Treasures of the American Revolution

Treasures of the American Revolution include art, artifacts, documents, books, prints and maps that enrich our understanding of the people, ideas and events at the heart of our national experience. Many are associated with great stories from our nation’s beginning. Others reflect the ways later generations remembered and imagined the Revolution.

In these features we discuss great treasures of the American Revolution on public display in museums and historic places or preserved in special collections libraries across the United States and around the world. From the thousands of treasures of the American Revolution, we have chosen just ten of each kind—ten artifacts, ten maps, ten prints and so forth—to illustrate the rich legacy of that vast event. We freely admit that our choices are subjective. We looked for the iconic—like Washington’s headquarters tent or Emanuel Leutze’s painting Washington Crossing the Delaware—but we also looked for less familiar treasures like the powder horn carried by an African American soldier and the map of the Battle of Trenton drawn by a Hessian soldier who fought in it. You may think of treasures we overlooked. Discovery is most of the fun.