item and gifted it as their thanks to her. This shawl is still in the ownership of her descendants and has been loaned to the Oneida cultural center from time to time.

The black shawl that Polly Cooper received for her services to the Continental Army at Valley Forge
(courtesy of the Oneida Indian Nation
http://www.oneidaindiannation.org)

Women in the Revolutionary War: A List of Resources

This past Sunday’s Rev War Revelry was a great success! Thank you to all who watched live and watched the replay of ERW historians Vanessa Smiley and Kate Gruber and special guest Heidi Campbell-Shoaf, Executive Director of the Daughters of the American Revolution Museum in Washington D.C., discussing and interpreting women in Early American History.

A number of folks were interested in the resources that were shared during the program. We have compiled a list of those mentioned as well as additional resources to dive deeper into the stories of women during this pivotal time in American history.

“The women of ’76: “Molly Pitcher” the heroine of Monmouth”
by Currier & Ives. Library of Congress.

Books:

Revolutionary Backlash: Women and Politics in the Early Republic by Rosemarie Zagarri

The Diary of Elizabeth Drinker: The Life of an Eighteenth-Century Woman by Elaine Forman Crane (editor)

Book of Ages: The Life and Opinions of Jane Franklin by Jill Lepore

Betsy Ross and the Making of America by Marla Miller

The Needle’s Eye: Women and Work in the Age of Revolution by Marla Miller

Women of the Revolution by Robert Dunkerly

Women of the Republic by Linda Kerber

Articles:

Jane Bartram’s “Application”: Her Struggle for Survival, Stability, and Self-Determination in Revolutionary Pennsylvania by Wayne Bodie (article link courtesy of Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography)

Digital Resources

DAR Library – A wealth of American Revolution resources! “The DAR Library collection contains over 225,000 books, 10,000 research files, thousands of manuscript items, and special collections of African American, Native American, and women’s history, genealogy and culture.”

Library of Congress – always a good source if you know what you’re looking for.

Have a great resource on women in the American Revolution? Share in the comments!

A Casualty Not Counted: Faith Trumbull Huntington and the Battle of Bunker Hill

“I cannot pretend to describe the Horror of the Scene within the Redoubt when we enter’d it,” British Marine Lt. John Waller wrote to a friend on June 21, 1775, four days after the British Pyrrhic victory at the Battle of Bunker Hill on June 17, “’twas streaming with Blood & strew’d with dead & dying Men the Soldiers stabbing some and dashing out the Brains of others was a sight too dreadful for me to dwell any longer on.”[1]  All said and done, the bloody exchange claimed 226 British and 450 Patriot lives, with still over 1,000 more wounded, captured, or missing from both belligerents.[2]

This unspeakable carnage, which proved too distressing for even a seasoned British Marine to recount, surely imprinted itself in the hearts and minds of all who witnessed it—but not all witnesses to the battle’s shocking scenes were soldiers. One was a young woman named Faith Trumbull Huntington. She too would find the bloody Battle of Bunker Hill, and the anxieties and unknowns of her world at war, heavy burdens to bear.

Double Portrait of Governor Jonathan and Faith Trumbull, John Trumbull, 1778, Connecticut Historical Society

Born in 1743 to Jonathan and Faith Trumbull in Lebanon, daughter Faith came of age in a prominent and respected Connecticut family, which also included younger brother John Trumbull, born in 1756, who was destined to become one of the era’s most important artists. On May 1, 1766 Faith married Jedidiah Huntington, and the couple welcomed a son, Jabez, in September 1767. At the onset of the war, the Trumbulls and the Huntingtons quickly mobilized and made known their patriot loyalties. Faith’s father, at that time the Royal Governor of Connecticut, refused to deliver manpower to support the British army’s advances against the colonists in Boston, and became a patriot hero whom George Washington held in high esteem. Jedidiah advanced to colonel in the Connecticut militia, and soon saw action at the Siege of Boston. Faith’s father, husband, and brothers dedicated themselves to the patriot cause. Her sister Mary was married to a member of the Sons of Liberty and future signer of the Declaration of Independence.

