Leaders of the Revolutionary War were the national heroes of the early republic. Soldiers of the war cherished memories of serving with George Washington. They delighted in sharing stories of fighting under Nathanael Greene or Francis Marion. They revered the memory of Joseph Warren and Richard Montgomery, who sacrificed their lives for American liberty.

Other Americans—those who lived far from the contending armies or were too young to remember the war—learned to revere the heroes of the Revolutionary War by listening to the stories of veterans, repeated and often embellished as they were told and retold. They also learned about the heroes of the Revolutionary War through books and prints aimed at a popular audience.

Remembering the Revolutionaries: Heroes of the Revolutionary War in American Culture, 1783-1863,  drew together books, prints and other objects from the Institute’s collections illustrating how ordinary Americans remembered the heroes of the Revolutionary War and how those memories evolved during the eighty years between the Revolutionary War and the Civil War. As the Revolutionary War passed out of the memory of living men and women, these books and prints played an increasingly important role in shaping how Americans imagined the heroes who secured our national independence.