On this day, August 8, 1754 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Joseph Greer was born. One of eleven children, his family would move to the frontier of Staunton, Virginia and later the Watauga River area of Tennessee. In 1769 Joseph, his father and brothers were among 40 men who would defend Fort Watauga from more than 300 Indians—he had just turned 15. During
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In his General Orders of August 7, 1782 issued from his headquarters in Newburgh, New York, George Washington decreed the creation of two Honorary Badges of Distinction and a Badge of Military Merit. Previous custom was to only present military honors to the high-ranking officers of victorious forces rather than honoring individual soldiers. Of the
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On this day, July 13th 1729, Captain John Parker was born. “Stand your ground. Don’t fire unless fired upon, but if they mean to have a war, let it begin here.” Captain John Parker’s words to his men on Lexington Green on April 19, 1775 have become inextricably associated with the beginnings of the Revolutionary
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On July 9, 1776, the Declaration of Independence was read for the first time in New York in front of George Washington and his troops. In reaction to what had been read, soldiers and citizens went to Bowling Green, a park in Manhattan, where a lead statue of King George III on horseback stood. The
On July 5, 1779, Hugh M. Brackenridge delivers an Eulogium to those gathered in Pennsylvania to honor those who have fallen during the Revolutionary War: “IT is the high reward of those who have risked their lives in a just and necessary war, that their names are sweet in the mouths of men, and every
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On June 11, 1741, Joseph Warren is born in Roxbury, Province of Massachusetts Bay. Joseph’s father died in 1755 after falling off a ladder while picking fruit in his orchard; Joseph was only 14 at the time. Joseph later attended Harvard, graduating in 1759, and taught for a short time at Roxbury Latin School where he
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On this day, May 4, 1918, the relocated graves of Colonel Israel Agnell and his first wife, Martha, were dedicated at a ceremony in Providence, Rhode Island. Israel Agnell was born on August 24th, 1740 to Oliver and Naomi Agnell in Providence, Rhode Island and was a fifth generation descendant of one of the original settlers
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New Book: Pox Americana

The military history of the Revolutionary War is well studied. However, the impact that smallpox (variola major) had on the conduct of the war is not as commonly known. George Washington himself contracted smallpox while in Barbados with his tuberculosis stricken half-brother Lawrence. Washington survived the disease with only slight scarring to his face, but
On April 24, 2017 a second copy of the Declaration of Independence was discovered in Chichester, England. The copy is believed to have been commissioned by Charles Lennox, Third Duke of Richmond: “Richmond was a strong critic of Lord North’s American policy. In December 1775, he declared in the House of Lords that the resistance
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The Massachusetts Spy was a colonial weekly newspaper founded in 1770 by Isaiah Thomas and his former master, Zechariah Fowle; later Thomas would buy out Fowle to become sole publisher. Having a circulation of around 3,500, the Spy was substantially more popular than other newspapers of the day which typical had circulations of less than
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