-By Brenna Ames 

In this picture one can see the Boston
minutemen meeting the British soldiers on the
morning of April 19, 1775. Also known as one
of The Battles at Lexington and Concord. The
British soldiers had set out the night before and
were on their way to seize ammunition and
weapons from the American colonists who had
stockpiled them. Although the minutemen had
heard that the British were on their way and
decided to fight back. The two finally met, where they stood face to face with weapons.
No one know who shot first, although this shot is known as the “shot heard around the
world”. There was much confusion, but both sides shot at each other, leaving eight
Americans dead and at least eight more wounded. Although only one British redcoat
was wounded. That shot marked the beginning of the Revolutionary War.
In this picture one can see the handwritten Olive
Branch Petition, which was a petition on an attempt to
come to a compromise or agreement between the
colonist and the British. John Dickinson drafted this
petition and it was adopted by the Second Continental
Congress on July 5th, 1775 and soon submitted to the
King of Britain on July 8th,1775. Although King George
III refused to read the petition and responded
negatively. When the King refused to read the petition the Patriots realized that the
Parliament was acting with royal support and knowledge. Their rage escalated when the
Common Sense was published by Thomas Paine.
In this photo one can see the Declaration of
Independence. By issuing the Declaration, the American
colonies split their political connections with the British. It
all started with Thomas Jefferson, who was appointed the
job of creating a draft of the Declaration. Benjamin
Franklin and John Adams then reviewed it and the final
draft was submitted to the Congress on June 28, 1776.
The Congress then adopted the final text of the document of July 4th, 1776. The
Declaration summarized the 13 colonies motivations for gaining independence and from
declaring themselves an independent nation, America was able to form an alliance with
France, who helped them in the war against Great Britain.
In this photo one can see the British capturing New
York. On August 22nd, 1776 the British army landed
on Long Island, although this was 10 days later than
they expected.On August 27th, the the redcoats
paraded their way towards the Patriot position at
Brooklyn Heights, overcame the Americans at
Gowanus Pass, and finally they beat the whole
Continental army. While the Americans suffered
around 1,000 casualties, the British only lost 400 men. Although after his victory, British
General William Howe did not take the advice from his fellow men, and did not attack
the Patriot redoubts at Brooklyn heights. If he had taken that advice, he could have
taken the American military leaders prisoner and ended the rebellion. George
Washington then ordered a retreat to Manhattan by boat, which could have been easily
stopped by the British. Although General Howe and his brother Admiral Richard Howe,
hoped to convince the Americans to join the British empire. Then on September 11, on
Staten Island, Ben Franklin, John Adams and other congressional representatives
negotiate with the Howe brothers. Although these negotiations did not work out because
the British would not accept American Independence, and the British ended up
capturing New York City on September 15th,1776.
In this photo is a letter from a patriot son to his loyalist
father. The patriot son was a adjutant general in George
Washington’s Continental Army, named Timothy Pickering
Jr. In February 1778 he received word from Massachusetts
that his father, Timothy Pickering Sr, was dying. Timothy Jr.
then wrote his father this letter. Although many families and
relationships were torn apart because of the Revolutionary
war, it seems that this father and sons bond was never truly
broken as Timothy Jr. writes “When I look back on past
time, I regret our difference of sentiment in great as well as
(sometimes) in little politics; as it was a deduction from the
happiness otherwise to have been enjoyed,”.
In this photo one can see George Rogers Clark. Clark was
born in Albemarle County, Virginia on November 19th 1752.
Clark had four sister and five brothers and his youngest
brother William Clark co-led the Lewis and Clark expedition.
During the Revolutionary War Clark became known as the
“Conquer of the Old Northwest”, because he captured territory
that expanded America's frontier. Around the 1770’s some
courages colonist had ventured into Kentucky to claim the
land, and Clark used his survival skills taught to him by his
grandfather and joined them. Although Indian tribes decided
to fight back so Clark made a plan to defend the settlers by
gaining control over more of the Northwest territory. Clark
asked Virginia for help and Governor Patrick Henry gave Clark
command of the mission. Clark and around 200 other men
took control of nearby areas and were able to negotiate with Indian tribes to stop
fighting with the British.Clark also took control of Fort Sackville at Vincennes, which is in
present day Indiana. It was soon retaken back by the British, but with strategic
strategies he was able to take control again. After the war Clark was buried in debts,
because as the highest ranking officer in his particular territory during the wartime
campaigns Clark had the responsibility for obtaining supplies. He had no official
support, so he had to sign for materials himself. He was hopeful that the national
government or Virginia would pay off these debts but neither would take responsibility.
No matter what job he had or what he did his debts could not be overlooked. Later Clark
had gotten a serious burn on his leg and it had to be amputated, and he went to live
with his sister on her farm near Louisville, Kentucky. He then died there at the age of
65. Although after Clark's death, his family fought for his debts and his heirs eventually
achieved a financial settlement.
