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Revolutionary War


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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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”

Had this Hartford merchant lived in another era, his wealth and influence might have made him comparable to a 19th-century financial tycoon or a 20th-century venture capitalist.

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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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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…

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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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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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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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Valley Forge, 1777

A Connecticut Slave in George Washington’s Army

Nero Hawley, born into slavery in Connecticut in the 18th…

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Colonel William Douglas

William Douglas: A Colonial Hero’s Sacrifice

William Douglas was a successful merchant and military leader who…

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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…

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Detail of the French army's map of its route across Connecticut in Bolton

Site Lines: Mapping Rochambeau’s March across Connecticut

Moving troops and materiel over long distances during the Revolutionary War required accurate maps, most of which were in British hands, until French allies came to the rebelling colonists’ aid.

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John F. Weir, Roger Sherman, ca. 1902

Roger Sherman, Revolutionary and Dedicated Public Servant

An author of the Connecticut Compromise, 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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Bushnell's Turtle

The Turtle Submarine – Today in History: September 6

On September 6, 1776, the first functioning submarine, called the…

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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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Burning of Fairfield

British Burn Fairfield – Today in History: July 7

On July 7, 1779, during the Revolutionary War, the British…

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Richard Brooks, Oliver Cromwell

Oliver Cromwell Launched – Today in History: June 13

On June 13, 1776, the ship Oliver Cromwell, built by…

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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…

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Borough of Stonington

Settled in 1752, Stonington became a fishing, shipbuilding, whaling, and sealing center and survived attacks during both the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812.

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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…

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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…

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Litchfield’s Revolutionary War Soldiers’ Tree

The first Arbor Day was held on April 10, 1872, and became an international event 11 years later when Birdsley Northrup of Kent, Connecticut, introduced the concept to Japan.

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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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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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Uriah Tracy

Uriah Tracy Authors the Rules for Impeachment

Uriah Tracy was an attorney and politician who took up…

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Colonel William Douglas

William Douglas: A Colonial Hero’s Sacrifice

William Douglas was a successful merchant and military leader who…

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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…

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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…

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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,…

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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…

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Lyman Hall memorial, Center Street Cemetery

Wallingford Native Son Signed the Declaration of Independence

Lyman Hall was a doctor, minister, and statesman from Connecticut…

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The Old State House, Hartford

Jackson v. Bulloch and the End of Slavery in Connecticut

Nancy Jackson, a Georgia-born slave living in Hartford, 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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Illustration of Hebron by John Warner Barber

Changing Sentiments on Slavery in Colonial Hebron

Residents of Hebron rescued local slaves Lowis and Cesar Peters, and their children, from South Carolina slave traders. After emancipation, the rescued family became farmers in town.

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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…

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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…

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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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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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Needlework by Prudence Punderson

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

September 16, 2016 • 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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Liberty Pole marker on East Street North, Goshen

Hidden Nearby: Goshen’s Liberty Pole

July 2, 2016 • 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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Connecticut, from the Best Authorities

Stamford’s Three-Gun Armada

During the Revolutionary War, American privateers utilized armed whaling boats…

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

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

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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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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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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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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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Joel Barlow

The Hartford Wits

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

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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…

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Levi B. Frost House, Southington

The Frost House Once Offered Travelers a Warm Welcome

On Marion Avenue in the southwest corner of Southington sits…

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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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George Washington Slept Here

George Washington Slept Here (Just Perhaps Not Well)

Within the heritage tourism industry, it is not uncommon to…

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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…

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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…

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A Remarkable Signature – Who Knew?

….that Roger Sherman, Connecticut merchant, lawyer, and statesman, was the…

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Jared Sparks

A Willington Visionary Preserves the Nation’s Colonial Past

October 9, 2013 • Education, Revolutionary War, Willington

Jared Sparks was a Unitarian minister, editor, and historian who…

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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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Historic photo of the Ebenezer Avery House, Groton

The Ebenezer Avery House – Who Knew?

…that the Ebenezer Avery House on the grounds of Fort…

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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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The Webb Mansion, Wethersfield

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

The first time this founding father traveled through Connecticut, he was an ambitious Virginia colonel hoping to advance his career in the British military. When he last visited Connecticut, he was the first president of the new United States.

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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

Map – Rochambeau’s Camp at Windham

This map, “Camp à Windham, le 5 Novembre, 16 milles…

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

Ralph Earl: Portrait of an Early American Artist

Among the number of 18th-century artists who resided in Bolton…

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