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Revolutionary War


Print of a parade of a two-faced Benedict Arnold through the streets of Philadelphia

New London’s Tradition of Burning Benedict Arnold…in Effigy – Who Knew?

New London has a yearly tradition of burning an effigy of Benedict Arnold, the infamous Revolutionary War general turned traitor.

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Section of a handwritten document

Black Loyalist Refugees: Toney Escapes During the Burning of Fairfield

The British burning of Fairfield during the Revolutionary War provided an opportunity for enslaved people to escape, including a man named Toney.

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Portrait of a man dressed in 18th century clothing. He is wearing a black suit with a white neckcloth

Samuel Huntington, the first President of the United States, dies – Today in History: January 5

Samuel Huntington not only served as Connecticut’s governor and a member of the Continental Congress, but, some would argue, the first President of the United States.

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Black and white drawing of a man from the waist up. He is wearing a collared jacked with a neck covering

Lemuel Haynes: America’s First Black Ordained Minister

Lemuel Haynes was a father, husband, pastor, and patriot—he is widely considered to be the first Black man in America to be ordained by a Protestant church.

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David Bushnell and his Revolutionary Submarine

How a farmer’s son became the Father of Submarine Warfare during the American Revolution.

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Jared Sparks

A Willington Visionary Preserves the Nation’s Colonial Past

September 27, 2022 • Education, Revolutionary War, Willington

Jared Sparks was a Unitarian minister, editor, and historian who went on to serve as President of Harvard University in the middle of the 19th century.

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Historic photo of the Ebenezer Avery House, Groton

The Ebenezer Avery House – Who Knew?

The Ebenezer Avery House in Groton once served as a hospital for the wounded after the Revolutionary War’s Battle of Groton Heights on September 6, 1781.

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Benedict Arnold

Benedict Arnold Turns and Burns New London

September 6, 1781 was a brutal and terrifying day for Connecticut citizens living on both sides of New London harbor, along the Thames River.

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Painting of a man sitting in a chair. There is a drapery behind him. He is wearing a reddish brown suit from the 18th century

Roger Sherman Dies – Today in History: July 23

On July 23, 1793, Roger Sherman—a Connecticut merchant, lawyer, and statesman—died in New Haven.

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Lyman Hall memorial, Center Street Cemetery

Wallingford Native Son Signed the Declaration of Independence

Lyman Hall served in the Second Continental Congress and signed the Declaration of Independence.

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A Remarkable Signature – Who Knew?

Roger Sherman, Connecticut merchant, lawyer, and statesman, was the only person to sign all four documents of the American Revolution.

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The Webb Mansion, Wethersfield

Washington Didn’t Only Sleep Here: George Washington at Wethersfield’s Webb House

The first time George Washington traveled through Connecticut, he was an ambitious Virginia colonel hoping to advance his career in the British military.

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Soldier, Patriot, and Politician: The Life of Oliver Wolcott

Oliver Wolcott served in military in the Seven Years’ War and the American Revolution, but was also a popular member of the Continental Congress and governor of Connecticut.

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Benedict Arnold: America’s Most Famous Traitor

Benedict Arnold of Norwich was one of the great Continental army heroes of the American Revolution before committing treason and joining the British army.

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Hannah Bunce Watson: One of America’s First Female Publishers

Hannah Bunce Watson was one of the first female publishers in America and helped the Hartford Courant survive one of the most challenging times in its history.

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Uriah Tracy

Uriah Tracy Authors the Rules for Impeachment

Uriah Tracy was an attorney and politician who took up arms against the British after the Battles of Lexington and Concord.

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Colonel William Douglas

William Douglas: A Colonial Hero’s Sacrifice

William Douglas was a successful merchant and military leader who settled in North Branford just prior to the Revolutionary War.

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Ethan Allen and the Green Mountain Boys

Ethan Allen Born – Today in History: January 10

On January 10, 1738, future hero of the Revolutionary War Ethan Allen was believed to have been born in the frontier village of Litchfield, Connecticut.

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The White Pine Acts – Who Knew?

The British government made it illegal for colonials to cut down white pine trees over 24 inches in diameter—preserving the trees for use as masts on British naval ships.

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The Articles of Confederation: America’s First Constitution

The Articles of Confederation loosely served as the nation’s first formal governing document, until ultimately being replaced by the US Constitution.