Jedediah Huntington, John Trumbull, about 1790, Bequest of Frederick Jabez Huntington, Connecticut Historical Society
Continue reading “A Casualty Not Counted: Faith Trumbull Huntington and the Battle of Bunker Hill”

African Americans Serving in the American Revolution

If you tuned into our “Rev War Revelry” with historian and author John U. Rees on Sunday, you may have heard him mention a few links and a blog where he adds information that did not make it into the book. Or has come to light since the publication of his history “They Were Good Soldiers: African-Americans in the Continental Army, 1775-1783.”

John was nice enough to provide the following as a follow-up for those interested in reading more into the subject.

African Americans Serving in the Armies of the Revolution
(PDF, click here).

Book:

“They Were Good Soldiers”,  

Additional post-publication updates and information: 

List of soldiers and women featured in the book. 

African American soldier-servants. 

African American women with the army. 

Author interviews pertaining to the book. 

Entries for blog:

“More ‘Good Soldiers’”: 

Revised percentages for 1778 army “Return of Negroes.” 

Officers’ observations of black Continental soldiers. 

Ranney’s painting “Cowpens” and black cavalry soldiers. 

List of soldiers and women featured in the book. 

Black Continental soldiers at the Battle of Monmouth. 

Printed 19th century remembrances of black veterans 

Articles

Articles the book was based on including African Americans in Southern Continental regiments plus transcribed pension files used for that study.  

Jeffrey Brace, African slave and Continental soldier 

Other authors:  

Black soldier motivations (Scoggins) 

Loyalist Ethiopian Regiment (Copeland) 

Black soldiers at New Windsor cantonment (Thorenz) 

Hannah Till, wartime servant to Washington (Cole) 

Thomas Carney, Maryland Continental (Calder) 

Black Hessians (Jones) 

Military role of black Loyalists (Braisted) 

Author Discussion ERW Facebook Live:

To watch the interview with John, click over to Emerging Revolutionary War’s Facebook page and click on the “Videos” tab. To access the page, click here.

Continental Soldiers
The two of soldiers on the left, drawn in 1781 by French Sublieutenant Jean-Baptiste-Antoine de Verger, Royal Deux-Ponts Regiment, are a private of the Rhode Island Regiment, and a soldier of Hazen’s Canadian Regiment. The next in line is a Virginia rifleman, while the last man is a Continental artileryman. Howard C. Rice and Anne S.K. Brown, eds. and trans., The American Campaigns of Rochambeau’s Army 1780, 1781, 1782, 1783, vol. I (Princeton, N.J. and Providence, R.I.,: Princeton University Press, 1972), between pages 142-143 (description on page xxi). Anne S.K. Brown Military Collection, Brown University.  

“Rev War Roundtable with ERW” Tavern Talk

When the idea was formulated, back in April, to do a Sunday evening Zoom/Facebook live type history hour, the emphasis behind this “happy hour” was to style it as a more informal chat. Our goal was to create a virtual adaptation of what would occur if the same historians met at a tavern/bar/pub to casually chat about American history.

Speed up to this Sunday, June 7th, Emerging Revolutionary War will welcome three guest historians, who all have a connection to a historic tavern to join co-founder Rob Orrison on a talk about 18th century taverns. Yes, a “tavern talk about taverns.”

Joining Orrison on the hour-long happy hour chat will be:

Liz Williams, Executive Director of Gadsby’s Tavern in Alexandria, Virginia, part of The Office of Historic Alexandria, in which she has been employed with since 2004. She is a graduate of Mary Washington College in Fredericksburg, Virginia with a degree in Historic Preservation and a graduate degree in Tourism Administration from George Washington University. She has also worked at various historic sites in the Virginia and Washington D.C. area.

