Madam Sacho: How One Iroquois Woman Survived the American Revolution

General George Washington gave the orders to destroy towns and take prisoners in Sullivan’s Campaign, but her story lives on. Soldiers called her many things: “a very old Squaw,” “helpless impotent wretch,” “antediluvian hag.” Only one recorded anything like a name: “Madam Sacho.” Yet we would not even know that much about her if, in[…]

Native Americans, the Stamp Act, and the American Revolution

In the years after the French and Indian War, Britain’s strategies to keep its Native American alliances sometimes backfired. John Trumbull’s painting Declaration of Independence is a classic depiction of history being made. From John Adams to Benjamin Franklin, all the key players appear to be in attendance. But are they? In depicting only well-to-do[…]

The American Revolution Story Has a Hole the Size of Spain

While the Marquis de Lafayette gets a share of the glory, names like Gardoqui and Gálvez are all but forgotten. Americans like to think of our nation as exceptional in nature, a dramatic break from all that came before it. Being exceptional, it’s inconvenient to acknowledge that two European powers provided invaluable assistance in our[…]

How the Lowly Mosquito Helped America Win Independence

The blood-sucking insect has played a leading role in the rise and fall of empires throughout history. In recent months, millions of Aedes aegypti mosquitoes have been at work spreading the Zika virus in South and Central America. This summer, millions more, all capable of conveying the virus, will flit and bite throughout the southern U.S. Congress[…]

America Declaring Independence: Drafting the Documents

The committee delegated Thomas Jefferson to undertake the task, and he worked diligently in private for days to compose a document. Draft and Prints Jefferson’s letter to Weightman is considered one of the sublime exaltations of individual and national liberty — Jefferson’s vision of the Declaration of Independence and the American nation as signals to[…]

Intelligence and Information Gathering in the American War for Independence

Congress formed secret committees to oversee intelligence operations in the fight against the British. Introduction American Intelligence in the American Revolutionary War was essentially monitored and sanctioned by the Continental Congress to provide military intelligence to the Continental Army to aid them in fighting the British during the American Revolutionary War. Congress created a Secret[…]