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Section of the map "Connecticut, from actual survey" (1813)

Caleb Brewster: A Patriot Against Freedom

Caleb Brewster—Fairfield, Connecticut’s resident member of the Culper Spy Ring during the Revolutionary War—was also an active participant in the African Slave Trade.

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Camp à Contorbery, le 7 Novembre, 10 milles de Windham

Map – Rochambeau’s Camp at Canterbury

This map, “Camp à Contorbery, le 7 Novembre, 10 milles de Windham,” is a page from the manuscript atlas Amérique Campagne 1782.

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Pulling Down the Statue of King George II, New York City

Mariann Wolcott and Ralph Earl – Opposites Come Together and Make History

The story of Mariann Wolcott and Ralph Earl captures much of the complexity the Revolutionary War brought to the lives and interactions of ordinary citizens.

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Nathan Hale Statue, Hartford

Nathan Hale Hanged in New York – Today in History: September 22

On September 22, 1776, the British hanged Revolutionary War soldier Nathan Hale, a school teacher from Coventry, Connecticut, for spying.

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Needlework by Prudence Punderson

Prudence Punderson, Ordinary Woman, Extraordinary Artist: Needlework in Connecticut

September 16, 2021 • Arts, Preston, Revolutionary War, Women

Completed in the 1700s, “The First, Second and Last Scene of Mortality” is considered to be one of the most spectacular pieces of needlework in US history.

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Bushnell's Turtle

The Turtle Submarine – Today in History: September 6

On September 6, 1776, the first functioning submarine, called the Turtle, attacked the HMS Eagle anchored in New York Harbor.

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David Humphreys

David Humphreys, Soldier, Statesman, and Agricultural Innovator

Despite an accomplished political career, this Derby-born gentleman of means is best remembered for introducing Merino sheep to North America.

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Jonathan Trumbull, Sr.

Governor Jonathan Trumbull Dies – Today in History: August 17

On August 17, 1785, Connecticut’s first governor, Jonathan Trumbull, died.

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Ralph Earl, A View of the Town of Concord etched by Amos Doolittle

Ralph Earl: Portrait of an Early American Artist

In addition to some of the earliest Revolutionary War battle scenes, Ralph Earl painted prominent figures of the colonial period.

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Burning of Fairfield

British Burn Fairfield – Today in History: July 7

On July 7, 1779, during the Revolutionary War, the British anchored a fleet of warships off the coast of Fairfield, Connecticut.

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Connecticut, from the Best Authorities

Stamford’s Three-Gun Armada

During the Revolutionary War, American privateers utilized armed whaling boats to keep the British from the colonies’ shores and prevent illicit trade in British goods.

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Nathan Hale: The Man and the Legend

A school teacher hanged as a spy during the American Revolution, Nathan Hale became Connecticut’s official state hero in 1985.

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The Minute Man, Westport CT

On the morning of June 17, 1910, over a thousand Connecticut residents descended upon Westport for a patriotic, event-filled unveiling of The Minute Man monument.

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Connecticut’s Loyal Subjects: Toryism and the American Revolution

Loyalists in Connecticut, often acting on beliefs tied to relegion, proved particularly prominent in Fairfield County. Many of them fled to Canada rather than face imprisonment at New-Gate.

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A receipt for two prints of John Trumbull paintings

Jeremiah Wadsworth, “foremost in every enterprise”

Jeremiah Wadsworth was a sea-going merchant, commissary general to the Continental army, and founder of the nation’s first banks.

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The Burning of Danbury

In April of 1777, British forces under Major General William Tryon led a raid on patriot supplies stored in Danbury, Connecticut.

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Litchfield’s Revolutionary War Soldiers’ Tree

In 1902, the Daughters of the American Revolution celebrated Arbor Day by planting a tree on the Litchfield Green to commemorate the town’s Revolutionary War soldiers.

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Israel Putnam: A Youthful Trailblazer Turned Colonial Militiaman

Israel Putnam served with distinction in the Seven Years’ War and in the Revolutionary War, particularly at the Battle of Bunker Hill.

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A return of the number of inhabitants in the State of Connecticut

Connecticut’s Black Governors

For approximately one hundred years, Connecticut’s “Black Governors” were used by white authorities to help maintain order among the black population.

