Benedict Arnold's treasonous behavior during the American Revolution has earned him widespread notoriety to this day. Rarely mentioned, however, is the role his wife, Peggy Shippen, played in his betrayal. In Treacherous Beauty, authors Mark Jacob and Stephen H. Case share the fascinating story of how the machinations of a Philadelphia society girl impacted the American War of Independence.
In The American Plate: A Culinary History in 100 Bites, author Libby H. O'Connell shows how the evolution of the country can be understood through changing trends in food and drink. In this excerpt she explains the role patriotism played in leading us towards our now ubiquitous coffee culture.
In the decades of resistance leading up to the War of Independence, Americans throughout the colonies began boycotting the importation of British goods in protest of increased taxation on everyday items. Women played a critical role in this effort, as described in Laurel Thatcher Ulrich’s The Age of Homespun.
Lawrence E. Babits' A Devil of a Whipping transports us to South Carolina on January 17, 1781. After suffering a series of southern losses, the Americans finally achieved victory at the Battle of Cowpens. In this excerpt we see the start of this memorable battle, in the words of the men who fought it.
This month marks the 239th anniversary of the publication of Thomas Paine's influential pamphlet Common Sense. Written by Paine less than two years after he emigrated to Philadelphia from England, Common Sense outlined the need for American independence. Today's excerpt comes from the section "Thoughts on the Present State of American Affairs."
The Continental Army endured incredible hardships at their winter encampment in Valley Forge from 1777-1778, while 20 miles away the British reveled in their occupation of Philadelphia. This excerpt from Ron Chernow's Washington: A Life shows General George Washington uneasily deciding on Valley Forge as the place to house his troops until the spring.
The first of two essays in Alfred F. Young's The Shoemaker and the Tea Party shows the contributions of ordinary people to the American Revolution by focusing on the life of George Robert Twelves Hewes. Here is Hewes' recollection of the Tea Party, much of it in his own words.
The Divided Ground features an important ally in the War of Independence: the Oneida Nation. For more than a century before the American Revolution, the Oneida and other Iroquois nations had skillfully played French and British colonial powers off one another in order to defend their lands and sovereignty. Tragically, this strategy sometimes brought Iroquois people into conflict among themselves.
Establishing formal peace between Britain and America required lengthy and complicated negotiations. In this excerpt from David McCullough's John Adams , we travel to Paris in the fall of 1782, where Adams, Benjamin Franklin, and John Jay begin talks with the British to officially end the war.