An ERW favorite and returning to the “Rev War Revelry” is Stacey Fraser, the Collections and Outreach Manager with Lexington (MA) Historical Society. One of the sites she oversees the collection of is Buckman Tavern, which played a role in the April 19, 1775 engagements that rolled through Lexington and Concord, Massachusetts.

The third guest historian is Sarah Kneeshaw, the Education and Public Programs Coordinator at Fraunces Tavern Museum. The tavern was built in 1719 in New York City by the De Lancey family. She joined the staff at the downtown New York City site (which is directly across from Federal Hall where George Washington was inaugurated president in April 1789) in 2016. Sarah holds a bachelor’s degree in Anthropology from Fordham University and also attained a graduate degree in Museum Studies from John Hopkins University. She is a native of Staten Island.

Thus, this Sunday, set a side an hour-ish, starting at 7pm EST, to hear these four historians discuss taverns, their importance, and roles in the 18th century social, military, and political history of the burgeoning United States. With your preferred drink, be it an 18th century tavern concoction or not, in hand, we look forward to your questions, comments and insights.

Rediscovery number 27587

March Presentations

Emerging Revolutionary War (ERW) would like to highlight from time to time some of the lectures, presentations, talks, and events that our historians are apart of.

This month, ERW historians are giving the following presentations:

Bert Dunkerly

March 27th: “The Brown’s Island Explosion Victims” at the Virginia Forum, Richmond, Virginia

Kate Gruber

March 13th: “Tenacity: Women in Jamestown and Early Virginia” Shenandoah Lyceum Lecture Series, Harrisonburg, Virginia. For more information click here.

Travis Shaw

March 29th: “Lord Dunmore.” Aldie, Virginia

Annis Boudinot Stockton, Mythmaking, and the American Revolution (cont.)

Emerging Revolutionary War welcomes back guest historian Blake McGready for part two of the series. To read part one, click here.

While her poetry avoided wartime setbacks and conjured stories of revolutionary unity, Stockton’s poems did confront the violent realities of what she called “a most cruel and eventful war”. Her choice allusions demonstrate how, in her mind, wartime violence bound the revolutionaries together. Following the death of General Joseph Warren at the battle of Bunker Hill she lamented, “That heart, which, studious of his countries good / Held up her rights and seal’d them with his blood!” In 1776 Stockton wrote of revolutionary soldiers who “fought and bled to save their native land / From bowing to a tyrant’s stern command,” and honored great men dying on battlefields “Made fertile by the blood of heroes slain.” Whereas historians have noted how the war’s violence was often deliberately excluded from the popular imagination, by contrast, Stockton’s war and violence were inseparable.[i]

Continue reading “Annis Boudinot Stockton, Mythmaking, and the American Revolution (cont.)”

Annis Boudinot Stockton, Mythmaking, and the American Revolution

Emerging Revolutionary War welcomes guest historian Blake McGready. A short bio is at the end of this post.

In December 1776, Richard Stockton of Princeton, New Jersey, a signer of the Declaration of Independence, disavowed the American Revolution and swore allegiance to King George III. After British forces imprisoned Stockton, he accepted his captor’s amnesty offer. Revolutionaries considered Stockton’s decision an act of cold betrayal and condemned his perfidy. And yet, following his death in 1781, most biographies avoided or ignored Stockton’s questionable political commitment; one tribute claimed his conviction inspired “the utmost confidence of his associates and the country at large.” Stockton owed much of this comeback to his wife, Annis Boudinot. As a prolific and published poet, she helped erase much of her husband’s political infidelity in her writings. At the time of his death she praised him in one tribute, “Can we forget how patiently he bore / The various conflicts of the trying hour / While meekness, faith, and piety refin’d.” She carefully forgot that her husband abandoned the revolutionaries during “the trying hour.”[i]

Annis Boudinot (Mrs. Richard) Stockton by James Sharples Senior, from life, 1796-1797. Courtesy, Independence National Historical Park.
Continue reading “Annis Boudinot Stockton, Mythmaking, and the American Revolution”