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The Old State House, Hartford

Jackson v. Bulloch and the End of Slavery in Connecticut

Nancy Jackson sued for her freedom in 1837. Her victory helped further the abolitionist cause in a state slowly moving toward outlawing slavery.

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Valley Forge, 1777

A Connecticut Slave in George Washington’s Army

Nero Hawley, born into slavery in Connecticut in the 18th century, fought in the Revolutionary War.

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Poem relating the Beadle murders

The Beadle Family Murders – Today in History: December 11

Following his drop in status as one of the town’s wealthiest men, William Beadle murdered his entire family.

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USS Confederacy (by William Nowland Van Powel

USS Confederacy: The Life and Service of Connecticut’s Continental Frigate

Nearly 20 years before the launching of the USS Constitution, a modest shipyard in Norwich, CT launched the Confederacy.

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Ralph Earl, Oliver Wolcott

Oliver Wolcott Dies – Today in History: December 1

On December 1, 1797, signer of the Declaration of Independence Oliver Wolcott died while serving his term as Connecticut’s governor.

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John F. Weir, Roger Sherman, ca. 1902

Roger Sherman, Revolutionary and Dedicated Public Servant

Roger Sherman is also the only person to have signed all four of the most significant documents in our nation’s early history.

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Pierre Eugene Du Simetière, Silas Deane. Member of Congress

The Rise and Fall of Silas Deane, American Patriot

Esteemed by his fellow patriots as a savvy diplomat who helped cement a strategic alliance with France during the American Revolution, Deane spent his final years under a cloud of suspicion.

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Enoch Smith Woods, Colonel Thomas Knowlton

Thomas Knowlton: A Small Town’s National Hero

Thomas Knowlton is arguably Ashford’s most widely recognized war hero.

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Fort Griswold, 1781

Fort Griswold Attacked – Today in History: September 6

On September 6, 1781, British forces overtook Fort Griswold and killed many of the Patriots who had surrendered.

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Caleb Brewster and the Culper Spy Ring

Caleb Brewster used his knowledge of Long Island Sound to serve as a member of the Culper Spy Ring during the Revolutionary War.

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Detail from the map Colony of Connecticut in North-America by Moses Park

East Haven’s Revolutionary Salt Works

East Haven’s Amos Morris helped supply Americans with salt (essential for preserving food) during critical shortages brought on by the American Revolution.

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Joel Barlow

The Hartford Wits

Eventually taking the name the “Hartford Wits,” influential figures of the 18th century got together to write poetry that documented the state of the times.

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Liberty Pole marker on East Street North, Goshen

Hidden Nearby: Goshen’s Liberty Pole

July 2, 2020 • Goshen, Revolutionary War

A marker on East Street North in nearby Goshen, Connecticut, allows us a window on to past celebrations of American freedoms and liberties.

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Richard Brooks, Oliver Cromwell

Oliver Cromwell Launched – Today in History: June 13

On June 13, 1776, the ship Oliver Cromwell was launched in Essex, one of the largest full-rigged ships built after the establishment of Connecticut’s navy.

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Leffingwell Inn, Norwichtown

Christopher Leffingwell Born – Today in History: June 11

On June 11, 1734, businessman and civic leader Christopher Leffingwell was born in Norwich.

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Detail of Guilford and Long Island

Stealth Attack from Guilford Launched – Today in History: May 23

On May 23, 1777, Colonel Return Jonathan Meigs launched a lightning raid from Sachem Head in Guilford on Sag Harbor.

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Fight at Ridgefield

Battle at Ridgefield – Today in History: April 27

On April 27, 1777, American forces under the command of Major General David Wooster attacked the retreating British troops under Major General William Tryon in Ridgefield.

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Governor Tryon's Expedition to Danbury

The British Attack Danbury – Today in History: April 26

On April 25, 1777, British forces land at the mouth of the Saugatuck River with plans to attack Danbury.

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Ralph Earl, The Battle of Lexington, April 19th, 1775 etched by Amos Doolittle

News From Lexington: Contemporary Views of the Opening Battles of the American Revolution

A rare set of prints by New Haven printer Amos Doolittle depicts the momentous events of April 19, 1775.

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Illustration of Hebron by John Warner Barber

Changing Sentiments on Slavery in Colonial Hebron

Residents of Hebron rescued local enslaved people Lowis and Cesar Peters, and their children, from South Carolina slave traders.

