June 12, 1776

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Congress creates “A Board of War and Ordnance” inspired in part by the failing Canadian campaign.  Americans start a retreat from Canada.

In Williamsburg, Virginia, George Mason and the Virginia Convention adopt a declaration of rights.  This will later be the model for the U.S. Congress when they amend the U.S. Constitution to include a Bill of Rights.

In Philadelphia, Congress appoints a committee to prepare a draft of a working government entitled the Articles of Confederation.

Join us at Bow Tie Tours for the Philadelphia’s Best Walking Tours.  July 4th is just around the corner – contact us to be part of a select group to enjoy the greatest July 4th Celebration ever!  Includes admission to Independence Hall, Declaration House, Betsy Ross House, Carpenter’s Hall, Christ Church, and even the incredible new Museum of the American Revolution!  All in plenty of time to make it out to see the fireworks in the evening.  Give us a call at 610-642-2410 to learn more about this exciting event!

June 11, 1776

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Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Roger Sherman and Philip Livingston comprise a committee chosen to prepare the Declaration of Independence.  John Adams requests Thomas Jefferson to prepare the first draft.  When Jefferson suggested that Adams write the Declaration, Adams “declined, and gave him several reasons for declining.  1.  That he was a Virginian, and I a Massachusettensian.  2. That he was a southern man, and I a northern one.  3.  That I had been so obnoxious for my early and constant zeal in promoting the measure, that any draught of mine would undergo a more severe scrutiny and criticism in Congress, than one of his composition.  4., and lastly, and that would be reason enough if there were no other, I had a great opinion of the elegance of his pen, and none at all of my own.  I therefore insisted that no hesitation should be made on his part.”

Join us at Bow Tie Tours for the Independence Tour Extraordinaire, a four hour tour that takes you inside the building where the Declaration was signed, and also to the place where Thomas Jefferson, alone, wrote his first draft.  Join us for our stupendous 4th of July Celebration, which comprises of a tour given by Dr. Benjamin Rush that will take you to the inside of the room where the Declaration was written!

We had a tremendous tour at Valley Forge yesterday – now that summer is here, you don’t want to miss  it.

June 10, 1776

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Congress stops short of declaring “total independence” from Britain, but calls for a committee to prepare a declaration based on the premise “That these United States are, and of right ought to be, free and independent states, that they all are absolved from all allegiance to the British Crown, and all political connection between them and the state of Gret Britain is, and ought to be totally dissolved,” as stated in the Virginia proposal.

George Washington writes to John Hancock, addressing the threats to Philadelphia as well as the internal threats to the cause in general.  “To Congress I also submit the Propriety of keeping the two Continental Battalions (under the Comd of Colonels Shae & McGaw) at Philadelpa when there is the greatest probability of a speedy attack upon this place from the Kings Troops. the Incouragements given by Govr Tryon to the disaffected, which are circulated no one can well tell how—the movements of these kind of People which are more easy to perceive than describe —the confident report which is said to have come immediately from Govr Tryon, & brought by a Frigate from Hallifax that the Troops at that place were Imbarking for this, added to a thousand Incidental Circumstances trivial in themselves but strong from comparison, leaves not a doubt upon my Mind but that Troops are hourly expected at the Hook.  I had no doubt when I left this City, for Philadelphia, but that some measures would have been taken to secure the suspected, & dangerous Persons of this Government before now, and left Orders for the Military to give every aid to the Civil Power—But, the Subject is delicate, & nothing is done in it—we may therefore have Internal, as well as external Enemies to contend with.”

The summer is arriving, and there is no better way to celebrate it than with Bow Tie Tours and one of our award winning walking tours!  See Valley Forge and learn how Washington fought off internal foes while creating an army that would be able to stand up to the greatest empire in the world!

June 9, 1776

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In Loudon County, Virginia, small tenant farmers petition the Convention for relief.  Unable to sell their harvests of wheat to foreign markets, many become destitute.

John Adams writes to William Cushing, a judge before he once used to argue:  “It would give me great Pleasure to ride this Eastern Circuit with you, and prate before you at the Bar, as I used to do. But I am destined to another Fate, to Drudgery of the most wasting, exhausting, consuming Kind, that I ever went through in my whole Life. Objects of the most Stupendous Magnitude, Measures in which the Lives and Liberties of Millions, born and unborn are most essentially interested, are now before Us. We are in the very midst of a Revolution, the most compleat, unexpected, and remarkable of any in the History of Nations. A few Matters must be dispatched before I can return. Every Colony must be induced to institute a perfect Government. All the Colonies must confederate together, in some solemn Compact. The Colonies must be declared free and independent states, and Embassadors, must be Sent abroad to foreign Courts, to solicit their Acknowledgment of Us, as Sovereign States, and to form with them, at least with some of them commercial Treaties of Friendship and Alliance. When these Things shall be once well finished, or in a Way of being so, I shall think that I have answered the End of my Creation, and sing with Pleasure my Nunc Dimittes, or if it should be the Will of Heaven that I should live a little longer, return to my Farm and Family, ride Circuits, plead Law, or judge Causes, just as you please.”

