Read the Revolution

September 10, 2013

A Sinister Plot

To celebrate the start of a new school year, today's excerpt comes from a novel written for teens, but engaging for anyone young at heart. Laurie Halse Anderson's book Chains--winner of the Scott O'Dell Award for Historical Fiction and a National Book Award finalist--tells the story of a thirteen-year-old slave girl named Isabel whose sale to a Loyalist family in New York City coincides with the start of the Revolutionary War. Here Isabel alerts the Rebel army to a plot she overheard her master and his colleagues devise to assassinate General George Washington.

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August 27, 2013

The American Mind

The history community lost an esteemed member when Pauline Maier, a scholar of the American Revolution, passed away on August 12, 2013. We present, in her honor, an excerpt from her award-winning book American Scripture: Making the Declaration of Independence. Here she provides a glimpse into "the American mind" and how it elevated what could have been a mere rebellion into a radical rethinking of government and citizenship that would lead to America's great experiment in democracy.

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August 13, 2013

Women's Work

During the war, many women assumed enormous burdens as men left for military service. Some took to the field themselves, following the army as nurses, sutlers, cooks, and even (in a few documented cases) soldiers. Others worked as fundraisers for the cause. Among them was Esther Reed, the wife of Pennsylvania governor Joseph Reed, who rallied her fellow ladies of Philadelphia in an extraordinary capital campaign to support the troops. Mary Beth Norton shares their story in her book Liberty's Daughters.

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