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John Warner Barber, Public square or green, in New Haven

Benedict Arnold Demands the Key – Today in History: April 22

On April 22, 1775, Benedict Arnold demanded the key to New Haven’s powder house.

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Video – Connecticut’s Cultural Treasures: Webb-Deane-Stevens Museum

Connecticut’s Cultural Treasures is a series of 50 five-minute film vignettes that profiles a variety of the state’s most notable cultural resources.

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Captain Nathaniel Shaw Mansion, New London

New London’s Sound Defense

The use of privateers to supplement naval forces and wage war on an enemy was established European practice—and one the rebellious North American colonies readily adopted as they faced Britain, one of great military powers at sea, during the Revolutionary War.

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Levi B. Frost House, Southington

The Frost House Once Offered Travelers a Warm Welcome

The Levi B. Frost House (or the Asa Barnes Tavern) represents over two centuries of Southington history.

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George Washington Slept Here

George Washington Slept Here (Just Perhaps Not Well)

After his stay at the Perkins Tavern in Ashford, George Washington commented in his personal journal on the accommodations.

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Count de Rochambeau - French general of the land forces in America reviewing the French troops

Rochambeau Returns Over and Over to Andover

Jean-Baptiste-Donatien de Vimeur, comte de Rochambeau, was a French nobleman and army general who contributed significantly to the Colonial army’s victory in the war for American independence.

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Fort Griswold

Fort Griswold and the Battle of Groton Heights 1781

East of the Thames River, on Groton Heights, Fort Griswold stands commanding the New London Harbor and the surrounding countryside.

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John Warner Barber, Groton Monument and Fort Griswold

Blood on the Hill: The Battle of Groton Heights, September 6, 1781

Public passions were stirred by reports of a “massacre” at Fort Griswold and its particulars remain a topic of debate to this day.

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Video – Connecticut’s Cultural Treasures: Litchfield Historical Society

Connecticut’s Cultural Treasures is a series of 50 five-minute film vignettes that profiles a variety of the state’s most notable cultural resources.

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Video – Connecticut’s Cultural Treasures: Phelps-Hatheway House and Garden

Connecticut’s Cultural Treasures is a series of 50 five-minute film vignettes that profiles a variety of the state’s most notable cultural resources.

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Video – Connecticut’s Cultural Treasures: Samuel Huntington

Connecticut’s Cultural Treasures is a series of 50 five-minute film vignettes that profiles a variety of the state’s most notable cultural resources.

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Camp a Danbury le 23 Octobre 11 milles de Salem

Map – Rochambeau’s Camp at Danbury

This map, “Camp a Danbury le 23 Octobre 11 milles de Salem,” is a page from the manuscript atlas Amérique Campagne 1782.

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Camp à East Hartford, le 29 Octobre, 12 milles 1/2 de Farmingtown

Map – Rochambeau’s Camp at East Hartford

This map, “Camp à East Hartford, le 29 Octobre, 12 milles 1/2 de Farmingtown,” is a page from the manuscript atlas Amérique Campagne 1782.

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Camp à Walen-Town, le 8 Novembre, 10 milles de Contorbery

Map – Rochambeau’s Camp at Voluntown

This map, “Camp à Walen-Town, le 8 Novembre, 10 milles de Contorbery,” is a page from the manuscript atlas Amérique Campagne 1782.

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Camp à Farmington le 28 Octobre, 13 milles de Barn's Tavern

Map – Rochambeau’s Camp at Farmington

This map, “Camp à Farmington le 28 Octobre, 13 milles de Barn’s Tavern,” is a page from the manuscript atlas Amérique Campagne 1782.

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Camp à Windham, le 5 Novembre, 16 milles 1/2 de Bolton

Map – Rochambeau’s Camp at Windham

The manuscript outlines the plans of the camps for Comte de Rochambeau’s army during their return march north from Williamsburg, Virginia, to Boston.

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Silas Deane House, Wethersfield

Site Lines: Silas Deane

Despite Deane’s role in securing French supplies and support for the American Revolution, his accomplishments have long been obscured by whispers of treason, a spy’s double-dealing, and his own sudden death.

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Video – Connecticut’s Cultural Treasures: Lebanon Green

Connecticut’s Cultural Treasures is a series of 50 five-minute film vignettes that profiles a variety of the state’s most notable cultural resources.

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