Broadside Soliciting Recruits for the Continental Army, ca. 1775 – Connecticut Historical Society

Revolutionary War (1775-1783)

As one of the thirteen colonies, Connecticut and its people played instrumental roles during the American Revolution. Connecticut provided food, cannon, and other supplies to the Continental army. For these contributions, Connecticut earned its nickname, “The Provision State.” Connecticut’s Governor, Jonathan Trumbull, was the only colonial governor to initially and openly support the Revolution. Consequently, Connecticut supplied tens of thousands of troops to the Continental army. While largely spared from British occupation and major battles, Connecticut still experienced British raids and town burnings—most notably in Danbury, Fairfield, Norwalk, and New London.

Off the battlefield, others supported the American Revolution by capitalizing on the opportunities the war created, including through acts of espionage committed by spies such as the Culper Ring, Nathan Hale, and Deborah Champion. Enslaved individuals in Connecticut used the chaos of battles and disruption of daily life to escape and seek freedom. Women such as Hannah Bunce Watson of the Connecticut Courant ensured continuous access to news while others like Abigail Hinman actively defended their homes during British raids. Not all Connecticut residents, however, supported the Revolution. Facing legislation and harassment from patriot-supporting neighbors, many loyal to Britain (called Loyalists or Tories) fled the Colonies or suffered imprisonment (largely at New-Gate Prison).

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Websites

America 250 | CT. “America 250 | CT Commission Resources,” n.d. Link.
Fernandez, Juan Miguel. “Connecticut Raids.” Digital Encyclopedia of George Washington, n.d. Link.
CRIS: Connecticut Radio Information System. “Forgotten Voices of the Revolutionary War,” n.d. Link.
National Park Service. “Nero Hawley,” December 16, 2020. Link.
National Archives. “The Founding Fathers: Connecticut,” December 13, 2017. Link.

Videos

Steward, John. Lunch and Learn: Exploring the Life of Lt. Colonel William Ledyard. Connecticut Museum of Culture and History, 2021. Link.
Borzilleri, C.C. Lunch and Learn: Hannah Watson and Women Printers in Early America. Connecticut Museum of Culture and History, 2023. Link.

Places

Department of Energy & Environmental Protection. “Fort Griswold Battlefield State Park,” n.d. Link.
Israel Putnam House Association. “General Israel Putnam Cottage (Knapp’s Tavern),” n.d. Link.
Connecticut Daughters of the American Revolution. “Governor Jonathan Trumbull House.” Accessed March 19, 2012. Link.
Connecticut Landmarks. “Nathan Hale Homestead,” n.d. Link.
The Connecticut Society of the Sons of the American Revolution. “Nathan Hale Schoolhouse - East Haddam,” n.d. Link.
Oliver Ellsworth Homestead Connecticut DAR. “Oliver Ellsworth Homestead,” n.d. Link.
CT Visit. “Revolutionary Sites,” January 2024. Link.
Ancient Burying Ground Association. “Soldiers of the Revolutionary War,” n.d. Link.
“The Huntington Homestead Museum,” n.d. Link.
National Park Service. “The Washington-Rochambeau Revolutionary Route,” n.d. Link.
The Connecticut Society of the Sons of the American Revolution. “Trumbull War Office,” n.d. Link.
Connecticut Daughters of the American Revolution. “Wadsworth Stable,” n.d. Link.
“Webb-Deane-Stevens Museum,” n.d. Link.

Exhibits

Clark, Ellen McCallister, and Sandra L. Powers. “Connecticut in the American Revolution.” The Society of Cincinnati, 2001. Link.
Historical Society of East Hartford. “Connecticut Markers on the Washington-Rochambeau Revolutionary Route National Historic Trail,” 2010. Link.

Documents

Lyman, Daniel. “A Sketch of New London & Groton with the Attacks Made on Forts Trumbull & Griswold by the British Troops Under the Command of Brigr. Genl. Arnold, Sept. 6th. 1781.” 1781. Library of Congress, Geography and Map Division. Link.
Grundset, Eric G., ed. Forgotten Patriots: African American and American Indian Patriots in the Revolutionary War: A Guide to Service, Sources and Studies. National Society Daughters of the American Revolution, 2008. Link.
“Fort-Griswold.” Faden Collection, 1781. University of Connecticut Libraries, Map and Geographic Information Center - MAGIC. Link.
“Map - Gov. Tryon’s Expedition to Danbury, 1777.” ca 1777. University of Connecticut Libraries, Map and Geographic Information Center - MAGIC. Link.
Orderly Book and Journals Kept By Connecticut Men While Taking Park in the American Revolution, 1775-1778. Vol. VII. Collections of the Connecticut Historical Society. Hartford: Connecticut Historical Society, 1899. Link.
Johnston, Henry P., ed. The Record of Connecticut Men in the Military and Naval Service during the War of the Revolution, 1775-1783. Connecticut Military Record, 1775-1848. Hartford: The Case, Lockwood & Brainard Company Printers and Binders, 1889.

Collections

Connecticut Digital Archive. “American Revolution (CHI Featured Topics),” n.d. Link.
Connecticut’s Archives Online. “American Revolutionary War Collection, 1775-1789,” n.d. Link.
National Archives. “Compiled Service Records of Soldiers Who Served in the American Army During the Revolutionary War,” n.d. Link.
Connecticut Digital Archive. “Connecticut Museum of Culture and History: American Revolution,” n.d. Link.
Archives at Yale. “Connecticut--History--Revolution, 1775-1783,” n.d. Link.
Connecticut State Library. “Revolutionary War Service Records,” n.d. Link.

Articles

Philbrick, Nathaniel. “Benedict Arnold and the Battle of Ridgefield.” Connecticut Explored, Winter -2018 2017. Link.
Normen, Elizabeth J. “George Washington in Connecticut.” Connecticut Explored, Summer 2022. Link.
Schecter, Barnet. “John Trumbull: Picturing the Birth of a Nation.” Connecticut Explored, Winter -2007 2006. Link.
Harrison, Ann, and Mary Donohue. “Revolutionary War: The ‘Conference’ State.” Connecticut Explored, Fall 2005. Link.