Initially, the Haudenosaunee Confederacy (Iroquois) claimed neutrality during the conflict between Britain and the colonists, seeing the disagreement as a civil war and valuing loyalty to their families and to their lands above all else. When the political discontent erupted into the American Revolutionary War, the member nations of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy split their support between the British and newly formed American forces. [Read more…] about The American Revolution in the Finger Lakes
Historians are fond of saying that the Revolutionary War in the city of New York began and ended in the same place. On July 9, 1776, the Declaration of Independence was read to George Washington’s troops at City Hall. Within minutes, a mob of fired-up patriots stormed nearby Bowling Green where they pulled down its statue of King George III and sawed off the royal crown finials on the uprights of the surrounding fence. (The original fence still stands, you can see the saw marks.) [Read more…] about The British Occupation of New York City, 1776-1783
As we celebrated another birthday for America this July 4th I was reminded of the rich history and vital role that New York played in the founding of this nation. This is no less true within the sandy shores and glacial uplands of Long Island.
Drive south on William Floyd Parkway today, through the Suffolk County communities of Yaphank, Mastic, Shirley, and Mastic Beach, and it might be hard to imagine that this area was once the site of a great struggle between a world power and the early American settlers who came to yearn for independence. [Read more…] about Long Island Revolutionary History: A Suffolk County Tour
The book Unfriendly to Liberty: NYC Loyalist Networks Before the Revolution (Cornell University Press, 2023) by Christopher F. Minty explores the origins of loyalism in the city of New York between 1768 and 1776, and revises the understanding of the coming of the American Revolution. [Read more…] about Unfriendly to Liberty: NYC Loyalist Networks Before the Revolution
There was a story that had been passed down in the Minthorn family for generations. It told of how an ancestor had hidden her two infants under the roots of a tree to save them during the Revolutionary War attack on Cherry Valley, NY, in 1778. It was said that in her zeal to quiet her children, the youngsters were rendered unconscious, being revived only after the attackers had departed.
While this story is most likely fiction, there is some truth mixed in. [Read more…] about The Mystery of Joseph Brant’s Watch
In the latest episode of The History Twins podcast, storytelling duo Carla Lynne Hall and Jim Keyes discuss General Benedict Arnold, American Commander of West Point, as well as his wife Peggy Shippen, whose family was loyal to the Crown. Together they conspired with Major Andre to betray the American side during the American Revolutionary War. [Read more…] about Peggy Shippen, Benedict Arnold’s Wife & Co-Conspirator
Black Americans have a long and distinguished history of military service. They participated in every colonial war from 1690 through the French and Indian War (1754-1763) as soldiers, sailors, laborers, scouts, and spies.
Blacks generally served in integrated units and earned the same pay as whites. Even enslaved people served in the army and were paid although their enlistment compelled them to surrender some portion of this money to the people who held them enslaved. [Read more…] about Black Americans in the Revolutionary War