Category: The Legacy of the Revolution

Our First Veterans

The American Revolution was the most deeply consequential event in our nation’s history. It secured our independence, established our republic, created our national identity, and expressed ideals of liberty, equality, natural and civil rights, and responsible citizenship that have defined our nation for nearly 250 years. The achievements of the Revolution were the work of […]

The Elusive Peter Hunter

On November 4, 1844, Stephen Thomas of rural West Fairlee, Vermont, wrote to Dr. Ira Davis, an old friend, then in Connecticut. Thomas explained that the widow of a Revolutionary War soldier named Peter Hunter had approached him, seeking his help in securing a widow’s pension. In 1832 Congress had passed an act providing pensions […]

Joseph Winter, Lone Wanderer

Homeless veteran Joseph Winter was portrayed in this painting by John Neagle, who called Winter a "lone wanderer."

On the evening of December 18, 1829, a young Philadelphia portrait painter named John Neagle set off on foot toward the home of an artist friend named Thomas Birch. It was snowing and the streets of Philadelphia must have been nearly empty. People who had somewhere to go pulled their coats tight and hurried through […]

Why the American Revolution Matters

The American Revolution was shaped by high principles and low ones, by imperial politics, dynastic rivalries, ambition, greed, personal loyalties, patriotism, demographic growth, social and economic changes, cultural developments, British intransigence and American anxieties. It was shaped by conflicting interests between Britain and America, between regions within America, between families and between individuals. It was […]