Join us at Bow Tie Tours for Philadelphia’s Best Historical Walking Tours.  Our “Independence Tour Extraordinaire” includes tickets to Independence Hall.  If you are looking for an extraordinary July 4th celebration, join us for our “July 4th Extravaganza” which includes admission to Independence Hall as well as the 2nd National Bank, Christ Church, the Declaration House, the Betsy Ross House, and the exciting, new Museum of the American Revolution!

June 8, 1776

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In Philadelphia, Congress considers Richard Henry Lee’s world-shaking resolution from the previous day, urging that they declare independence.

In South Carolina, Colonel Moultrie receives notice that General Sir Henry Clinton has landed troops on the southern tip of Long Island.  Moultrie in turn orders American troops to occupy the northern part of Sullivan’s Island.

In Canada, at the Battle of Three Rivers, American troops under command of General John Sullivan have 2500 men and have about 400 killed or wounded.  British General Guy Carleton has 3000 men, and has 8 killed and 9 wounded in action.  The Americans have been decisively defeated in what can only be termed a military fiasco.  The guide was a turncoat and misled them into a swamp.  It took two hours to backtrack.  British General Carleton simply released all of the prisoners, as there was no way to feed them.  Certainly, they believed, the Americans would view this battle as proof that there was no conceivable way in which they could defeat the British Empire in any war of Independence.

Learn more about the American Revolution by taking Bow Tie Tours, Philadelphia’s best walking tours.  Check out our podcast on chasingamericanhistory.com, which is currently producing its “Washington 101” Series.

June 7, 1776

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Richard Henry Lee of Virginia introduces to Congress three resolutions, total independence from Britain, the formation of foreign alliances, and preparation of a plan of colonial confederation.  This is a dramatic and world changing moment!  John Adams seconds the resolutions, which is as follows:  “Resolved That these United Colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent States, that they are absolved from all allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain is, and ought to be, totally dissolved.  That it is expedient forthwith to take the most effectual measures for forming   foreign Alliances. That a plan of confederation be prepared and transmitted to   the respective Colonies for their consideration and approbation.  Resolved that it is the opinion of this Committee tha[t] the first Resolution be postponed to this day three weeks and that in the mean time least any time should be lost in case the Congress agree to this resolution a committee be appointed to prepare a Declaration to the effect of the said first resolution.”

In Newburyport, Massachusetts, the American privateer U.S.S. Yankee Hero was attacked by HMS Melford and a small group of ships, commanded by Captain John Burr.  Outnumbered 4 to 1 the Yankee Hero surrendered after a two-hour fight.

Join us at Bow Tie Tours to see the place where this resolution was offered to congress!  We also offer the best battlefield tours in the area, including the battles of Washington’s Crossing/Trenton/Princeton, The Battle of Brandywine, and the Battle of Monmouth.

June 5, 1776

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Congress requires monthly status reports from all non-combat and supply departments of the floundering Army in Cancada.

In Massachusetts, a traitor examiner recommends that all suspected persons should be sent inland at least 10 miles from the coast

James Warren writes the following to John Adams, apparently referring to a suspected spy named Church:  “Doctr. Church is Arrived here. Is not your resolve relative to him somewhat Extraordinary. I fear the People will kill him if at large. The Night before last he went to Lodge at Waltham was saved by the Interposition of the selectmen but by Jumping out of A Chamber Window and flying. His Life is of no great Consequence but such A Step has a tendency to lessen the Confidence of the People in the doings of Congress.  A large Sugar Ship from Jamaica with 300 hhds. sugar 80 Puncheons rum some Madeira wine &c. &c. is taken and got into the Vineyard in her way to Bedford. It is said that 4 or 5 others are taken by two Privateers who took this. What Privateers they are I cant learn.  Must not something be done to prevent British Property being Covered by the West Indians. We shall loose our Labour, and discourage our Seamen. Why should not all English property going to Britain be liable to Capture. This matter must be Considered. We should fight them on equal Terms.  We have A Number of Seamen here supported at your Expence. If your Generosity and Civilized sentiments prevent, wont good policy dictate recourse to the Lex talionis. They are wanted. You will fine the want of them when you man your Ships.”

Join us at Bow Tie Tours for Philadelphia’s best historical walking tours.  Take our “Independence Tour Extraordinaire” which includes tickets to Independence Hall.