This image shows George Washington's first
entry into one of his journals, which he kept
during the revolutionary war from May 1781, to
early November 1781. In this entry he writes “I
begin, at this Epoch, a concise Journal of Military
transactions &ca. I lament not having attempted
it from the commencement of the War, in aid of
my memory and wish the multiplicity of matter
which continually surround me and the
embarrassed State of our affairs which is momently calling the attention to perplexities
of one kind or another, may not defeat altogether or so interrupt my present intention, &
plan, as to render it of little avail”. Although his entries only went until November 5 and
his entry for that day ended abruptly. In that entry he was making plans to send two
brigades of his army to work with General Nathanael Greene's army in Georgia and
South Carolina. Although there is a reasoning to his sudden ending in writing, which is
shown through his letter to his assistant Jonathan Trumbull Jr. It stated that
Washington's stepson had become very ill, so he rushed to be by his side. After that
Washington never started writing again, and that is why his journal only covers such a
short time in the war. From this video the viewer learns
about Benedict Arnold not only as a traitor, but as a succesful American General.
Before Arnold joined the British forces he was one of the greatest generals. If it hadnt
been for Arnolds bold leadership, America might have never been victorious in the
Revolutionary War. He participated in the capture of Fort Ticonderoga and shortly after
raided Lake Champlain. Arnold received a promotion at Quebec, despite suffering a
severe leg wound, after urging George Washington to plan a two front attack against
Quebec city. He also constructed the first American naval fleet to engage the British at
Valcour Island. Although this was unsuccessful he delayed the movement of the British
into American territory and established the American Navy. Despite his great work,
shortly after his help in the American victory at the Battle of Saratoga and his Oath of
Allegiance at Valley Forge, Benedict Arnold and his wife Peggy Shippen began to
communicate with the British. From this video the viewer learns
about the battle that ended the Revolutionary War once and for all, the Battle of
Yorktown. It all started when Chief British commander Lord Cornwallis set up a base in
Yorktown, Virginia in order to stay in contact with the British naval fleet. Washington
saw this as an opportunity to trap the British army and ordered Marquis de Lafayette to
keep Cornwallis occupied in Yorktown. Washington combined his army and 4,000
French troops, rushed naval forces and seized control of the Chesapeake Bay. The
British fleet that was sent to rescue Cornwallis was defeated and was forced back into
their fortification, where they fought the Americans. Then two key British forts called
nine and ten were captured, which cut of Cornwallis's last escape route. On the morning
of October 8th, 1781 Cornwallis sent Washington a letter arranging his surrender. On
October the 19th Washington signed the finale surrender terms and that day 8,000
British troops surrendered, although Cornwallis could not bring himself together to
surrender to the Americans and he sent another general to replace him. The war was
finally over.
In this photo is the Treaty of Paris. This treaty was the
document that officially ended the Revolutionary War.
The continental congress made a five member
commission to negotiate the treaty which included, John
Adams, Benjamin Franklin, John Jay, Thomas
Jefferson, and Henry Laurens. Although Laurens was
captured by the British and was held in London until the
end of the war and Jefferson did not leave the Unites
States in time. So that only left Adams,Franklin, and
Jay.The talks of the treaty began around the April of
1782, which was after the victory of the allies of America and France at Yorktown. The
treaty gave the securing of American fishermens right of access to the Grand Banks off
the coast of Newfoundland and other common fishing waters, and Great Britain would
give up all their territory between the Allegheny Mountains on the East and the on the
West the Mississippi River. The United States, by using its powers, agreed to end the
persecution of Loyalist by local and state government and they would recover and repair
their property taken during the war. Also both countries agreed to no block creditors
from being able to seek and recover debts owed to them. The final treaty was signed on
September 3, 1783 and in early 1784 it was approved by the Continental Congress.
In this photo one can see Nathanael Greene. Born and
raised in Rhode Island, Greene was the son a a
businessman who was also a minister of the Society of
Friends. He was brought up in a Quaker church and lived a
simple quiet life working as a blacksmith in his father's iron
forge before the war stuck. He was a keen and avid reader,
which made him form and interest in military science.
Although this upset his Quaker family and community.Then
in 1770 Greene was elected to the Rhode Island legislature
and four years later in 1774 he married Catherine Littlefield,
who was also from Rhode Island. Together they had six
children and during the war she would often visit her husband and gained a reputation
as a strong independent women. That same year Greene helped form a Rhode Island
militia unit called the Kentish Guards. He later commanded the army and became a
brigadier general in the Continental army, in which he acted in the siege of Boston of
1776. George Washington was impressed by his high performance, so Washington
gave Greene the command of Boston after the British had evacuated and at the age of
only thirty four Greene was the youngest major general in the Continental army. Greene
went on to be successful in both the Southern campaign and the Revolutionary war in
Georgia. After the war the Georgia government even gave Greene a plantation named
Mulberry Grove, to thank him for his services in the war. Greene later died
unexpectedly in 1786, at the age of forty-four, from sunstroke.
In this photo one can Henry Knox, a General during the
Revolutionary War. He was the son of William and Mary
Knox, and was born in Boston in 1750.When his father died
he quit school to become the man in the house and
eventually opened his own book store. He loved reading and
was fond of history, but his main interest was artillery. In 1772
he became a member of Boston Grenadier Corps. After
serving as a volunteer in the Battle of Bunker Hill, he
developed a friendship with Washington that little did they
know would last a lifetime. Knox was then in charge of
artillery. He went on to become key parts in many battle, and after the surrender of
Cornwallis at Yorktown, he was promoted to major general. Later, in 1785, Knox was
elected Secretary of War by Congress, and in 1789 he was chosen as Secretary of War
in President Washington's new cabinet. Although Knox decided to resign on December
28th, 1794 and settled on an estate in Thomaston, Maine with his family. He then died
in 1806 unexpectedly and was buried in Thomaston.
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